Today was the Village 10K Race and for me it was reminder that nearly a year ago I ran that race and realized my foot was too badly injured for me to keep running. I was going to have to take some time off. Not only that I was going to fail to fulfill a goal. I was going to be unable to run the Jeff Galloway Half Marathon in December. A lot of things about that day were terrifying.
I used running to relax and distress. I used it as pretty much my sole form of exercise. I would even say I used it to define who I am. I may have mentioned this before, I had a relentless pursuit of perfection that often took the form of obsessive goal setting. Setting goals was only step one. The real pay off came from crossing them off. Yet here I was. Limping across the finish line, defeated, in pain and without telling my husband scared to death. Who was I if I could not run and who was this girl who was just going to lay down and not complete her goal. What was left? I am not sure I have felt so out of control. In case I have not mentioned it, control and I go way back.
I had to do something drastic. For this Type A, goal pursuing, uber over-achieving perfectionist nothing seemed more out of the box than meditation. I made a commitment. It seemed simple enough meditate everyday. How hard could sitting there doing nothing be, right? All those who meditate are now laughing. In fact there has been little in my life that came less naturally. So I guess that was what made me realize I must really need this. So I persevered. I am not sure when it stopped being something I had to force myself to do to a part of my life. It really did. I have 3 days left before hitting one year. It is now something I can’t imagine not doing.
What I was unprepared for was what happened this year from this one desperate decision. I have this new-found and easily accessible gratitude for the good things in my life. I have learned to let things go and realized that the cosmic joke, is believing we were ever in control. All of those you might expect. All the studies indicate that.
I think some of the external things that have changed were unexpected. I started streamlining, minimizing possessions that just did not seem as important. I simplified my wardrobe. What made it easier was that I found I no longer made decisions by thinking, what will people think about me if I wear this. All of a sudden if I felt appropriate then I just went with it. I also embraced the fact that I don’t have to wear a lot of make up. I used to hate putting on foundation and powder. So guess what I stopped doing it. Just a little blush, concealer, and mascara. It takes about two minutes in the morning. Know what I saw staring back in the mirror? I saw a 48-year-old woman who has earned her position, who has a fulfilling marriage, takes care of her family, volunteers, and lives by her principles. I never got that from make up. I guess as I hit the one year mark, the biggest surprise is I am just fine being me.