On Sunday, I began a complete melt down. Well, it might have started Saturday night. Or maybe Saturday morning. Oh, well, you get it. Unfortunately, there were still a lot of activities that I had committed to, and…well, if you don’t know how I feel about breaking a commitment, let’s just say that it is extremely rare that I back out of something if I’ve made a commitment and it’s something other than just “hanging out”. Not only that, but I didn’t want to miss out on all of the fun things that were still to come. So, I put on my big girl pants and, as my family likes to say, sucked it up.
Then Monday rolled around and, still exhausted from all of my weekend activities, I had a day from hell. Well, really just two hours, but they were the two hours at the end of the day and two hours past when I had intended to be leaving the office. Without getting into it (because it wouldn’t be ethical for me to discuss these things on the interwebs), I will just say that people are sometimes really stupid…which is a big part of why I have a job, so I can’t complain too much…except to say that yesterday was not the day I wanted to deal with this particular issue.
When I finally got out of the office I texted Sara to see what was going on. With Sara leaving today, I definitely wanted to hang out last night. I got on the train and headed home and, as is my ritual, started reading. As it were, I happened to read this talk (a sort of speech) that was given by one of the leaders of my church. There was one line that captured the gist of the talk and was exactly what I needed to hear:
“If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.”
As I considered this on my way home, two things occurred to me. First, I have not been spending nearly enough (read: any) time on my personal progression. Second, while my life is seriously amazing and I want for almost nothing, I have been running so fast that I have not been able to enjoy it. Even during my “downtime” I end up either having several things I need to get done or I’m so spent all I can do is sit and stare at the t.v.
So, last night, after making plans to see Sara today for lunch, I decided to just be at home, alone, and go to bed at a normal hour (unlike tonight). Of course, I couldn’t sleep, and because I was just laying in bed for two hours, I finally had enough time to think and…well…let’s just say it was a rough night. But I figured some stuff out and was able to get a little clarity and a little focus.
On my way home tonight, I decided the one thing I needed to do was go running, so I changed into my workout clothes and headed to the gym. I got on the treadmill, turned on my music, and left everything behind. And I remembered how happy I am when I’m running…not running around, but literally running. The whole world changed in those five miles. I don’t know how else to explain it but that. Something about the combination of some of my favorite music and physical exertion just does it for me. So many things that I’d been stressing about just stopped seeming so important. I was able to clear my head and refocus on what really matters.
It’s so easy to lose focus in life as we worry about “missing out” on things or strive to obtain success the way the world defines it. And it’s not that we are making bad choices. I would say that all of the things I have been doing over the past few weeks have been good things. It’s just that they have sometimes been at the expense of the best things. And that’s what I needed to remember. That’s the place that I needed to get to…a place where I was humble enough to realize that my way wasn’t working and I needed a little intervention. And that’s what tonight did for me.
As I ran home from the gym (not because I still wanted to be running, but because it was butt freezing cold outside–thank you east coast), Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind (the one where it’s only her) came on. I love this song, partly because I think it’s a great song, but partly because this song has become my New York theme song. I swear it seems to pop up at the exact moments when I remember how lucky I am to have the life I have and live in this fabulous city, and I can’t help but smile. And tonight, it was just a little bit sweeter.