The More Things Stay the Same


I need to go for a run today, but I can’t seem to get out the door.

Ten minutes ago I managed to change from my pajamas into running clothes, but I haven’t managed my shoes yet.

I know every moment I spend sitting here writing this post is one more chance I have of not getting out the door to run at all today.  There is a limited window of time, after my daughters have left for school, after the local kids have biked through, and before the day becomes too hot for running.  That window is now, and it is going to close if I do not get my shoes on, and get out the door.

But I might stop and finish my coffee first.  I don’t want it to get cold.

And I should make a to do list for the day, so I don’t lose track of what I have to accomplish before the bus arrives again, bringing my little girl and her friend home for the afternoon.  As soon as I make that list, I suspect I am going to learn I don’t have time to run at all today.

I can’t say exactly why I am so reluctant to run today.  I know I am out of shape, but I am learning to love the wheezing sound I make as I trod along the road looking like the straggler from a heard of stampeding rhinos, the one who is most likely about to be picked off by the predator.  I know I haven’t gotten around to switching up my running playlist, but its not like I can’t run to the old list.

I know the reason I don’t want to run comes from a general feeling of restlessness that has been haunting me this week.

I had the week off from school, something I have not had since winter break, and something I will not have again until next winter break. I was absolutely certain I would be getting so much done this week, and all of my writing time could be spent on writing something I want to write instead of splitting the time with my homework.  Instead, I keep looking around as though I am forgetting something important.  It’s almost as if I don’t know what to do when I don’t have a homework assignment to put off until later.

This week is also my daughters last week of school.  As of tomorrow at about 1230, I have two girls home for the summer, both wanting something to do everyday.  We have a few things lined up, but in spite of the ample notice, I haven’t adjusted to the idea that my quiet writing time will be gone soon.  I think I am mostly in denial, hoping if I just ignore the issue it will go away.  It’s not working.

I have a pile of things to do in a corner of my mind right now that I can’t seem to break into.  I need to finish a going away present for one of my daughter’s girl scout troop leaders.  I have just begun making a new quilt for my bed, something that is a little more appropriate for the summer weather.  I recently found my old cross stitch supplies and am itching to try it out again.  I feel like I haven’t knit anything in forever, even though it has only been a couple of months.  I ran across some fabric I bought to make myself a dress almost two years ago, and really would love to get around to designing the stupid thing.  And these are just the projects popping up in my mind today.  I haven’t even scratched the surface of the projects that I know are down in my basement but I am not looking at every day.

All of this is punctuated with a little cabin fever.  I have so many things to do in my house, but I would rather be anywhere but home right now.  We haven’t traveled anywhere in a few months, not even a day trip and I am itching to see something new.  We’re taking a day trip this weekend, and an excursion to Edinburgh in a couple of weeks, but I just want to get out there now.  I want to take a train to Amsterdam, or maybe to London.  I want to take a long slow drive through the Netherlands to see the windmills and find this cheese shop I have heard about from other people around here.  I want to find a castle in Germany and buy a bottle of wine I might never drink just because the castle is on the bottle.  I want to get back out in the world instead of staying in my head.

It’s a crazy place in my mind lately.  There are so many changes happening for me right now, I can’t seem to focus on any of them.  I used to think I hated change.  It was a funny joke; the girl who hates change married to a military man making her pick up her life and move to new countries.  The truth is, I love those changes.  I love knowing we are going somewhere new, and looking up everything about that place.  I love making the plans for our new life.  I realized, I have no problem with big changes, as long as I have a little notice and I can plan for my new adventure.  I don’t even mind small changes sometimes, but I dislike surprises.  Tell me something is changing soon, don’t show up at my door and spring it on me.

What I struggle with are personal changes.  If I hate my new base, it’s not necessarily my fault.  I don’t get much of a say in where we go, or in many of the changes that occur when we get there.  I deal the best I can, but sometimes it just sucks.  When it does, I can blame someone else easily because it was not my choice to be there to begin with.  However, if I go out to train for a new race, and never get past the struggling and wheezing phase, it is all on me.  I didn’t push myself hard enough, or I didn’t fuel properly, or I drank three cups of coffee instead of water.  It’s all me and my choices.

When its all on me, I struggle to get out the door.  I put off running, because I can control my failure that way.   I might not be able to stop other changes from going bad, but I can stop this one by never starting.

They say you only find the power to change when it hurts more to stay the same, and maybe that is true.  I know there are things that hurt now, deep in the secret corners I try not to let anyone else see.  But I also know it will hurt so much more to be unable to change that pain.  I can live with the ache I currently have, but I’m not sure if I can live with the fact that I already am all I ever could be.  It’s as if I don’t fly because I am afraid I might actually leave the ground.  Instead, I stay the same.