Ever have those days when you are teetering on a knife’s edge between working insanely efficiently and crawling back into bed forever?
Yea, it’s one of those days.
If I had stopped at any point to think about what I was doing, how much more I have to do, and the million other things flitting around my head, I probably would have overloaded my brain and triggered some sort of internal shutdown mechanism. The feeling of being overwhelmed is both specific (“Am I doing this thing right?”) and broad (“Am I doing the right things?”) with a healthy dose of confusion thrown in (“What am I even doing?”)
A few things I’m freaking out about right now –
- The 2016 Chicago Marathon: I deferred my guaranteed entry from 2015 to 2016. Registration for deferrals opened last week and I immediately signed up. But when I received an email this morning saying the system rejected my application (an error that is being corrected), I was more than a little relieved. I haven’t been excited about running for months. Every day this winter, I chose yoga pants over running shoes and barbells over treadmills. I know I’d have to fight incredibly hard to maintain my strength while training for a marathon. I’d probably regress, throwing away months of hard work. That doesn’t sound particularly appealing. On the other hand, it’s the Chicago Marathon. There are gyms everywhere, and I have years ahead of me to get stronger, but who knows when I’ll live in such a great running city again? Can I throw away that kind of opportunity?
- Nutrition and weight gain: When I first moved to Chicago, I was stressed about all the major life changes and I went overboard with my workouts. Like 2x/day, 6days/week, for 8-10 weeks without a break overboard. Since then, I’ve toned it down, learned to enjoy more rest and more food, and I feel much healthier. But these lifestyle changes, coupled with a slower metabolism at my advanced age (26 is basically 30 which is basically a stone’s throw from death’s door), mean I’m gaining weight. Consistently. Unrelentingly. Freaking-me-out-ingly. I like to think that it’s mostly muscle mass, but I can’t actually prove that. And even if it is “good weight,” there’s something about seeing the numbers on the scale slide up and up and up that triggers alarm bells in my socially programmed brain. Red Alert! Red Alert! Women don’t gain weight without hating themselves! Sigh. Stupid brain.
- Home Sweet Home: I’ve never lived alone before. Before Jay and I moved in together, I had roommates or I was in a dorm packed with noisy undergrads. Now, I come home at night to a dark, empty apartment. Without Jay to introduce a little lively disorder, my Type A tendencies take full rein. Every corner of our apartment is meticulously clean and tidy. It feels sterile. I missed Jay when we did long-distance in the past, most recently when I went to Korea. But this is different. This loneliness is new to me: the feeling of missing Jay in our own home.
- Financial responsibility: Without Jay to share in my adventures, I’m making an effort to be more social and try new things. But restaurants and shows and exhibitions, the popular things to do in this city, are expensive. And those expenses add up fast. Part of me wants to trim the fat and use this time to focus on the basics: wake up, go to work, come home, cook simple meals, sleep, repeat. Be as productive as possible while I have fewer distractions. At the same time, part of me wants to explore. Jay and I have lots of shared interests, but we also have unique hobbies. These two months of long-distance seem like a great opportunity to spend some time on myself and my passions.
Taken together, it seems like I’m struggling to find a perfect balance that doesn’t exist, analyzing the shit out of every choice and finding all options lacking. So the mantra for the present moment, at least until Jay gets back and we can figure things out together, is simple: Less thinking, more doing.
Disclosure: the featured image above is not mine. Google “sad puppies” if you want to find the original credits. (Yes, I Googled “sad puppies” for about 10 minutes before writing this post. Because I am a serious writer, guys, with a deep commitment to my work.)