Saturday, April 23, 2011

And Now It Is Time For...

Have you ever noticed how many things in life are dictated or influenced or even spoiled by the element of time? We measure our days in increments named hour, minute, second rather than by how they make us feel, or what transpired to make it noteworthy in the first place.

My life these days is all about time, I'm afraid. Waiting periods, court deadlines, more waiting. And the running part of my life? Pace runs, speed work, long runs, just finding time to run. Graduate school, time for homework, time for research, time for class. And then there's work, as in "the job I get paid to do."

From time to time I get a case of the "What's the point?!"- itis. Like...these last few weeks. I'm not usually such a complainer, I swear I'm not. But there comes a time when a girl can't deal with all of the shit thrown at her. For instance:

1) Week-long business trip to Atlanta with seven- seven!- staff members where not only can I not get tickets to the Braves game, but my credit card gets nabbed, and we miss our connecting flight out of Minneapolis, causing an overnight delay.

2) Frantic planning of end-of-school year activities involving too much shopping (I cannot believe I just said that, but it was not *that* kind of shopping), and not enough support from other staff. I mean, after almost ten years of holding an event, dontcha think they'd be able to run it in their collective dreams? Yes, you would think so.

3) Realizing that my spring marathon is a mere three weeks away, and I have not yet secured a hotel room, much less made alternate plans for my daughter.

4) Waking up to 19 degrees in mid-April, starting my car, putting it into gear, and having the front end/wheel bearings drop onto the driveway when I am supposed to be taking my daughter to school.

You see? And that was just the span of one week.

And now, I look back on those events and have a different perspective. My bank has wonderful customer service. I only had to field one complaint during that big event, and it ran without a single hitch. Lunch on Good Friday resulted in catching up with a wonderful friend, who just so happened to have a hotel suite with an available pull out sofa sleeper marathon weekend.

And the car? Well, the car was never my choice, and I've always hated it. It was a piece of shit from the get-go, and I'm still a teensy bit bitter that it stuck around as long as it did. So, while there's no happy ending for that, the rest just kinda worked itself out.

Which brings me back to time.

With my race training and foray back to grad school, free time is as valuable as gold these days. I barely have time to shower, let alone find time for a quality run. My friendships have moved to the margins of my life, being reduced to rushed and fragmented text messages rather than conversations. This weekend- Easter weekend, a four day weekend- was my first real break from a schedule in I can't remember how long. My time has been micromanaged, and I have no one to blame but myself.

So, what have I learned from this? I have learned that I need to schedule my free time to be truly free from everything. I have learned that I cannot control fate. I have learned that if you take all of the bits and pieces, you can still see the "I love you and miss you" in the back-and-forth with your friends. I have learned that my running is an integral part of my life, and to ignore the twitching in my legs is to ignore a large part of what makes me, me.

As much as I have thought about how time is central to so much in our daily lives, I have come to appreciate the passage of time, too; I can do what I always admonish others to do: reflect, learn something from it, and move on. Evolve.