I wish this were our walk home every evening.
I will probably keep writing about vacation until the cows come home. We don't have any cows, so that means forever. But I don't know when a trip has done me so right since I used to take a week to myself in Manitou Springs, Colorado, mostly holed up in my hotel room, watching questionable shows on cable television, the week before running Pikes Peak. I needed the time and the space to figure some things out, and I didn't even realize it. I knew I needed a break, but I didn't know that I needed room for my mind to sort through all that's happened in the past two years.
It makes sense, though, really. At the tail end of 2011, we made a big move to a whole new city. Not even three months later, we found out about Elvie, and less than a month after that, we were pursuing her adoption. Three weeks before we left for Ethiopia, I started a new online writing job. And then she was home, and we were in the hospital with her, and then in the hospital again, and then she woke up every forty-five minutes to eat once we did get her home, and then we started homeschooling Zinashi, and then, and then, and then. To say that we were busy - that I was busy - may be the understatement of the century.
So I just met needs, and did my work, and met needs, and didn't sleep very much, and met needs. Sometimes I met my own needs, but not that often. Mostly I ate my needs. My needs can be placated with chocolate, and that was often the easiest thing. I just needed to keep going, so I did what I had to do to make that possible. And I think that was okay for a time.
On vacation, however, I started to think about what I truly needed. What is it that will make me feel good physically, mentally, and spiritually? How can I meet my own needs satisfactorily enough that I have more to give to my family instead of constantly feeling like I am running out of time and energy and patience? I came up with a few answers to those questions, and I'm going to try to implement some new strategies. It's awkward timing, for sure, with Elvie's surgery in a week, but I determined today that I may as well try a few things out, and then I can return to them once Elvie is home and all is beginning to look like normal again.
And so, tonight I went running. Just one mile, out and back, throwing in some hard intervals. All the other times I set out to run, which never ended up working out for the long haul, I was afraid to throw in the hard. But I did it, and it felt right. It felt like it was just what my body wanted, what it had been waiting for. It was familiar. I felt strong and capable, and like I'd never left behind this one thing I truly loved to do. I felt like myself, and that was the best feeling of all.