OK- so I am not really sure that “the sh*t just got real” thing works in this context– I just really wanted an excuse to say that.
But, if it means that I need to really get my rear in gear– or my submission date is looming (September 29!!!) and I still do not have a full first draft… then yeah, sh*t just got real! (I tried typing it without the asterisk but couldn’t bring myself to leave it like that– I’ve got me some scruples, or I’m just an ol’ fuddy-duddy academic desperately grasping, and failing, to come off as edgy).
Because of my very full teaching schedule, today is the first day in months that I actually have the day (full work day) to write/work and of course, with that kind of freedom comes some trepidation– now I really have to do something. I am trying to go in with beginners mind— really just being present to what I am writing now and trying to not get ahead of myself or panic about all the work I haven’t done yet.
I am coupling that with a plan– mapping out what needs to be done. Got the white board wiped clean, new calendar pages ready to be filled in.
I am walking into the white room à la Twyla Tharp, ready to work, with a plan but open to surprises. And by surprises, I mean brilliant strokes of genius! Divine inspiration!
It’s real. 163 days… and counting. Let’s get this sh*t done!!!
I belong to a Facebook group for PhD and Early Career Researcher Parents- where, we share the challenges of parenting while trying to navigate academia and just recently one of the members posted a photo of some adorable but labour intensive looking Easter themed cupcakes proclaiming herself to be a procrastibaker- I can SO relate, and while I certainly would call myself a procrasibaker in the most obvious sense of the word- I bake to avoid the mounds of writing and researching I should be attending to… I realized today, it goes much deeper than that. It hit me this afternoon as I got up from my desk after a particularly dismal day of fiddle-farting around and successfully avoiding the abstract that needs writing, the three separate student assignments that need marking and the script (for a show that goes up in 2 months) that needs re-writing- that my motivation for baking (or procrasti-baking) comes from two places; love and guilt. Love because I know the kids truly love walking in the door and racing up the stairs calling out their best guesses as to what the wafting baking smell is (“Chocolate chip cookies?” “Banana muffins… I knew it!”) And guilt for all the time I have spent away missing birthdays, school concerts, or just being there when they come in the door after school. Somehow- a warm muffin or chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven make ME feel like I am being some kind of good Mom and while neither makes up for time away- I feel like I’m doing just a little something special- while weaselling my way out of reading those 27 student essays… care for a muffin?!
A very brief update…
Had a couple of great weeks… feeling strong and goin’ long… but in the last week life’s been CR-azy and I am really just trying hard to maintain- Getting out for a few 5ks and a 8 if I’m lucky.
I even “snuck” in a run today… literally… so much to do and on top of it, the ol’ man gives me much grief about being so selfish as to run when there are things to be done- he really doesn’t get the “I function so much better when I exercise” thing- so I just got back from a run that he doesn’t have to know about ’cause he’s not here!!!
I just gotta get through the next couple of weeks- fight to maintain and then worry about the rest later.
I miss running. I miss running a lot. Lately as I been driving like a crazy woman to work and back, picking up and dropping off children, I will pass places that I used to run when I was training for the marathon. It is the “far away” places that get to me the most. I see them and I can remember how I was feeling. Pacific Spirit Park across form #’s 1 and 2’s school, The MacD’s in Kerrisdale that became a regular bathroom stop on long runs, the intersection of West 33rd and Granville…crossing Granville always made me feel like I was truly doing a long run.
I am too busy to run right now. I usually make an argument about this, knowing that I must always give myself that push to just make time- but I have less than no time… I’m fighting to stay a float here. Just a sampling of what is going on; I’m working 2 days (plus 1 short morning) a week, I am WAY behind in this for-credit university course that I am taking and trying desperately to catch up, we are full on in reno-hell here . Our downstairs is unusable, everything is jammed into the upstairs, there is dust and debris everywhere with a constant parade of trade guys coming through the house, and the ol’man goes to work and then comes home to work on the house which means that I have to do all the extra-curricular activities on my own, these include for this week 9 hockey times (games and practices) 2 piano lessons, 1 choir rehearsal, 1 1st Communion class, 1 Confirmation Class and 2 dance classes. I have not gone to bed before Midnight and I have gotten out of bed at 5:30 everyday. And then there’s the homework, (mine and their’s )and lunches and cooking for 8 people everyday. Oh yeah, and I’m taking the boys to U2 tonight and I have tickets to see David Sedaris Sunday. STOP THE MADNESS!!
I am really not complaining per say, it is more like I am trying to let myself off the hook for not getting out there to pound the pavement, because I do, for whatever reason feel a tad “guilty” for not running.
But mostly I just miss it. My body misses it. I just don’t feel right.
October 31st marks the anniversary of my Marathon journey. I cannot believe it was a year ago that I started this whole thing. In the back of my head I have a plan that would see me, on Nov 1st, starting it all over again. That is what I would like to do, I would however also like a nap. We’ll play it by ear.
Really, I think the hardest part of this training is going to be carving out the time to get the runs in. It is very complicated having to organize 7 other people (yes, I am including the other adult in the household as he needs much organizing!) Yesterday went something like this…
I was so worried about blowing my day with daycare that I had tried to plan and re-plan the day over and over- but as all Mothers know a plan is good but flexibility is even better when you are dealing with children and trying to get them out the door.
Woke up 5:15- after another crappy night with the baby (he wakes at least 4-5 times every night) had a coffee- and then start pancakes for the gang. It was a good day as I only had to make 3 lunches- as middle 2 are getting hot lunch every other Friday and I decide to give oldest 2 $5 each to buy lunch (as a treat… to myself)
My goal is to be leaving the house by 8- and I’m pretty much there despite having to fish baby out of the toilet (he’s obsessed with spashing aroung in the toilet, and who left the bathroom door open anyway!?) and packing everything that everone will need for the day including my running gear as I am to attend Mass at 9 am because the grade 5’s are in charge of it so I should be in attendance. Everything is running smoothly (ish) until it’s show time… I’m free- my plan was to change in the van and head out from where I’m parked near the kid’s school… but wait, I gotta pee… hmmmm… no problem- I’ll drive to the nearby community centre pee and change there, so away I go- I pull into the parking lot jump out of the van, grab my bag just to discover, I only have 1 shoe with me… AARRGGHH! Back into the van I go, drive home and I’m FINALLY running by 10:15.
The 4 miles, by the way were pretty uneventful. I had had hopes of running down to the beach from the kids school but as it turns out my run through my neighborhood and then up and around Queen Elizabeth Park was quite lovely thank you, and not nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. There were a few teeny tiny walls hit where, if I were feeling particularly pathetic I might have said “Aw, screw it” but all in all it felt great and I even had a bit of a sprint in the final 2 minutes (well at least it felt like I was sprinting!) And heck, so much planning and organizing went into getting out there that I truly would have been pathetic had I given up!
Today was rest day but the plan is to get another outdoor run in tomorrow as I have a small window of opportunity in the afternoon after hockey, church, and my parents coming for dinner, where there is someone home to watch the kids while I get out for a run.