To me, the only thing worse than dressing up for Halloween is being the only person at the party not dressed up for Halloween. :)
I have always hated Halloween. Well, not always. But since I was 13 and too old for trick-or-treating and too awkward for “adult” costumes but too old for kid costumes. And I still feel too awkward or too old. Which might add to the problem.
So I’m running today, and I get to 1.5 miles and I realize I’m miserable. I mean, I had this lingering feeling of misery throughout the whole thing, every time I would run, but today I was miserable. I wanted to cry, I felt like I was going to throw up, my lungs hurt from the cold (and I couldn’t breathe properly all week because of last week’s run in the cold), and I wanted to quit.
So I asked myself why I was doing this if it made me so miserable. And I didn’t have an answer.
I would love for this to be a story of perseverance and “I wanted to quit but kept going and I’m so proud of myself.” But it is not. It’s a story of a quitter. And, frankly, I’m pretty proud of myself or quitting.
I am many things, and I feel I do them all well most of the time. I’m a writer, teacher, woman, wife, feminist, daughter, friend, sister, activist, cook, homemaker, pet owner, athlete. Why do I have to be a runner on top of all that? And why do I have to be a runner to consider myself an athlete?
I’ve walked seven 39.3-mile, 2-day breast cancer walks with my mom. We’re doing our eighth this summer. I work out every morning. I walk my dog at least a mile, usually two, every day after work. I love doing yoga. I love taking nature walks with my husband and dog. I am active. I could argue I’m an athlete. Why do I feel I’m not good enough unless I run?
I think society tells us we should run, and I’m not sure why when walking the same distance is really just as good for you (and less hard on your knees). I think it also doesn’t help my case that my husband just ran his first marathon and he talks about all these people who run marathons and I feel I should be doing something like that, too.
Oh wait. I do. It’s called the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
So, I quit running. And I don’t feel bad about it. In fact, I feel really good about it. And I’m actually really proud of myself for quitting.
Check out my book review of *Follow
My Lead* by Carol Quinn. If you want to buy it, you can buy it through
the link at the top of the post, and all proceeds go to the Naperville Area
Humane Society, where my husband and I adopted our dog, Penny!
Just read Helen Simpson’s “Night Thoughts” in the summer issue of Ms. Magazine and loved it. And first glance (I had heard about the story on NPR when it was first published in Granta), I was unimpressed at the premise: a man lies awake at night worrying about his heartless wife and how he’s doing raising a family and keeping his job. In short, it’s a man worrying about everything a woman does in real life. However, Simpson was able to get beyond the gimmicky factor and get to the heart of the irony here in such a way that it totally subverted the gender norms you’d expect to see in a family without being heavy-handed. Truth of the matter is, I have some of these exact worries as I tick off the predawn hours on the bedside clock. And even more true is the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone of these “night thoughts,” until I met Tim and decided if I was going to be awake worrying, so was he. Still, I found myself wanting to hand this story to him to read and say, “See? This.” Overall, a thoughtful, quick read. Highly recommended.
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.” That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”—Dead Poets Society (via bookmania)