Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Six weeks in review

I've spent an embarrassing amount of time today trying to figure out how to represent the last six weeks of my life as a line graph. Tonight was the last session of my running class and I realized today that quite a lot has happened since I began.

I was hoping to create a graph with the horizontal axis listing dates from mid-September til now, and the vertical axis showing my stress level on a scale of 1 to 10. The goal was to show how CRAZY and STRESSFUL and OFF THE CHARTS my life has been lately. A veritable emotional roller coaster.

But I'm no master of excel, so I'm going to have to stick with my normal method: the long winded essay.

Let's go back to the week of September 12th, shall we? That was the first night of my running class. I ran a 10:22 minute mile. Awesome. Very happy and proud of myself.  A new way to unwind is always a good thing. This came in handy when, later that week, Hubbins and I had an uncomfortable but necessary conversation about our spending. Mostly mine. And how it was excessive. Or something like that, the details are hazy.

On September 21st, Hubbins started school! HOORAY! He's pretty much a genius full of untapped mental resources. He's talked vaguely about going back to school before, but never very seriously. This year, with prodding from his boss, he decided to make it happen. He's working toward a four year degree (estimated graduation date: Spring 2013). His strength is numbers so he's nervous about all the reading and writing it's going to require. I keep reminding him that this is why he married an English major. And why I married a math whiz who can budget.

The next week, Hubbins left town for three days on a business trip. I decided not to go (having saved nothing for a weekend at the spa). It was just as well I stayed home.

On Thursday the 29th, I got an email from my dad saying that the nursing home we visited had an opening and Mom could move in immediately. Gulp. On Friday, my sister and I packed a suitcase and gathered a few mementos from home for Mom to take with her. This was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Mom was emotional about leaving home, and it took all the strength we could muster to stay positive and reassure her the change would be a good thing. We smiled and rubbed her back and promised she'd be in good hands and that we'd visit often. But all I wanted to do was cry in her lap. I desperately wanted Mom to reassure me that everything would be OK and that she understood our good intentions. It was a terrible day, and I went home to an empty house.

When Hubbins came home, we worked on his first few homework assignments before I left on vacation. My co-worker and exercise buddy Michelle and I took off for PALM SPRINGS! We shopped, got facials, read, laid in the sun by the pool, and ate at an awesome new restaurant downtown Palm Springs. Sunshine never felt so medicinal.

My first day back to work was uneventful, until I got home to a waterfall over the front door.

A week later, once the fans and de-humidifiers were finally removed and the floor-to-ceiling plastic pulled down, we thought the worst was over. Then our oven blew up. Hubbins and I were watching TV on Monday this week when we saw a blazing light coming from inside the oven. We peeked through the oven window and it was like looking directly into the sun. I thought a biscuit had fallen off the cookie sheet and burst into flames. But the the heating element had split in two. Repairs pending.

Throughout all this, I've attended the running clinic twice a week. Tonight was our last session. I've been reflecting today on how much running has helped me cope. Even when my preference was to curl up on the couch in my jammies, I ran. Every night felt like an accomplishment. My head cleared, my muscles ached, and my perspective improved. I did a lot of emotional eating over the last six weeks and gained back several pounds, but I kept running. Tonight, my mile pace was 9:56. SUCCESS!

The next series of classes begins in two weeks. We'll be running after dark, so we get to wear headlamps. I don't know what wild and crazy things will happen between now and mid December, but running will help me take it in stride.


  1. So glad to get a fuller update on you, but sorry it was kinda sucky.
    Yay for running success! You go!

  2. I wish I had been a runner 10 years ago when dealing with my mom and her strokes and finally moving her to an assisted care facility. I'm sure it would have helped keep me focused and sane.
    Great improvement in your running! consistency makes such a difference. See you at the next session.