It’s been a while, little blog of mine. Life with an infant is … well … busy. And exhausting. It’s also thrilling. And beautiful. And educational. And exhausting. Oh, wait, I think I mentioned that one before.
(For all you people wondering, no, Dottie is not sleeping through the night yet. In fact, she quite enjoys her middle-of-the-night time where she gets Mom all to herself. I’m OK with it — for now — because the snuggles will only last so long.)
But, Mr. B and I are settling into a lovely routine. A lovely, family-oriented, we’re-getting-older routine. For the most part, we’re as happy hanging out on the floor or on the front lawn with Dottie Lou and Piper as we are going out in public (where it’s so loud!).
Mr. B and I did manage to steal a few minutes for breakfast together without Dottie Lou this morning, and it was quite lovely to reconnect over bacon, coffee and kitschy décor.
We’re also each managing to settle into our own routines — with work, volunteering and even squeezing in a little “for me” time along the way. Mr. B fills his free time with fly fishing and getting out for a run now and again. I’m having a little bit of a harder time finding time for me where I’m not worried about Dottie or work or family things. And I still struggle with balancing all of the demands in my life: work, family, friends, volunteering, leisure. It’s a daily struggle. But the balance is getting easier.
In fact, I’ve recently started running again as part of my “me” time. Though, my running is more like really fast walking with some bursts of “speed” for a few minutes at a time. And, yes, sometimes I look at where I’ve been and how much endurance I’ve lost. (My body feels fine while running — and even after — but I can tell my cardio’s got a long way to go.)
I haven’t run-run in a long time. At least nothing regular. I ran and worked out through most of my pregnancy with Penelope Joy — until the doctors told me to take it easy. And then she died. And I was sad. Really sad. And it was winter. And my grief did a really good job of convincing my body that I wasn’t ready to run — “just not yet.” And so, I took a lot of months off. To just be sad and miss my baby girl. Because I was broken, and that’s what I needed to do in that time.
And then, I started running again that following spring. Slowly. Surely. Until May, when I found out I was pregnant with Dottie Lou. And after everything we went through with Penelope Joy, I was terrified of running. And, so, I stopped pretty much in my tracks. No running while I was pregnant with Dottie Lou. Just walking. Slowly. And a little stretching now and again.
(Because no matter what the doctors or the websites or the experts say, a part of me will probably always blame myself for what happened to her — even though that’s most likely the furthest thing from the truth. And I was so very determined not to jostle or jiggle or bounce or startle Dottie Lou unnecessarily while she was still inside of me.)
But, it’s time now. It’s time to get back on my feet and rediscover the love I once had for running. And I did — boy, did I love it. In the rain. In the snow. In the sun. In the shade. No matter what, it brought a smile to my face. I think it’s because it was all about me and the open trail.
I’ve been testing the water with a few run/walks lately. And it’s hard. It’s hard to put one foot in front of the other for a 14-minute mile when I know it was just a couple of years ago that I was running a 6:30 mile (I mean, just once, but still …). But I can feel it coming back — that joy that running brought into my life. And the completeness it made me feel.
This time I’m determined not to get faster and faster (and thinner and thinner). Rather, I want to run for the pure joy of it. Running, like writing, is my outlet and my way to process so many things going on in my life. And, boy, is there a lot to process these days!
(On that note, as I was running this morning, my desire to write started coming back. So, hopefully — if Dottie cooperates — you’ll see me back here once a week or so.)
I can’t promise the process of finding my running legs again won’t frustrate me, and I am going to try to look forward instead of looking backward. And I’m going to try so hard to remember that there’s only one way to run, and that’s one foot in front of the other. Even though that first step is the hardest … every single time.