Tuesday, May 28, 2013

9:12 PM
Photo Credit: www.health.com
Today I ran the 4.5 mile loop that circles the neighborhoods near my office for likely the last time. Next week I start my new job, where I will settle into the rhythm of a different loop, around a different neighborhood, or along a shaded running path if I am lucky. The For Sale-Sale Pending-Sold signs announcing the status of a new set of houses will blur in my peripheral vision as I break free from my desk for 30-plus minutes once or twice a week to stretch my legs and recharge my body and brain. 

I have done this same loop countless times in the last four years. I sprinted the distance on training days, jogged it on thinking days, and waddled portions of it on pregnancy days. I did some of my best thinking on these midday runs, some of my best writing. Let loose to wander, my mind would attack a complex issue from a new perspective, realize a technical gap in work completed, or simply de-clutter and allow me to focus on the tasks ahead.

The run itself is nice enough, as neighborhood runs go. One straight, flat mile along neat, bungalow-style homes, a short jaunt along a shady, urban creek, a two-mile loop on a graveled "sidewalk" that winds through the stately homes of a very well-to-do neighborhood, and then the straight shot back to the office complex. There are offshoots that make it longer, and hills that can be thrown in to make it tougher, but what I just described was my favorite route - my routine.

Today's run was a little sad, in that transitions, while exciting, can also be hard. These last four years have flown by, one project and meeting and deadline at a time. So much energy expended, so many relationships formed, so many lessons learned. I think this job made me wiser and also made me softer. Maybe me feeling like this also has to do with the fact that I became a parent twice-over in this same time frame - you rarely have the perspective to judge these sorts of things in isolation. Regardless, I hope the experiences and personal and professional growth I realized over these last four years will serve me well in my future endeavors. I do feel ready for a new challenge, for an opportunity to stretch further, to lean in, if you will. 

This change will not be without adjustment. After the birth of each child my husband and I  had to re-calibrate our routines and schedules - to figure out where we could squeeze additional minutes from each day to accomplish everything we wanted to, and to parse out the chores so that we were dividing and conquering with maximum efficiency. After two goes of it, I am confident that we will find our new equilibrium again. I also know that the balance won't be perfect - that both of us will usually end a week with some tasks and workouts left incomplete. But hopefully, by working together, we will hit the one that matters most (raising our kids) out of the park, and everything else will work out just fine too.

In the meantime, as I pack up the workout clothes I have stashed at my office and cross tasks off my Finishing Up List, I look forward to finding my new running rout(in)e that will afford me those few precious minutes during a hard day or week to bust out of the office and into the open air and to get.it.done. 

Please contact me at mommytasker@gmail.com, MommyTasker.com, or connect with me on Facebook. 

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