True Life: I’m a Control Freak

There is comfort in having a pretty good idea of what your future looks like. I love keeping my calendar up to date. I plan trips months in advance. I’ve had my life planned out based on the presidential election cycle since 2000. I am the opposite of spontaneous.

When life is stressful or it seems like everything is up in the air, I grasp at straws to find one thing, anything, that I can feel like I control.

As the boy continues looking for a job, I can’t help but be panicked when I don’t know what the next few months will look like. Will he be in Philadelphia? Will we continue to be long distance? How much longer? Will he be even further away than he is now?

The boy reminds me not to wish away the next couple months until we know where he’ll be working. Enjoy spring in Philadelphia. Make new friends. Get to know old friends better. Go to museums. Run outside. Go for long bike rides on the Schuykill River Trail.

It’s easy to tell a control freak to relax, to let things play out, to just focus on today. But that’s not really how it works. The anxiety will continue to bubble under the surface while I cling to anything that can give me a sense of control.

This week I’m challenging myself to find things that only I can control: my attitude and my happiness. So I’m seeking opportunities that allow me to do just that: Bringing snacks to my coworkers. going for daily runs. Racing other runners up the Ben Franklin Bridge. Beating them. Reconnecting with my best friends. Seeking yoga as mental and physical relief. Volunteering. Going to the animal shelter. Wearing spring clothes and no jacket. Challenging myself to plan social activities. Spending hours “with” the boy over Skype.

It’s a small step. But it’s forcing me to focus on the moment, on today, and letting me focus on bringing joy to others and fulfillment to myself – even if those are the only things I can control.

You have a few things,
The Face, which can give a smile;
Mouth: you can praise or comfort others;
The Heart: it can open up to others;
Eyes: who can look the other with the eyes of goodness;
Body: which can be used to help others.

welcome back (to me)

A recent survey has shown that 100% of my (2) subscribers wonder why I haven’t posted anything recently.

Life has been a whirlwind the past month: friends visited from Lehigh and Boston, I spent an amazing 4th of July weekend with the boy on a lake in rural Indiana, traveled back to Minneapolis for a week to see the family (and Queen Bey!), and then the boy was here for two weeks. So that pretty much gets us to today from the end of June. Crazy. Maybe I’ll update you on some of my adventures one of these days.

Before we return to the regularly scheduled programming, here’s a short story and a brief running update: My sister Marie has been busting her ass for the past 6 months to not only lose a little weight, but to create a healthy, active lifestyle. She’s cut most fried foods and cheese out of her diet and is going to the gym upwards of 5 times per week. Here she is, touching the tip (just the tip!) of democracy:

just the tip

I challenged her to run one of the various distances with me at the end of September, and with a little encouragement, she decided to run the half marathon! Keep in mind, she’s never run a race in her life. I am so proud of my sister, and she has been a huge inspiration for me over the past few months simply by hearing all the time and sweat she’s been committing to her new lifestyle. She’s been lifting and running and going to cardio classes, and I’m pretty sure she qualifies as the fittest MacBeezie sister at this point!

For my own training, I must admit that I severely overestimated my level of fitness before starting my marathon training. Maybe in high school I could start running 20+ miles a week with zero base, but now my body resists much, much more. I felt like I was falling apart doing the marathon training – my body wasn’t ready for the amount of mileage that was expected in the training plan.

I decided in part to save my body, but more importantly to support my sister, that I would instead focus on running consistently and run the half marathon with Marie. It has been such a relief on my body, and I’m going to use this training as a base to start working towards longer mileage for a marathon in the spring perhaps.

I’ve been running pretty consistently 3-4 times a week, 3-5 mile runs, as well as hopping on my bike or going for a walk on off days. I’m getting faster, feeling fitter, and not hurting. Life is good. Now that we’re just a little under 2 months from the marathon, I’m going to start pushing my mileage a bit more and working in a bit of speed work to make the mileage push easier (I don’t think this is actually how it works, but I generally find that doing a speed workout during the week generally sets me up well for a long slow run on Saturday).

Anyways, that’s life right now.

Remember,

IMG_1495

the boy came to visit

With just a few days notice, the boy got tickets to come visit earlier this week. He arrived late Saturday night and stayed through Wednesday. It was wonderful, but our visits are never long enough.

On Tuesday evening, we went for a nice walk down to Independence Hall and took a walk partly across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The sunset made a wonderful evening even better.

I’m already looking forward to spending some time back in Indiana with him for the 4th of July!