Coming back to uni after a fortnight off was quite exhausting indeed! It was from the sublime to the ridiculous with deadlines for essays and presentations looming, exams lurking around the corner (first one in 8 sleeps….eeeeek!), skills to keep on top of and just the small matter of placement 3 days a week! PLUS the usual life things getting in the way of all the uni/placement stuff like children’s birthday parties, parents kids & husband with various health issues going on, stress with having 3 little children in school with all the drama they bring home (primary school seems far more dramatic now than 30 years ago but maybe I am gazing myopically through rose tinted specs!), money worries, dog worries, cleaning, bills, “am I being a good friend?”, “am I being a good daughter?”, “am I being a good sister/mother/wife/WI president/runner/student/midwife”….seriously MY HEAD HAS BEEN FULL!!!!!! Even writing that has caused by heart rate to go slightly tachy!
I went for a run earlier and was thinking about a blog to do with juggling and keeping too many balls in the air which got me thinking maybe I shouldn’t be training for a 20 mile trail run in September and I started to feel guilty…..yes GUILTY….for running!!! “I should be at home revising for my exam/ I should be spending time with the boys they are back to school tomorrow/ I should be writing my skills up” …and so it goes on the should word! That vile internal dialogue or, as we used to talk about in therapy terms, the critical parent! I could feel stress rising in me on my lovely long Sunday run, my favourite run of the week.
Then the magic of the run kicked in! I reach a lovely zen type place when I am running, it’s after the initial exhaustion of the warm up when my heart rate is increasing & I am finding my pace but before the heavy tired legs kick in in the last couple of miles. The middle of a run is where I find my peace and my mind quietens to a still I rarely reach elsewhere. It was during this zen time that I remembered a running gem of advice that suddenly seemed to apply to ALL areas of my life “just be in this mile Sam….don’t worry about the next 15 miles you are going to run or how painful that hill is going to be that you know is coming at the end of this run just be in this mile right now” …mindfulness at its best. Just be in the here and now as this is the only reality we have.
The past has gone and the future is yet to come we only have right now.
This is true of everything (not just running!!!).
I am going to be in just this mile and not worry about the exam after this one or the assignments due in over the next few months or the skills I still need to do as it feels overwhelming which causes me to be less productive (except at procrastination-I am GREAT at that!). I am going to be here and now taking life one mile at a time. I know the deadlines are coming and I am organised enough to know I will meet those deadlines, stressing about them won’t stop them coming!
I can only be in this mile, right now, breathing, experiencing and being.