Not a letter from \”stay at home,\” but a letter from the new normal.
Did I mention that I was in a virtual race across Tennessee? Of course I did. This activity occupies my daily life. I had a really nice 13.13 mile jog today. I felt good the whole time, fueled with enough Gatorade and gel. Shoes felt good. It was a light rain but warm. The grass was green. I had the bike path to myself. The area where I live has slightly rolling hills. Cow pasture lines the sides of the road, mostly. It is a place of expansiveness. It is a place where a runner can feel like they are going for ever.
On the way out, I noticed a pretty big snapping turtle near a fence along the road. It was too big to get through the fence, so I didn\’t worry about it. On the way back, I noticed a small snapper had just come through the fence onto the bike path. After the bike path is a 4 lane road with curbs. This little turtle had not business going on the road. So I picked it up, put it back through the fence and pointed it at the pond. I lectured it about going to the pond and not to the road. As I went a little further, I passed the big turtle again. It had been going along the fence, but would soon come to a gate in the fence where it might get under and get onto the road. Oh shoot! But I can\’t save this turtle.
Why do turtles need to cross the road? Why didn\’t these two turtles stay in their pond? Why does a human pretend to run across Tennessee? In the month of May, I have completed 287 miles of the race. I\’m not yet half way but getting close. Their are 19,000 humans and dogs running across Tennessee. I know two 70 something ladies who are running across Tennessee. One of them plans to do a double: after running across, she will run back (and get another award). Yes, the race offers this double option. The winners of the race finished the outward journey in 11 or 12 days. And most of them started back.
My new normal includes my part time gig at Starbucks. I wear a mask while on shift. Not fun, but doable. I can\’t really describe how good I feel after a fun shift at Starbucks. And how I appreciate the paycheck that I actually worked for.
My realization this week: I have spent most of my adult life trying to fix me. My emotional condition has improved alot over the past 34 years, but really, I am not broke. And the main thing I want to fix is \”being as good as some other person.\” I think I am ready to stop the self help. I really want to know who I am, but first, I have to stop trying to be someone else. My life is perfectly situated to just be me.
So I like running across Tennessee! So what if it is an entirely stupid or useless thing to do. I like making coffee, simple work of my hands. So what if I am no longer one of the knowledge workers sitting at home with their lap top or only make $10/hour. I can\’t meditate very well. In my estimation, my mind has never been quiet, despite 30 years of trying to make it so. So what. So what if I never achieve anything.
Well, I do have a legacy: that girl who runs, and people like what I say in AA meetings. That is about it. When I quit Starbucks, I\’ll be remembered as that old lady who used to work here.
Map of my long run.
A map of the course across Tennessee showing my position at mile 287:
Gotta go. It is time for Terrie Gross and weight lifting.