Monday, March 31, 2014

Week #65: Last Lap

Much of last week was dedicated to celebrating my departure from Indiana with various meals with friends, capped off with a little Speedway Wheel(wo)men gathering where we ate a bunch of especially tasty Mexican food and topped it off with a bottle of "Kristal" at Kristen's house. Although I don't get to see these girls as much as I would like, even living in Indiana, it's sad to think of major life events not involving miscellaneous sparking wine and Sharpies.

It's not a a Speedway Wheel(wo)men gathering without "Kristal".
I also got one last ride at BCSP on the Karate Monkey yesterday, which I had desperately wanted, as I don't imagine that the rigid singlespeed will get much play with all the climbing and rocks in Pennsylvania. Of course, it wasn't the magical experience that was my first ride on it last year. I guess the first time on singletrack every year is tough, so it probably shouldn't be exacerbated by doing it on a rigid singlespeed. Plus, I am really, really out of shape. I can't actually tell you the last time I felt good riding a bike.

It's funny thinking back to a year ago when I was in the best shape of my life only to watch it slowly start to disintegrate as I fought through my move, divorce, etc. All my early post-move posts were all focused on my battle to return to "normal" as quickly as possible. Then Frank showed up before I really got to normal, and it became apparent that normal was never going to happen until we lived in the same town. So a year passed, I did my best to mitigate the damage to my declining fitness, and now it seems that I am finally on the brink of the new and improved normal that I set out to achieve.

I recently read the book "The Happiness Advantage" because someone suggested it based on much of the self-guided problem-solving that I've been doing. It was ironic that it finally became available at the library during the horribly stressful period of unrest that has been the last six weeks, where my desire to cultivate a better attitude and relationships at work quickly dropped off. I do think the information will be quite useful for a fresh start at my new job, where my goal for the time that I'm there really is to learn to enjoy it as much as possible and form good relationships, so that hopefully I can expect nothing but support and well-wishes during the next job search when I'll have to leave to follow Frank on the next step of his career.

Anyway, job stuffs aside, there are a couple of points in the book at are immediately relevant to my current situation. The first is finding the meaning in stress so that it is enhancing to meeting your goals rather than just stressful, and the second is that to see setbacks as temporary and within your control to fix, rather than permanent and out of your control. These are interesting because the more positive mode is where I fell naturally when I was going through my move and divorce: adrenaline, keep fighting even though you're tired, get up when you're knocked down, fight, fight, fight, because I was convinced that the finish line was near. Now I'm getting a little bit of fighter mode kicking in, but mostly I'm just tired and over it, because after a year, I'm no longer so convinced that things are temporary and under my control as I was year ago. After so many times of thinking that I was almost to the finish line and speeding up, I don't fully believe that the finish line exists.

On the last lap of a 'cross race I always find myself checking off each obstacle or hard section and telling myself it is the last time through. A little mental celebration every two minutes or so makes the pain more manageable. So here are the things that I currently see as the hard sections standing between myself and the finish line that I'm trying to reach:
1) Collect the rent check of my subletter, which I was supposed to receive last week.
2) Continue to attend work for the rest of the week when I don't want to.
3) Continue to work out for the rest of the week when I don't want to.
4) Continue to cook and eat normal meals for myself the rest of the week even though it'd be easier to live souly on bananas and almond butter.
5) Final pre-move haircut and dentist appointment.
6) Drive me and the kitties to Pennsylvania on Saturday.
7) Three weeks of settling in stuff, starting new job, and living as a squatter while I do my best to establish as much of a routine as I can and start rebuilding my fitness.
8) Once I'm *almost* in a routine, go to a work conference in Orlando from Sunday-Thursday.
9) Two days after that, drive to Indiana on Saturday, load my stuff, and drive back to Pennsylvania and put it in the new apartment.
10) Go to work exhausted on Monday morning and drag myself through the workweek after hella busy week before with no time to recover.
11) Try to get new apartment in order during the evening after tired-ass work and training all day. Honestly, I'm really going to rely on boyfriend support through this section.
12) Make it the next Friday night, sleep a whole a freakin' bunch, and wake up at approximately 9 a.m. on Saturday May 10.

So right now, I believe that Saturday, May 10 at approximately 9 a.m. I will reach the finish line to which I've been racing since I told Adam that I wanted to move out. The problem is that the finish line has moved so many times since then that I'm not fully convinced that it will stay there. Otherwise, I could totally turn on my positive genius and power through that list, which for those of you that haven't counted, covers the next 40 days of my life. I can handle 40 more days after a year of this, right? Now I just have to make myself believe that's really all there is to it.

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