38 Hours in a Day

At least that’s what it felt like today.

This morning, I awoke at 3:30 a.m. with some concerns about money, which keep many people up at night. There wasn’t much I could do about the things I was thinking about, but they kept me awake anyway. I finally decided to belatedly respond to my son’s before-bed request that I come get him and move him into my bed when I went to sleep. So I got his little bony body to feel next to me in bed, which eventually made me feel good enough to get back to sleep.

Then some Looney Tunes and a big breakfast – about all the food I had left in the fridge; the rest of the homemade granola, some Canadian bacon, the rest of the eggs, scrambled, the remainder of the salvageable grapes and a couple of cut-up apples. I would have made D some toast but I was out of bread and no time to make any. Off to swim class.

He was scared at class today, as the instructors put life jackets on the kids and made them get away from the wall. He cried and cried but went along with what they were doing and eventually quit crying. I think sometimes one of the really hard things nobody tells you about parenting is how sometimes, you have to watch your kid cry while they’re getting through something and you can’t and really shouldn’t interfere. I told him, as I was sitting only a couple of feet behind him, that it was ok to be afraid but neither of us was going to let anything happen to him, and he should try to do what the other kids are doing. And then pretended to look at my phone and not sit there screaming inside in terror as the two instructors guided 5 really little kids all the way through the big, big pool, so far away that I almost couldn’t tell which kid was mine. I quickly double-checked the location of the lifeguards, and then pictured what I would leave at the chair if I had to run over and dive in myself, which of course didn’t happen. I just like to be mentally prepared for things, I guess.

I took D to his Dad’s and then did about a million things. A trip to the bank to put in a much-needed check. A trip to Goodwill, where I made a few more minor scores including a really cool, purple paisley, beaded thing, haven’t yet decided what I will do with that, just knew I had to have it. It suddenly was just a tiny bit warmer and a bit sunnier, so I decided to try running. I’ve run more this past week than I typically do. My body can’t generally deal with more than one run a week, but the two runs earlier in the week were both only a couple of miles, and I thought I felt pretty much about as bad as I normally do, but no worse, so why not.

I drove to the Metroparks, but there were a number of other errands that would have to come after running, so I didn’t go where I usually go. But where I wanted to go, the road was closed and we were directed out of the park system in a detour that really didn’t go anywhere. When I found my way back in to the metroparks, I was at a familiar place but not a place I’ve run before. I’ve been there walking with D – I even have some pictures of him as a pretty young baby in a Moby wrap at this particular area, but I haven’t been over there in a while. The road was closed down that way as well, but a parking lot was open. I couldn’t see anything actually preventing me from crossing over the bridge and going down the path next to the road that’s under construction, so I started on in.

It was a very odd run in a number of ways. First I saw a bunny. A few bikes passed me, but nobody on foot, almost the whole time. Lots of construction vehicles doing all their paving and such on the road. But mostly solitude. I saw the biggest fallen leaf I think I’ve ever seen. It was massive. I thought of stopping and taking a picture but I started to feel pretty good about the run so I didn’t want to stop. I approached a railroad trestle and there was huge N&S barreling across it. It’s hard for me to make myself run through a hole with a million, billion pound train running across the top, but I did it. I went and went and finally realized if I went around that corner up there, I’d be kind of lost and maybe I should turn around.

On my way back, there were some deer up ahead on the path – probably because there were so few people around, with the road closed and such. I ran my steps a little harder as I approached so they would hear me and wouldn’t be freaked out at the last minute, but they didn’t move. As I came upon them, I realized there had to be at least 12 deer and 7 of them were right on the path, and had no intention of moving. They looked up and looked at me and I looked at them. One moved slightly out of the way as I ran past, and when I looked over my shoulder, some were all looking at me, but hadn’t moved. I’ve seen tame deer, but this was really weird.

I sort of felt like I could run forever. I decided to see how long that would go. But I had so much to do, I didn’t want to just kill myself and be worthless after. Where’s the balance? I ran just about a half mile longer than I’ve ever run before (4.5 miles), almost all of it in quiet solitude, with just my iPod and the occasional voice of my running app telling me how far I’d gone.

I felt pretty good right after, and decided to go to Kohl’s to return a thing and get another thing, as is the way. Then I was really feeling done. But I had to grocery shop. It was kind of excruciating. I started feeling panicky about getting home and sitting down, I was really thirsty and tired and starting to feel sore from not stretching. I did something I never do – I opened a cold juice right there in the aisle and drank the whole thing down without stopping, having to pay for the empty bottle at the cash register like someone with an impulse control problem. However, with my abbreviated plumbing, “a little dehydrated” can quickly go to “she passed out, someone call an ambulance,” so I went with my gut (singular, ha), on that one and put decorum aside. Then I had to stop and throw all my recycling into some bins, because lowly apartment dwellers do not warrant city pick-up.

I showered and felt a little more like a person, and managed to get a last burst of energy to put all the groceries away, work up a quick marinade for the cut-up chicken I bought and threw that in the oven. But that’s all I’ve got. I’m vegging out with some TV and stretching before hitting the hay.


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