Not taking care of oneself can become a vicious cycle.
For me, it started with not stretching. Not stretching, and running, as we are all painfully aware, every day.
That led to miscellaneous bits of soreness, and tightness, and creakiness. Lots of creakiness.
That led to dreading those first steps out of bed in the morning.
That led to sleeping in. Getting out of my cozy, comfy, feels like how I imagine the inside of a kangaroo's pouch to feel like, bed, is hard enough. Know what's going to happen when I move my weight from the bed to my feet makes it nearly impossible. And definitely not a rational choice.
Sleeping in meant I was running late, every morning.
That meant no stretching, no time, and in no mood, to fix breakfast or pack a lunch.
That led to getting to work late and grabbing something to fool my stomach into thinking I'd had breakfast from the vending machine.
Being late also meant having to power through emails, which meant sitting in my chair, getting even stiffer. And crankier.
Cranky and stiff, I'd set off for my run. Though the run did make me feel better, it wasn't as good as it could have been. Every day looks sunny when you start at the bottom of a well.
Some minimal stretching and a crappy fast food lunch, and I was back at my desk, probably still behind on emails.
That meant, to get any real work done, I had to stay late or take work home.
That led to getting home late, too late to fix a decent dinner, which meant eating out, again.
At the end of these days, I was exhausted, but not from a good, productive, fulfilling day. I was tired from just treading water, and in the end, I'd sunk just a bit lower.
I could see it happening. I could feel it happening. I knew I needed to break the cycle.
But knowing what you need to do, and doing it, are two com-effen-pletely different things.
The time has to be right. You may be working on other things. Of dealing with other things. And mostly, you need to be ready to take it on.
At some point, though, you have to stop the whining, and bitching, and moaning, and take charge. Take responsibility. Take ownership for feeling good, for taking care of yourself, for living a fulfilling, rewarding life.
Yesterday was that moment for me. And frankly, over the past 9 months, there have been many moments like that, many tides that have turned.
It started with running, every day. That moment of taking back a piece of me that I'd lost, given up, actually, was the first step. And it's led to many more steps, figuratively, and literally.
As the goals are achieved, habits changed, confidence and courage and encouragement stack up, new goals are realized and taken on.
One day this running streak will end. But the strength and insight that I've gained from taking just a few minutes every day for reflection, for medication, for myself, like The Dude, will abide.
Numbers: 4.3 on roads