Friday, November 20, 2009

A Slow Paced Life

Even though I've been back in the work force for three full-time years, and am currently working part time (about 25-30 hours a week) I still find myself adjusting to the pace of the work world. I guess after 20 years of working on a part-time basis (only about 6-9 hours a week) and being a full-time stay-at-home wife and homeschooling Mom, a slower daily rhythm became ingrained in my soul.

As much as I love my new job, I miss quiet mornings at home. I like a slow start to the day, I like empty stores and streets (which are easily found around 9 am), I like getting everything done around the house by noon and having the afternoon stretch ahead of me. Now, since I have admitted to being a morning person, it should be obvious that having a work schedule that begins around 7:30 and ends around somewhere between 12:00 and 1:30 means that I am in my work world at my peak performance time. That's a good thing. But it also means that I'm at my peak lazy time when I get home. It's awfully easy to talk myself out of chores, or errands, or class-prep or grading or Pilates or even another run.

I know how incredibly lucky I am to be able to work part time, and I am not complaining at all. In fact, I love my job and would jump at the chance to work full time. Really, it's more that I am a homebody at heart - I could hang around the house for days on end, with an occasional foray out to the world for food and books and visits with friends, and be very happy. I also realize that all of the things I've described are probably on the wish list of everyone who works full time. Maybe what I feel is a simple longing for days gone by, when the boys were little and we were all home together.

So, even though I expected to be adjusted to a new daily pace after more than three years, I find I still need quiet, slow days at home, days where I can move at my own easy tempo. I find myself building easy days into every month to keep myself centered - this weekend is one of them. I'm looking forward to it.

As I think about this, it becomes apparent to me that my running rhythm matches my natural life rhythm: slow and easy. And maybe that's why I like small marathons - smaller, friendlier crowds. Funny, the more I think about it, the more I realize that running is an echo of my life - built in rest days each week, high mileage for a couple weeks, then a low mileage, easy week...I wonder which is a reflection of which? Life echoes running or running echoes life? It doesn't really matter because whichever way it is, it works for me!

10 comments:

craig said...

I'm not a morning person, unless the time between 12 and 3 am qualify. I like your laid back approach to life and running.

Darrell said...

I think we make time for and comfortable with the things in our life, or lifestyle, that "fit." For people like us, running just fits. Its a chicken and egg kind of thing.

That being said we are incredibly adapatable creatures so our "fits" may change due to necessity or circumstance.

Anne said...

I've been babysitting for friends and think you hit on something with the comment about the kids being gone. They really do help regulate days and when they leave, a different pattern seeps in. We also like to savor the hours and days and weeks as we get older, because it dawns on us we might not always be as mobile and alert in the future. Keep taking it easy, Michelle.

justrun said...

I have to say, I've been reminded this week how much I really like being home. Sure, I knew it before but without having time to experience it, I sort of forgot how much I liked it. There is a beautiful pace to it, and a calmness that I'd forgotten. And you're right, it's sort of like my best run that way.

Good to hear from you!

Irene said...

I'm all for the slower pace! There's something to be said about the calmness. :)

Sarah said...

Yes, the ebb and flow of running is a good metaphor for life. We can't go full steam ahead all the time. : )

Joe said...

Great post!!

Juls said...

Great post. Life and running mirroring each other is a familiar concept for me too. So is longing for slower paced times. For now, Sunday is it for me.

lizzie lee said...

I am not a morning person either but working at Boeing (where you find more employees at 6 am than at 4pm) had turned me into one (again not by choice). As you said, it doesn't really matter whichever way it is... but I believe running echoes life....

I am really excited with your countdown...

Wes said...

I think the two are intertwined enough that figuring it out would complicate the situation. Why bother? :-)