The Waiting

Teaching and coaching and getting ready to move and trying to write as much as possible while I still have time, energy, and desire are in full-swing. Last week I made a six-tab excel spreadsheet titled “Ongoing To-Do List,” and I’m still feeling a little disorganized.

I’m still feeling pretty good physically, though I can definitely tell that I’m slowing down. I need more sleep; if I don’t get at least six or seven hours I don’t feel good, and by Friday, I’m ready for bed at 8:30pm. I’m less hungry (which is kind of a bummer, because I kept thinking that this would be the time I’d finally be drinking 2pm milkshakes guilt-free), but trying to be sure that what I am eating is healthy. Just because my belly feels so much heavier, running has been much more touch-and-go than it was even a week ago. Twice last week, easy runs turned into a mile jog which turned into a walk, though in between I also had some days where I felt pretty good out there. Because I felt so heavy and awkward running on Sunday, I decided to go ahead and plan not to run yesterday. I’m the type of person who’d usually prefer to run at least a little every day, and rarely takes days off, so this was a big step for me. I did the elliptical while I monitored the weight room at cross country practice, and then my mom and I went for a nice evening walk. I’m not quite ready to say my running days are over, but it’s undeniable that my running days are going to be less in my control. If I feel like it and it is comfortable, I’d still like to run some. If that doesn’t happen, then I will do my absolute best to be grateful that I made it this far running regularly.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m feeling “bad” emotionally or intellectually, but it’s alarming how distracted I am. I can feel myself struggling to focus when I’m reading at night, and often feel sort of distant and far away even while in the midst of a conversation. I’m torn by conflicting urges to read/think/talk about the end of pregnancy and the baby’s approaching arrival all the time, and constant, low-grade anxiety that there are so many other things to read, write, do, think, organize, clean before the baby arrives. Because we’re getting ready to move, I have been doing a lot of organizing at the house, but I’d say my strongest nesting desires are intellectual. When will I read the new Marilynne Robinson novel? When will I finish the revisions on the essay I drafted last month? Lurking beneath these fears, and a lot of the sadness I feel about my pregnant running days being numbered is the fear that I might not want to do these things again.

In theory, if I don’t ever want to run sixty miles a week, or write in the pre-dawn hours, or read “important” books–who cares? I won’t, supposedly, because I won’t want to be doing these things. But, I guess that’s not quite my concern. I’m worried that I’ll still desire these things that for years, my living memory in the case of reading and writing, have been at the core of how I see myself, will matter to me, but just not enough to muscle through exhaustion to get them done. If I truly didn’t want to ever train for a goal race again, I guess that wouldn’t bother me, but what I’m afraid of is that I’ll want to, and just won’t have the will or energy to make myself do it. I certainly don’t have the will or energy to get up and run at 4 (the time I have to run before work) anymore. While I’d like to think this is all sensible right now (need my sleep, don’t want to trip, not training for anything in particular), the idea that one of the things I’ve always been proudest off–my obsessive willingness to get things done–either will or should change.

Between the To-Do lists, I’m trying to enjoy the warm fall, the slowly changing leaves, the squash-centered recipes, and even the waiting.

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