I'm having a Carolyn Day.
I was explaining this to M. on the phone, earlier. I will explain to you now.
It can really only happen on a Saturday, preferably one with stunning weather (however being trapped inside while it snows or rains it can be nice too--however, rainy days do make for some of the best runs outside...). Anyway. I usually get up, wayyy too early, after having gone to bed wayyyy to late the Friday night, and I kind of slide into Saturday, today I did it quietly on my rooftop, in my bikini, with coffee, water, advil, my ipod, and House Beautiful.
The sun, at 830 am, was already high in the sky, and my goal was to be laced up, running the 7 km along Queen St. East to pick up my car, by 930 am. It was going to be a hot day, and in order to run prior to the hazy humidity picking up steam in the city, I needed to get out early.
I don't eat before I run on the weekends--tip--it's the quickest way to drop a couple of extra pounds and look a bit leaner--for some reason running first thing in the morning on an empty stomach accomplishes this. A girl I used to work with, who trained as a boxer, gave me this tip.
It's still quiet this time of the morning, even for Toronto. I run along Queen with few people getting in my way. But I have a rough start with leg pain and blow my time. It took me almost 45 minutes to run along Queen east to my friend T.'s (uphill on the last push, not liking that), and get to my car, drive it home, then go inside my loft for some much needed water.
That accomplished I decided to do my normal 9-ish km route right after the water and make up for my laziness on the last long weekend. The run starts well, I'm hydrated, it's bright, and I'm running uphill (again) but I plan it so the whole last 4 km is on the down-hill incline. It's during that stretch that the real leg pain starts, but I keep going, not even running on the clock anymore.
I finally return home, it's noon-ish, find a piece of leftover chicken in my near-empty fridge, and eat it while I talk to my boyfriend M. I shower, then do some cleaning in the kitchen and the bathroom, then head back up to the roof, this time with water, more magazines, and sunscreen. It's now after two, and I have about 90 minutes to loll on the rooftop in full sun, before going downstairs again to get dressed, walk out to do my banking, on the way to Saturday evening mass at 430pm. Yes. I am aware (guilty Virgo) that I have also scheduled my whole day off. But it means that more gets done, and I still don't have to compromise with anyone on what they want to do to keep my off my schedule. Nothing throws me off. I spend the entire day on my own. Daunting sometimes.
Walking to the church the heat is at its apex, but there is still a breeze. It's during this walk that the loneliness I've been running from all day catches up to me. It's when the anxiety hits (where am I going, what the hell am I doing, and how much longer can I keep this up)--swirl thoughts hit. I fight to stay calm, and it seems to help. I remind myself this is part of grief--that despite the hot sun, the high temperatures, the vitamin D, water quenching my thirst--there is a part inside of me on permanent winter right now--freezing, tired, wanting to lie down at any given opportunity. Not necessarily to sleep (that is still proving an elusive luxury at this point, and the bad news is it's starting to show on my face..) but to rest. To stop. To stop doing so much for everyone else, while I lose myself, and my own connection to that part of me that is going to help me heal.
A crow flies by just as I think these narrow thoughts, squawking past a vintage building, silouhette-black against the brilliant blue of the summer sky. I breathe in again and take it as a spirit-sign, a little pick-me-up, an "on the right path" type of sign. The sixteen kilometres done before noon allowed endorphins the power to muffle all doubt. Now I have to get through the rest of the day.
The church is cool. I pray for everyone while I kneel prior to the service starting. I sit in the pew, my sore back giving off pins of pain (there is something wrong with my lower back, and I have never, ever experienced lower back pain in my life--I usually stick to headaches--now I have stomach pains too, along with the back. I know there must be something to this....). I realize that left out of my prayers, unconsciously (subconsciously) my Aunt and her family. I allow my thoughts to wander to 'not nice' for a minute, despite the holy place I am in, as I remember my mother's tears on the phone last night. Earlier the day before, my sister and I had made up a little laundry list of all those who exhibited odd behaviour in the last few weeks to us, surrounding our father's death. My aunt and her family of course top the list, but my sister and I can't hide our relief.
It was a particularily busy work week, thankfully, I must say. I blocked my head with work all the hours I spent at the office; the rest of the time I was commuting, taking up the rest of the day in the car; it was the evenings that were getting to me, those sometimes aimless Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday nights, when you ask yourself, 'can I go to bed if it is still light out?' Believe me if I could get to sleep I WOULD be doing that. I am exhaustion personified at this point. It must be the root of the physical pain. My body begging for respite.
All in all though my Carolyn Day has been a success. After church I get to the grocery store, still walking, my thoughts a little lighter, to get dinner things. By 830pm, I've eaten dinner and there is officially nothing on tv, I'm turning to a book, and I've caught up on my emails, my correspondance, my bills, my organization, and most importantly, my mental inventory. The people who are in my head today deserve to be there, and are not simply making room for themselves.