“How did I ever have time to work?”

Well, it’s happened. I know I’m truly post-corporate now because I’m looking back and asking myself how I ever found the time to work. The last three weeks have been so jam-packed with activities that there is no way I could have done it all if I were still working.

I’m home at last!

Because I didn’t have to worry about carefully shepherding my vacation days, I was able to take the long way up the coast, adding a hundred miles or so and an extra day to my trip. The luxury of time enabled me to avoid the stress of “will the mountain passes be snowed in?” by simply driving around the passes. It also allowed me to mosey… to drive up to and savor the view from Marin Highlands just north of the Golden Gate… to stop to watch a herd of elk in far northern California… to take my time fully wringing myself out after pumping gas in a wind-driven downpour in Crescent City… to visit with family members along the way. It was a good trip; two out of my three cats would agree (cat #3 complained the entire way).

I arrived home to find all those boxes of stuff that I’d shipped, neatly stacked at my front door. I have been gradually opening and dealing with each one. To make room for the stuff from the condo, I’ve had to get rid of other stuff. I bagged up nearly a third of my clothes and threw away other items until I filled my trash can. Now I’ve had to stop throwing things away until after trash pickup day next week.

Tomorrow I plan to start bagging Kurt’s clothing. I think I am ready to do that task now, but it will take me a bit longer before I can tackle his papers and other personal items.

One step at a time.

I’m having a little trouble so far re-adapting to the cool, damp weather in this part of the world. I bundle up hugely when I go out. I planned to go for a quick 2-mile run Friday afternoon, but I drove through a snow shower on the way to the trailhead. I sat in my car for a while trying to gauge the storm’s intentions, then ventured out when the snow turned back to rain. It was 37 degrees but did not feel too chilly until I got down to the waterfront and hit a headwind; I turned around grateful that I’d only intended to run two miles. The trail did feel great under my feet, however, and I felt happy to be running again. The trees are beginning to leaf out, the skunk cabbage is blooming, and there are robins everywhere. Spring is returning to the Pacific Northwest. I am happy to be here and I know that I am home.

This morning I headed out for a planned 6-mile run. It was a balmy 46 degrees and partly cloudy when I reached that same trailhead. I decided to try running some hills, so I went east into the woods instead of north and west to/along the waterfront. I ran 3.1 miles out and 3.1 miles back; this gave me a 10k run that included two steep down-and-up creek crossings (a nearly 25% grade according to my GPS watch) and some rolling hills. I surprised myself by handling the hills pretty well. I did need to take walk breaks, but my overall pace was about 15 seconds per mile faster than I’d hoped for.

I’m relieved to learn that I haven’t lost any strength or speed over my long break from running. My focus over the coming weeks will be on regaining my stamina and keeping a slow and steady pace over longer distances.

Slow and happy, that’s me. And getting better at both of those things… a little better every day.

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Posted on April 1, 2012, in LIfe_goes_on, Running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip home, and that you got to “stop and smell the roses.” Glad you’re safely there. Enjoyed seeing you briefly while down south, and look forward to the next time we meet.

  2. Carlene and Bob

    So glad to hear from you. And we are happpy that you are home. Kitty #3 can now relax and quit complaining. Please keep in touch.

    Bob and Carlene

  3. In N. CA on our honeymoon, we kept seeing the signs for “Elk”, but came around a corner and found cows instead, which we called “mOO…se.” Glad your trip home was good, I’d love to do some of that coastline again, it’s been years.

    Mark has noted that many of his volunteers when we were in SLO said they never needed a day planner until after they retired.

    • Colleen,

      I have vowed NOT to tightly schedule my days, but I’m already beginning to suspect that I will need to watch my time if I’m ever going to write those books I have planned. I could get used to this slow-happy-lazy life!

      Lori

  4. I’m so glad you had the opportunity to take the “scenic route” home and to simply BE. After all the stress of the last couple of years, you must indeed feel like you’ve landed in a familiar, yet strange land…one without too much hurried pressure anyway. Maybe with all that you’ve experienced you’ll find a way, as I think some do, to avoid collecting too many NEW pressures. I like to think that when we do finally pull that corporate plug we can be new people, too. I can hear that you are slow and happy. Whew! Debra

  1. Pingback: Looking forward « Slow Happy Runner

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