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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Running and The Holidays

Today we went to our running store for a group run and holiday party.  It is the time of year that, tell the truth ladies, we dread.  The holidays full of warmth friendship, cheer, Peace on Earth, and goodwill.  Right! As long as you are a child or a man, that is absolutely true.  If you happen to be a woman it is actually the season of: baking until midnights, covered dishes, crowded lines, parties you never wanted to go to, let alone plan and organize, fights over the last new and improved Furby, shoes that crush your feet, but match your red sequined holiday dress, endless greetings, Christmas cards, family animosity, and a total lack of gratitude for what effort it took to bring this magical season to life for all the people in your life who matter most. 

Hey but who is complaining? I mean after all, I am happy to be a woman and enjoy all of the perks that come with it.  Having random strangers open the door for you, having men at work carry heavy boxes, have someone cut your grass, have gallant men take down the oil from the top shelf in the grocery store, and the ability to order your husband to untangle the Christmas lights because "well it is that time of the month, you still haven't found a gift for his mother, and does he really want to go there."   It is not like being a woman has nothing positive to offer.  In fact today, at our female owned running store, hubby was lamenting that all the clothes on sale were for women. 

I have a theory, actually.  One I am currently testing.  I think that the women's running clothes are on sale now because this is the season we need running more than any other.  I joined the RW running streak for just this reason.  Every holiday I find myself one angry, walking, talking to do list.  I am just moving from task to task checking boxes and noting nothing.  Today is day 24 of my running streak and I have to say I feel less overwhelmed, even as Christmas closes in around me.  I have a sound plan and I feel calm and energetic.  What major changes have I made, just running everyday.  When I get up in the morning and it is crisp and cool, it feels most like the holidays. I get to run around my little neighborhood and take in the Christmas decorations and the stars.  It is a moment of quiet reflection.  It has been a good time to think about the fact that really the holidays are a time to enjoy who is in your life and not worry about filling it with stuff and packing every moment with experiences.  It would be hard to find an experience that beats the reverence of that quiet early morning run among the cold air, stars, and Christmas lights. 

Don't get me wrong.  I am still organizing the family gift exchange, still baking all the cookies, and of course buying all the wine (can't leave that to chance when spending quality time with the family).  This time I have a moment everyday of reverence, a place to breathe in the now that is my life: a job I love, a small group of caring friends, the most amazing husband, 6 crazy feline family members, and my husband's and my extended families all for the most part healthy, safe and happy.   Enjoy the holidays: it is okay you deserve to have a good time too.

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