Stopping to breathe in the great marathon of life
We huddle there, forming a circle. For the moment, we have no beginning and no end. We are one entity – interlocked puzzle pieces.
I read rhythmically from a book. They listen attentively, sitting motionless and silently. The only other sound is that of their breathing.
We lounge languorously against each other – their bodies lean against mine, my arms rest gently on them.
When the story ends, our trilogy is abruptly broken. Loaf leaps from my lap and lands gently on the floor. Peanut pulls quickly away, reaching for the cat lounging at the foot of the bed. I stand and walk into the kitchen to check the time.
Five minutes until my conference call.
My life these days seems to be—more so than ever before because of my training—ruled by the clock.
25 minutes on the treadmill
35 minutes on the bike
45 minutes in the pool
Alarm at 5:45 a.m.
Leave the house at 7:20 a.m. and don’t arrive home until after 9 p.m.
Drop the girls off at 9 a.m.
Pick Loaf up at 11:30 a.m.
Pick Peanut up at 1 p.m.
Lunch, laundry, e-mail, work, read.
Conference call at 4 p.m.
Dinner at 6 p.m.
Yesterday, I worked more than 12 hours.
Not that I’m complaining. I’m enjoying the challenge of training and given the choice (especially in this economy) I’d rather be busy at work than not.
But it’s starting to feel like a treadmill never stops. My 25-minute run is just the warm up that feeds an all-day marathon. At the end of the day I am both physically and mentally exhausted. I collapse into bed with aching muscles and a head spinning with all the unfinished tasks on my “to do” list.
I have a package that needs to be mailed sitting in my bedroom for over two weeks. I have phone calls to friends that go unreturned. E-mails that go unanswered.
I haven’t written a “real” blog post since this one. I haven’t read anyone else’s blog in well over a week. I used to post on Twitter daily, now I’m lucky if I swing by even once.
I know my life is not all that different from many of yours, and I don’t mean to whine. But I feel at times a little like George Jetson at the start of The Jetson’s screaming, “Jane! Stop this crazy thing!”
So today, sitting in a quiet room with my daughters folded against me felt like a supreme luxury.
In the grand scheme of life, it was an unremarkable moment—one that could have easily passed by with no one noticing. But in the whirlwind of late, I soaked it up. Drank it in. Let the calm wash over me and the moment drag out.
The treadmill cranked back up again five minutes later, but at least for a few minutes, we were still.