It is well within my soul

Lately, I’ve started to feel … I don’t know… really at peace with myself. Those who know me best know that peaceful is rarely a word anyone would use to describe any aspect of me unless I’m asleep. There’s always a long list of things to be done, places to be, things left unfinished.

 
But just recently, these have dropped right back, died right down.
A few things have led to this new state of being – the winding down of harp craziness for the year, the satisfaction of a job well done at the open mic session I performed at recently, progress made on slaying the debt monster, the cold (and often soaking wet) evenings spent building up my training again just for starters.

 
The state of my house is gradually coming back under control and is moving from ‘Armageddon’ into ‘a bit messy round the edges but lived in’ which is how I like it best.

I’m looking forward to the start of December so I can put all my Christmas lights up.

 
The cold dark evenings are proving to be the perfect excuse to curl up with my now very elderly pets and watch things of questionable quality on telly.

I’m working on a harp project that will finish next summer, and that is coming into balance too, moving from a very busy and intensely focused October into a more restorative November and hopefully a glitzy sparkly polished December.

I’ve been out in the hills a bit, both with friends and on my own.

 
There are exciting running things in the diary for what’s left of this year and next year.

My contract at work has been extended another few months so there is no rush to look for something else just yet.

The social life that I once craved so deeply is starting to build. At the start of October I thought my winter was going to be quiet and a bit lonely, but actually things are appearing at a really nice pace and I…

Well, I feel happy.

I’d always like more of course – some bright colours in my hair, smaller skinny jeans, time to put a bit of makeup on in the morning if I fancy, a minute a mile off my running pace, that car, two weeks in the Caribbean, someone to spontaneously make me a mug of tea and/or give me a cuddle at home.

But, in fact I feel more than happy, I feel contended, at ease.

Normally, there’d be an expectation to feel a sense of impending dread, that something is going to come along and ruin all this that I’ve worked so hard for. And, it may well do so. But I know I have the strength to deal with whatever comes my way, and I won’t let the fear of this spoil everything that is good.

I’d never say I’ve got it all figured out, but just recently, and at the grand old age of 38, I’m learning to stop worrying that I haven’t.

 
**It is well within my soul comes from this beautiful blog post about rejoicing when things are good around you, even when there is still sadness or loss to be dealt with.

Big week

Last week was a funny old week really. Lots of good things seemed to sneak in. 

After the training lows of the week before, I was amazed to post my biggest weekly mileage since I started running. And I realised just recently that I’m starting my fifth year of running! 

I can’t quite believe where the time has gone, and what has happened in that time, and what happened leading up to that time to place me where I am just now.

But I digress.

I had some wonderful comments from happy harp listeners and clients. 

I revisited some old haunts, some favourite places to run. I discovered new places and in doing so, I found some new favourites. 

I reclaimed the Cobbler from the jaws of bad relationships past, and avoided getting myself into mischief on Saturday by going up mountains in conditions I wasn’t equipped for. 

It was really hard saying no to just going a little further, a little higher, despite the snow, just to see. But in the end it wasn’t quite so hard saying no more to the endless energy sapping boggy mush that lay between Beinn Nairnan and Beinn Ime.

 
A 12 mile loop around Loch Venachar was absolutely stunning on Sunday morning, and sharing it made it even better. Finding a new little thinking spot and enjoying a recovery lunch in the Brig o’ Turk tearoom might just have made it a perfect day out.

 

Things feel so much lighter. I have a big event coming up in a couple of weeks that I’ve been worrying about a bit, and while I still have a lot of logistical stuff to sort out, I’m starting to believe that I will be able to do it.

The bigger one is about 10 weeks away and that feels like it will be OK again too.

There’s also a holiday in the diary, and I’m so looking forward to seeing another part of Scotland I’ve always wanted to visit.

I found myself looking at places to live, just daydreaming really. But I came across a disused barn for sale for development in a perfect location. Although there were big plans to make it someone else’s idea of just so, I couldn’t help think that with a loo, shower, kitchen and plenty of hot water, it was pretty much perfect as it was. It reminded me of a friend’s workshop where I’d spent some happy times a few years back.

And there are other good things quietly going on in my life too, scary but in a good way. 

Ultra running is about many things, but for me one of the biggest is dealing with the highs and lows as they develop over the course of a long training run, or an even longer race. I accept that these are part of the game, and I’ve enjoyed learning to cope as things change over a long day. Dipping energy levels, sore legs, wheezy lungs, poor weather conditions, tough terrain, landscape that isn’t always beautiful. These all come and go, often unpredictably.

You’d think I’d have worked out by now that life is just the same, and that I really don’t need to worry so much when I find myself under a bit of a cloud for a while.