Some days it’s okay to walk…

Today I was irritating the crap out of myself. I needed to be productive, I had many, many things to do. It started when I forgot to buy milk so I had to skip breakfast. By one o clock I was faint with hunger, but I was too busy to make a plan. I had emails to send, things to organise, presentations to work on and still wanted to have a little time to work on my thesis. Oh, and I wanted to go for a run. And phone my mom back. And organise some things with my friends. And be loving and kind and smile sweetly to everyone that crosses my path. But by 3 o clock, after realising I’d been staring at my computer screen for 30 minutes, making no progress, the cold hand of fear gripped my heart.

Why was I such a pathetic human being? Why hadn’t I been productive over the weekend? Why was I stressing so much about everything and why wasn’t I channeling this stress into effective and efficient work, but rather being dumb struck by it, running all the things I need to do over and over in my mind, instead of doing something? It all suddenly became to much for me and I decided to lie on my bed and read for a bit.

One hour later I realised I had wasted an entire hour. My earlier suspicions were correct, I was a pathetic, lazy, horrible human being. Everyone else could be productive and effective, why couldn’t I? What if I didn’t get everything done this week? What if I simply wasn’t smart enough to finish a thesis and when they marked it they would tell me to rather go and work in Spar? What if I was a horrible occupational therapist, a corrupt, immoral human being who could never fit into a normal society? Plus I was fat and ugly and lazy. All these things had to be true, because, why else would I spend an hour reading, a weekend doing nothing and still struggle to pull myself up and go for a run? Surely all my friends hate me because I have no time for them, my boyfriend will definitely leave me and I will never, ever finish my master’s or do everything I need to for my job. In fact, someone should lock me up somewhere, where I couldn’t harm anyone else.

The only reason I decided to get up and go for a run was because I have a fear of being alone for too long. I needed to see other people. Yes, I’m crazy like that as well. During the first half of my run, I realised that I was unable to run because I haven’t exercised for so long, and I would, in fact, need to call this a “walk” with short periods of attempting to run in between. I was beating myself up properly, wanting to cry in between, which then messed up my breathing and I was able to run even less and wanting to cry even more. See where I’m going with this? I was not nice to myself today.

Eventually though, as I walk/ran/contemplated the horribleness that was my person, I realised I almost made it to the end of the run. Sure, I didn’t go as far as I wanted to, but I was doing pretty well. My heart rate was up, I was exercising for 40minutes already, and I started to calm down. Had I not sent all the emails I needed to today? Had I not gone to class this morning like I was supposed to? And if I needed to rest for an hour because I didn’t eat breakfast, I could always finish my presentation tonight?

And I slowly realised that, even though I was not running all the time, I was still running as much as I could, for today. I won’t always be super efficient, productive, effective and wonderful all the time. I don’t have to always do everything right and perfect. I don’t have to write 10 pages of my thesis to be productive, some days I will write one or two, or read an article, or think about a definition or a concept. I won’t always be patient and kind and loving towards my friends, but they will still be there. I won’t always be wise with my money, but I will go to work, and I will get the things done that I need to do. Some days I need to focus on the things I did do, rather than the things I didn’t. I mean, I’m not doing too badly. I’m well on my way to finishing a 3 year master’s in 2 years, I’m working a part-time job, plus most Saturdays, I’m paying my own way even though it’s not always easy, I’m not the worse friend in the world, I still manage to see my parents every now and then, finish my assignments for class, pitch up for my job and not do too crap a job of all these things.

Another day I will run fast and far again. Some other day I will attempt to decipher the harsh feedback comments from my study leader, or think about my future plans, or handle the things that I need to handle. Today, I will do what needs to be done today.

I’ve realised that I’m often so harsh on myself, that I scare myself to death sometimes. If I think too much about everything I need to do, I simply cannot do anything. Sometimes we need to speak to ourselves kindly and gently. We need to read and not feel guilty. We need to eat chocolate, or listen to new music. We need to love ourselves and give ourselves credit for the things we’ve achieved. I’m not a hippy la-di-da kind of person, so let me sum it up like this: Some days it’s okay to walk, instead of run.

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