This morning I’m awake (barely) with one question on my mind. Okay two questions.
The second question is a given, right? Who doesn’t want to take the day off and nap? It is Monday after all. Besides, if you’re sleep tracking for the previous night looks anything like this, it’s no wonder you want to stay home and nap.
Now for another question: Do you love your Fitbit as much as I do? The Alta is so fun. Except for maybe the incessant tapping. That’s a little odd. And the colorful band choices? Yeah, I want the pink one.
Who wants to be Fitbit buddies?
Okay, back on track. Question one: why do I bother?
Do you ever feel this way?
This has been on my mind since yesterday and here’s why.
I did my usual three mile run yesterday. When I’m on my three mile route, I go up to the airport and say hi to my handsome husband. Then after a quick water break, Omar and I head back home.
And twice during my running, I’ve added in one other thing.
I jump on the scale (that’s supposedly calibrated by the government or something).
The first time I did it, I was pleased to see I was down two pounds. Not that weight is everything, but you know, when you need to lose a few pounds, you need to lose it. Just reality.
Well, yesterday when I went running, I decided to weigh myself again. It had been a few weeks since the last time and all the exercise had to be paying off, right?
Up three pounds. Three! As of yesterday, I’m officially one pound heavier than I was when I started running!
I was annoyed. Still am a little bit.
But I put on a smile, turned up my music, and ran home. What other choice did I have?
I tried not to let it bother me and went about my day as I tried to focus on why I took up running in the first place, which had nothing to do with losing weight. I actually started it so that I wasn’t so bored on Sunday afternoons and I figured it would tire me out enough to help me sleep better.
Yeah. Sleep better.
Did you take a look at the amount of times I was awake last night compared to the amount of time I spent sleeping restfully? Yeah, last night has been the worst night sleep I’ve had since tracking my zzz’s, but let me tell you, the nights before it –not much better. I’m averaging about four and a half hours of sleep a night.
Is it any wonder I ask the question: why bother?
Running thirteen miles a week isn’t helping me sleep. The added bonus of a little weight lost hasn’t happened.
Then I started thinking about how I feel when I run.
Stronger. Braver. Healthier.
And I started thinking about what it does for me.
Keeps me from being bored. Gives me some good “mental” writing time. It gives me opportunity to exercise my dog.
Would I like to sleep a solid eight hours? Absolutely. Would I like to be a svelte 115? Sure. I’d be up for a svelte 120.
But are those the only reasons I run? No.
It makes me think about writing.
Yesterday my husband asked me how many reviews on Amazon I have for my novel Soaring Alone.
My response: only seven.
He encouraged me as usual. I responded by immediate feelings of irritability. After all, seven reviews aren’t going to make the book a bestseller.
Yet, I have to ask myself: is being a bestseller the only reason I write?
If I’m being completely honest: is being published the only reason I write?
The answer to both questions is no.
Would it be nice if my book was a bestseller? Of course. An international bestseller…even better. But those things and being published are bonuses. Just like good sleep and weight loss.
I write because I enjoy it. It’s cathartic. It’s fun. I like playing with words. Everything else is cake.
Man, I’d like a piece of cake. Have you tried Jewish Coffee Cake? I baked one yesterday and it is hands down, the best coffee cake I’ve ever eaten.
Anyway, all that to say this: if you find yourself getting discouraged about the way things are going, ask yourself: why I do bother.
Then, if the outcome is anything like I experienced this weekend, keep doing what you’re doing and enjoy it. Remember, everything else is simply a bonus.
Oh…and make this cake. It really is good.