change, nutrition, random thoughts, relationships, running

The times, they are a-changin’

I normally don’t channel Bob Dylan – not exactly my style (even though he is from MN!) – but that line popped into my head as I sat down to write. It goes along with the following quote I rediscovered on my FB profile:

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.

~Alan Cohen

With all the change going on in my life, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is, exactly, that I want. So, in honor of this weekend’s 19-miler, a list of 19 things that I want. Some of these are things I want, like, yesterday; some are more long-term. I know “getting what you want” isn’t the be-all-end-all of happiness, so I guess they can be considered general life goals – ideas of where I’d like to go in life with the understanding that things can change in a heartbeat and nothing is guaranteed. But, for me right now, these are the most tangible things I can hang onto while everything else spins around me.

19 miles in 2:35.09; 4 up, 10 @ 7:33 (~MP), 5 down

1. I’ll start with the running-related stuff. The most immediate goal: sub-3:15 at NYCM in November.

2. Secret running goal? 3:0x. It would be a lot to ask for November, but it’s close enough that I want it. I never thought I’d be this fast – ever. I still remember when I thought running a BQ 3:40 was like lightening speed for me. If I can do 3:15 in NYC, I’d love to focus on a 3:10 for spring.

3. On that note, I really feel my mental game is off right now, running-wise. I still don’t have the confidence to be running near-7 paces for a half. I look at those times and think they’re for a different runner. Not for me. I don’t know if it’s my emotional winter/spring, my slow summer miles, or what, but I need to switch my focus on running and be less passive about its role in my life. I always want it to be fun and a positive part of my life but not just something that I do halfway.

4. On THAT note, I’ve been giving a lot of thought about my diet and nutrition, and want to get things under control there. I hesitate even bringing this up, because I know I don’t have to lose weight and that I already eat quite healthfully. For me, it’s less about a number on a scale and more the mindless eating and sweet tooth that gets out of control that has always been something I want to control and always been something I haven’t because it’s hard and I no longer always want it to be there. Of course, the added benefit of being speedier by dropping a few pounds isn’t a bad perk. It’s two months ’till race day. I’m saying it here, out loud: bye-bye desserts (although I do reserve the right for a bite of yours here and there). In one month, I may add alcohol to the list (at least more than one of them at a time and on weekdays). Like I said, I know I don’t have to do this. But, part of me feels like I need to right now. I’m not going on some crazy diet, I’m not going to cut calories to the point I can’t train well – that is, after all, the number one priority – but I just need to get things under control. So, please no “you’re crazy/be careful/why would you do that” comments. If you know me, you know I’m nowhere disorder-land.

5. I want to find a job. No secret there 🙂

6. I want to point my career in the direction I want it to go. My post-doc was something I did because I know it wouldn’t hurt me – it gave me more lab experience and publications, so it did, in fact, help me – and because it got me to the place I wanted to be at the time. I don’t regret it, but it makes me realize how much I want the next job decision to be about what is best for me. That includes location, but more so in the vein of putting myself in a good place for job AND life opportunities. I can’t be in a place with only one biotech company in a 200-mile radius. Both career-wise and socially, I need to be in a vibrant place with lots of choices and places to potentially be. Having been in a place where I had nearly zero options other than what I was doing at the time was exhausting, and trying to switch paths in such an environment would be nearly impossible.

7. I want to be able to be passionate about what I do, but also not have it control my life and dictate the kind of lifestyle I want. That is, “work to live” rather than “live to work.”

8. I don’t want to settle just because I’m impatient about finding a job.

9. I want to be financially secure. I have been poor for-ev-er. I have amazing parents who will make sure I am never in trouble, but it is tiring to have to worry about it. I am looking at my ever-diminishing savings and hate that it may dictate when I have to drive myself to Tucson to stay with them. I am probably even less fiscally responsible than I should be, but traveling will always be a weakness of mine. I’m not buying shoes or purses or designer jeans; I don’t even dream about a fancy car or a huge house. Just let me travel. And eat well along the way.

10. I want to surround myself with people I love. I can very easily pull into myself and pretend I’m ok not reaching out and being a hermit. But this traveling and constant presence of friends and family reminded me that my soul needs those relationships. I want to be in a place where those relationships exist and can be nurtured. And I never want to take them for granted.

11. Speaking of relationships. I have been lucky enough to have spent each and every one of my visits with amazing couples at different stages of their relationships. Couples who love each other and have amazing dynamics; who have been through the best and the worst together and look at each other like no one else exists. It is heartwarming to witness this. Yeah, I want this. I am ready for this.

12. I want to be better at telling the people in my life that I love and cherish them. This is probably a function of that same “pulling into myself” characteristic – the “opening up and being vulnerable” thing has never been a strong point of mine and certainly didn’t help in my last relationship. I will start now: to everyone reading this, you have touched my life in a way that I am eternally grateful for, be it big or small, and I love you for that.

13. I want to find a better balance in my life between living for the moment and dreaming about the future. Between instant and delayed gratification. I usually find myself wanting the things I want RIGHT NOW, instead of enjoying and learning from the journey that brings me to them. Maybe I want things to be too easy.

14. I want to always remember what I said before: that things can change in a heartbeat and nothing is guaranteed. It was a shock to learn this the hard way.

15-19. I’m not sure I can do 5 more on this list, after all. They would be sort of inane things, anyway, like cutting down computer time (ha!) and reading more for fun (which I could do with less computer time) and blogging more (trying!).

3 thoughts on “The times, they are a-changin’”

  1. Erin, just want you to know I'm still silently cheering you on in your adventure. I LOVE to see how you are being an 'adult' and it is just as difficult in your head as it is in mine! Enjoy the adventure and the gift that your living right now and know that there are still others enjoying it from afar with you!!!


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