I started writing a blog earlier this afternoon about stress - and couldn't think of anything to put on paper. Stress affects me physically - migraines, tension in my neck, stomach aches, throwing up, my digestive system goes completely out of order...I'm starving but I can't force myself to eat. I forget to drink water...combine that with allergies and gluten intolerance - not a fun time. This is my first time in a high stress situation and I can't turn to pizza or Oreos.
So I did what every gluten, dairy free foodie does - I made coconut milk cocoa ice cream...and then I ate it. All of it. It was good. I hadn't really eaten much the past two days so my sugars and energy have plummeted. Combine that with adding more miles to my workouts and more workouts throughout the week, this afternoon was a complete mess physically. The ice cream gave me a boost (it's made to be healthier but still isn't 'good' for me) but I was still just drained emotionally and physically.
I decided to go for a walk. I didn't feel like it. My tummy was upset. I could wind up throwing up again. My body hurts. So what? I recognized this as stress and told myself I was going...and so I did. Even if it was just for 5 minutes, I was going for a walk. The night was clear, the stars were twinkling and I could smell the beginning of spring in the air.
1 hour 17 minutes later, with a distance of 5.17 miles (4 miles per hour), burning 540 calories and over 8500 steps taken (If you have an Android, Cardio Trainer is an amazing free app), I was home again.
During my walk, I did a long run - long enough to get in a runner's groove where it was just me and my thoughts. I started thinking about stress. I've been stressing because I want to be able to fix my grampy - I am a person who fixes things...but I can't. While running, I accepted that my job, my way of fixing things is to be there for him, to provide him with company, to bring him his small, black coffee in a Roll Up the Rim to Win cup, to anticipate that his hospital food will suck and bring him fresh fruit and veggies. I will continue to update the family on how he is doing and tomorrow, I will make sure he has a moment to speak with his wife (they won't give him a phone where he's on the cardiac floor).
I also realized that I need to accept that while I do have choices in my life, I seem to be set on a path for something. After I left Justin, things started going well. It wasn't anything I did though. To be honest, I'm sort of surprised I'm not either dead or totally messed up from the summer I left him. I did a lot of things to hurt myself thinking it would make me feel better. It didn't - I was broken but I'm patched up now. There's still scars and sometimes I need to reinforce a wound but I'm stronger now.
There are things that happen in my life that could be chalked up to luck - someone calling when I need them the most, meeting Dana and being friends with her, falling for a friend I shouldn't have fallen for but realizing I can fall in love again (just not right now), learning to reach out to others when I need them, that person who reaches out at just the right time...little things that just happen every so often that make me step back and think that this is so far beyond my doing...My grandparents have always told me that I am on a path and I think they're right. When I'm supposed to be doing something, doors open - kind of scarily easy. When I'm not, well...everything goes wrong. Call it fate, karma, kizmit, destiny...I call it a path. I don't know why yet - but I have a feeling it has something to do with going up north. We'll see. It's starting with Guatemala though. I have faith in this.
Finally, I realized that I needed to cry. I needed to get it out of my system and just cry...so I did....as I was running. I didn't realize I was actually crying at first but I did. I cried because I was scared I would lose my grampy, I cried because I was tired of being scared and stressed, I cried because I knew I could handle this and finally, I felt centered again. My stomach stopped hurting, my brain stopped randomly going through thoughts - I just felt better.
So Blog-World, I don't recommend running to everyone but when you're stressed, do something healthy for you. Go for a walk, step outside and look at the sky for awhile...I am only one person. I can make a difference, I can change the world - but I can't do that if my entire being is focused on my worry.
Take care everyone - tomorrows blog is about the goodness of people :D
PS: I'm sorry to inform you that there actually is no penguins in this blog. Happy St. Patrick's Day!