Stepping

Life is confusing. There’s so much going on each day, it can be hard to focus. Even narrowing down a bright spark to write about here can be tricky.

This is especially true on the bad days – which today was not, by and large. It was very busy, though, and as the afternoon wore on, I felt myself getting easily overwhelmed at the jobs I had yet to do.

Then I thought back to the start of the day.

I ran in the rain this morning. I’m not fast (at all) and it’s not remotely glamorous – just me, trotting around the park repeatedly, getting hot, sweaty and out of breath.

And I’m enjoying it. I’m improving, getting stronger and going further in the time I have. I have to use an ibuprofen gel at the moment as my muscles are feeling the strain, but I’m seeing physical changes – very positive ones.

It’s the experience that does it. The run becomes almost a meditation, as I look around to distract myself from the muscle aches and hard breathing. The rain is gentle and cool, each step on the grass a good one. Some places are overgrown, others full of dandelions, daisies and, more recently, buttercups. The ravens, pigeons and sparrows go about their business – even the occasional kite.

All of the busy-ness of the day can wait. It’s just me, putting one foot in front of the other. It’s not embarrassing in the least – neighbours and familiar passers-by smile at me and share a kind word, glad that I’m doing it and happy to see me battling away. Even other (far fitter) runners and cyclists give a friendly wave as they zoom past.

I return home, tired but accomplished. A bit of rest is needed before the day is properly faced in work terms, but the refreshing shower is welcome, as is a restorative cup of tea.

Sometimes the madness of multitasking needs to be put aside, returning yourself to truly focus on what you’re doing, to the exclusion of all else. This can be anything, really – running, writing, even making breakfast. I try to remind myself to just do whatever it is that I’m doing, and do it properly, fully. The other jobs can form a queue. Frustration is forgotten as I smile in that accomplishment.

No matter how slowly (or inelegantly), I’m still moving forward.

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