“I just need to breathe, I just need to be alive, why can’t I?”

snowy fieldI woke up today, admiteddly very late, and looked out the window to see the street was covered in snow. This hasn’t been unusual lately, but it was rare weather for the weekend. I decided to venture out with my camera, get some pictures and some fresh air. I don’t mind snow when it’s fresh, not yet been trodden into sludge and ice. I thought it would be nice to enjoy it, instead of looking out at it from my office window.

Unfortunately, it was not quite the winter wonderland I expected once I’d gotten going. It started raining about ten minutes into my journey and didn’t really stop. I was sodden and miserable, trudging back through deep puddles and sludge. Of course, I’d stubbornly walked all the way to the nature reserve I wanted to as I intended, and done a circuit of it too, before finally heading home. I kept thinking, it will let up soon but if anything it just got worse.

This is why I am no longer running. I think I’ve mentioned it before, haven’t I? That I really want to be a runner. I really love the idea of being a runner. Being like those people in movies or books or worse, on blogs and Instagram, who run off their stress, anxiety and depression, for whom running is freeing and life changing. I tried it once, stopped about a month in, sore and exhausted and still anxious. Then I decided to try again. I thought, maybe I was too ambitious last time and instead of following couch25k religiously, I circled through weeks one and two. It was easier running when I could break it up with bits of walking. Sometimes, I liked going out in the evenings when it was quiet. Sometimes, I thought I came close to understanding those fictional characters and those people – sometimes it felt good. Other times I was exhausted and sore and I hated it and didn’t want to do it. Then winter settled in properly, and I didn’t want to go out in the ice, in snow, in strong winds and storms. I had an excuse to give up. I’d see people out running in those weathers anyway and I’d feel, I do feel, such a baby. But I also feel very cold right now. And I do not like being soaked through and sore from walking awkwardly on slippery surfaces. Like today. I could appreciate the beauty of the scenery in many ways, but I also felt cold, and I’d left my earphones behind so couldn’t distract myself with an audiobook or music. It wasn’t aweful, but it could have been…considerably less damp.

I am vaguely unhappy right now and I don’t want to be one of those people who complains without doing anything about it so I have been trying things- running, yoga, going for walks, cooking more/eating better, cutting out caffeine, decluttering the house. Nothing seems to really work and nothing seems to really stick. I do compare myself to other people – out there running or doing yoga or meditating or eating tonnes of salad to a happy, healthy mind and I wonder – what is wrong with me? Mindfulness definitely doesn’t work.
And other things, is it me making excuses, giving up too soon, doing it wrong or is it simply me. I want to find something that frees me, but I can’t. I can’t make it work. It’s very frustrating. Perhaps I have too high expectations, compare too much. In fact, I definitely do. Now, like always, I need to accept good enough instead of striving towards some bizarre, unrealistic ideal. It’s hard though.

I think – I should stick with something and find some acceptance that way, I must keep moving. Then I think, I must be kinder to myself and just keep trying, eventually I will find something. I remind myself- I am perfectly allowed to quit if something really doesn’t work. I am allowed not to stick with something actually. So. I’ve given running a good go and it’s not worked and that’s…that’s ok. That should be ok. It’s hard this, to let go of your expectations and hopes, when necessary, to admit that maybe you were wrong. To stop trying to be someone else/who you think you ‘should’ be. I’m just too stubborn. Like today, I should have just gone home straight away or at least sooner. That also would have been ok.

It’s hard to find the middle ground between being kind to yourself and being too easy on yourself – you need to push yourself to grow, or do things you don’t like sometimes. I’m just, evidently, not very good at picking my battles.

Unfortunately not my cat.