The day after my fiasco with the dinosaur and my yoga mat, I headed out for a run after the daily chores were done and before my children were expected to be home. November has afforded us numerous warm, sunny days this year and this day was no exception. I tied my two black, furry hounds around my waist and donned my running shoes with some sporty clothes and prepared myself for a long, slow haul around one of my country ‘blocks’. This one is a 13 km (8 miles or so) loop that heads up the road towards the highway, veers onto an exceptional old railway bed that has been pulled up and made into a fine gravel bike path over 100km long, turns into a very small community (a dozen houses?), heads back into the bush, up a road over a hillside too steep for cars to pass easily (although they often try and end up at our farm asking to use the phone), and spits back out at the beginning of our land.
I was planning to alternate between running and walking as I saw fit. This was my favourite tour of the neighbourhood and I was excited that I felt ready to tackle this distance again. I was going to take it slow, give it the time it needed.
As soon as I left, I could feel the dull ache of the shin splints I had earned a few days before on a jog I had taken around a different loop. My sciatica from my pregnancy days was also acting up. I was too stubborn to turn around but I knew right away I would have to modify my tour.
Not only this, but I managed to lose one of my dogs at the second farm we hit. He is a hound and took to a smell and within minutes, he went off somewhere completely ignoring my calls. I do let the dogs take turns running leash-free and can almost guarantee they will stay in sight or come back when called to take their turn on the leash again but this time I had no luck.
My route was changed so that I could come back the way I came to try to collect my dog. My method of getting there down-shifted to a walk due to pain in my leg. Despite this, my outlook remained on the positive side. I would not be swayed. This was my time to enjoy the fresh air and my favourite trail before it opened up to snowmobiles and all foot traffic was banned until April.
I did a reasonably long walk (at times in the state of a slight limp) and made it back home to find my hound at the doorstep. Not a surprise. He is a bit of a homebody this way, once he gets whatever he needs to smell all sorted out.
The following day I awoke again to do a yoga routine. I slipped in my tape and within seconds my daughter came down to perch on the couch and watch. She made a very good effort to point out what I was doing wrong or differently from the people on the screen. I asked from underneath my armpit whether she could find something else to do. Again, we were not yet 6am and I figured she needed some more sleep if nothing else.
My dear husband awoke and came downstairs to try to distract her away from the scene. My son was also up by this point. With a bit more privacy, I did finish my yoga carrying the great concern that I was completely responsible for robbing my family of an hour of sleep. It didn’t seem fair. It doesn’t seem fair to expect this kind of time.
It is tempting to forget the whole early morning waking thing. But I need to see this through. This hour of the day is an hour that I usually lie awake anyway, hoping not to stir too much and wake anyone up. So now I want to reclaim it for time to call my own.
This morning I came into the attic space that I recently cleared out for myself just after 5am. I brought a book. I gathered a notebook and a pen. I made a coffee. My laptop came with me and I read some blogs and wrote this post.
This is a kinder, gentler sort of undertaking I realize. But I think I needed it to know that the point of taking an hour to oneself is to do the thing that works for the one taking it! I refuse to give up the idea that I can get some controlled, peaceful moments to myself in the morning. I believe wholeheartedly that it will make all the difference in how I take on the day.
I will not be giving up my physical endeavours anytime soon. As always, however, when living systems are involved, I will need to adapt. Perhaps ever day. My children will likely get bored of the sound of the stairs creaking in the wee hours of the morning. My husband will perhaps regain this hour of sleep. I may be outside again as the light of day changes come March. My leg will heal. My yoga tape will resume play. It will be what it will be.
For now: reading, meditation, yoga, perhaps some writing, walking. This is my hour. And I’m going to find how to breath life into it no matter what.