My alarm went off at 4:45 this morning. Last night, I made the decision to skip my Monday swim because I couldn’t quite embrace the cold I would experience in the thirty or so steps it would take to get from the locker room into the heated outdoor pool. I considered sleeping in and running instead, but even the extra couple hours of sleep didn’t seem worth having to run outdoors in the twenty degree temperatures. So I forced myself up super early and out the door to 5:30 spin. It was a great way to start my day and my birthday week.
Last year, I spent much of my training time on my bike because I knew I needed to be in my best bike shape ever to conquer Ironman Wisconsin. Since then, I’ve ridden my bike a few times, but mostly I’ve focused on running. I’ve done a ton of running, actually, but run fitness and bike fitness are two different things, so the spin class this morning felt hard. Overall, my watts were a good thirty watts lower than where I left my bike training after Wisconsin. The class was a good way to ease back into bike mode.
As is often the case when I’m on bike – particularly one that doesn’t move or present any traffic concerns – my brain was in high gear. I replayed all of the activity from the weekend. My venture into Target. My run along Lady Bird Lake with my sister. My godson’s fifth birthday party. My Bible study at my friend Rhonda’s. Baking and decorating cookies with Dave. Church. Watching my friend, Sommer, perform at Antone’s in a 90s cover band. Scouting out triathlon gear at two different bike shops. The Christmas tree lighting at the LBJ state park. Dinner in Johnson City with my friends. I had a rich weekend that did much to lift my somewhat somber mood. But it wasn’t enough to pull me out of the funk I’ve been in. If all that goodness couldn’t do it, what would?
Towards the end of my ride, it occurred me that I still hadn’t written out the list of things I want to do in terms of cleaning and organization before the end of the year. I typically spend the end of the year getting things in order so that I wake up on January 1 to a clean house and a clear sense of how I want to spend my time. That means I do a massive cleaning and organization effort, and I write out my goals for the coming year. I’ve been working on my goals, but I hadn’t given much thought to how I would prepare my home for the new year.
So after getting cleaned up this morning and getting to work, I made a list. I wrote out what I want to do to my space – everything from organizing the closet above the washer/dryer to emptying all the trash cans in the house. Just getting that list out of my brain and onto a piece of paper lightened my emotional load. I know where I’m heading now. I know how I plan to spend the time I have left at home in 2016. Having that plan feels good to me.
In this little list effort, I’m reminded just how task-oriented and planning driven I am. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a good thing. I can definitely see it being taken too far, and I know there are times when the people around me think I take it too far. But at my core is someone who thrives on identifying the goal and then accomplishing it.
Even this morning, the simple act of getting myself out of bed and to spin class lifted my mood because I intentionally set a plan last night and then executed it. Yes, staying in my warm bed and getting another couple of hours of sleep would have felt indulgent and wonderful, but I would have missed my workout and been a little disappointed in myself if I’d let that happen.
Am I too task driven? I can analyze myself to insanity by asking, “Why do I need so much focus? Why does everything need to be a plan? Why can’t I just wing my days more and see what happens? What am I missing out on by being so methodical? Anything?” Or I can set out my plan and execute it.
Right now, I’m at a place where I want to embrace who I am and how I am and just be the best the best version of me, whatever that involves.
Since Wisconsin, I haven’t had a clear goal. I’ve been playing with different ideas in my head, but I haven’t made my list for the new year. That’s what I want to do today and tonight. Now that I’ve written my cleaning list, I want to write out my goals list. That simple act may be the very thing I need to pull myself out of where I am mentally and push myself forward.
We’ll see after I’ve gotten it done, but I have a hunch that I’m right. And if I’m right, then things are really about to look up.