Squeezing in my run

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. I’ve been so busy lately that I asked him to order his own gift and he had to order a slice of cake from a restaurant’s dessert menu. He was kind about my limitations. After dinner, I sat with my son as he struggled through the residual emotions of a difficult day. He was quiet and withdrawn, which aren’t a good combination for him right now. His identical twin brother sat nearby trying, unsuccessfully, to do homework. My husband was putting our youngest to bed. My struggling son committed himself to his safety while I ran a mile so that we could go for a drive when I got back. I’m so proud of him. He continues to make hard decisions to help himself get better. He didn’t want to do anything last night but he got himself up and out the door on a cold, dark night for a drive. I can only hope that my commitment to get up and out the door on a cold, dark night to keep my streak alive can serve as an example of perseverance for him. I ran the half mile to the elementary school playground, did a few pull-ups, a few dips, and a flip over the lowest bar before running that half mile back home. My son and I then went on a drive after that despite my exhaustion and day packed to the brim and it was magical. We looked at Christmas lights and talked about many things as we drove. We got home late and went to bed even later but I went to sleep knowing that my son was in a better place emotionally. I will take less sleep for that peace of mind any day. Tonight, my daughter came to town and said she wanted to run with me at the gym. We left around dinner time and one of my twins came with us. He shot baskets as my daughter and I ran laps around the indoor track. I thought she might want to run together but she just wanted us both to run on the track so she could use me as motivation to run faster. I love that girl. She sent me a bitmoji of us as two peas in a pod yesterday and it meant so much to me that she sees how alike we are as well. I also love that I can serve as inspiration for my daughter to run faster even as I approach 40. After we each logged 2 miles (my daughter would probably want me to point out that she finished a long time before I did), we played a game of pig and around the world with her brother. My daughter isn’t as naturally athletic as her brothers but I love how she enjoys athletic recreation regardless. My son won the game of pig, despite my best efforts of bounce shots and backward shots but I won the game of around the world. We had a blast. My husband stayed home to put our youngest to bed again. He has been so supportive of my older son and his struggles. He has also been incredibly supportive as my older kids have needed more of my time and attention as we all go through the transition of moving and facing my son’s mental health struggles. It has been a gift. I am now sitting here awake at 3am awaiting the return of my other son. He traveled to St. Louis for a concert tonight and I look forward to him getting home safely. I remember a parent telling me when my older kids were young that the sleepless nights return when you have teenagers and it is proving to be true. I’m thankful for my running, which allows me time to process my busy life. I was reflecting on my run tonight how my daily running has become an accepted part of our family’s routine. On New Year’s Eve, I will celebrate 3 full years of my running streak. I realized that I started this streak when my youngest was 4 years old. Next year, I will have been streaming for over half of his life. At this point, he probably doesn’t even remember a day where I didn’t run. That brings me joy. I love that I have this one thing that I selfishly pursue for myself and that it has such positive ramifications throughout my small circle of influence. I often read everything I can get my hands on about depression and one of the lists I read recently discussed the importance of a streak. The list talked about finding something you can commit to doing daily that you can pursue while checking off the number of consecutive days that you have remained committed to the task. I completely agree that there are positive mental benefits to this pursuit. I love my streak and how much it adds to my life.

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