It’s the end of February in Michigan and inevitably every year around this time I begin to question my life choices. Namely, how did I get to doing this job in this place and where exactly did all of the excess winter weight come from? The weight thing is easy. Every May I start a running program to train me up to run a 10 mile race in August. I am in prime race form running a swift (for me) 8:15ish pace. As soon as I cross the finish line I begin making promises to myself that this year I will keep up with the running. I will find other races during the year to maintain motivation, I will break out the cold weather gear and be a true year round runner. Then I find myself on my couch three weeks later making excuses and swearing I’ll go next time. Three weeks turns into three months and before I know it, April has arrived along with the panic that I won’t be in shape enough to start training in May. I frantically start treadmill running since, for those of you who have not had the pleasure of a Michigan winter, it is often still snowing through the first couple weeks of my birthday month. While in the past in-shape me would venture out into the cold to tackle a five mile morning run, that level of intensity is absent from out-of-shape sloth-like me. While it’s not yet crunch time for May training, I hauled myself onto a treadmill the other day and was barely able to eek out two miles at a 9 minute pace. It was rather excruciating and I wanted so badly to capture and retain that feeling to later retrieve post-August race so I would not yet again lapse back to laziness.
I guess the real truth of the matter is I am by nature a semi-motivated individual who has difficulty sustaining momentum and without some sort of larger goal, pitters out quickly.
Currently I am unhappily wearing the largest and least cute items in my wardrobe. This particular April I will be turning thirty and had an idea that by this point in my life I would have somehow worked through all my character flaws including my predilection for taking on huge life changes but quickly abandoning them as soon as it became tough, tedious, or frustrating. I am not as flaky professionally however see myself as lacking the gumption necessary for successful follow-through and completion. I like lists so here’s one of my outstanding life projects accompanied by the approximate start date just to give you an idea how long some of these have drug out:
- Run a marathon – Several false starts on this… best guess on a start date is training for the Detroit Marathon in October 2008
- Finish painting/remodeling my bedroom – June 2012
- Run five miles 2 – 3 times per week, year round – August 2012
- Complete remodel on back room of house – June 2011
- Pick a paint color for my living room/dining room – October 2012
- Take the LSAT – 2004/2005 – around the time I was finishing up undergrad
I feel like a blob inside and out. I don’t necessarily find my work intellectually stimulating and sense my brain is slowly turning to mush for lack of use. To clarify, I love the students that I get to work with, I just don’t think this is a long-term fit for how my mind works. Once I figure something out, I need a new challenge. I thought it would take me five or so years to reinvent the program where I work – looks like I was about three years too long on that guess. While I’m not done yet, I foresee a need to make some significant changes or risk serious burnout. I am incredibly lucky to have a supportive supervisor who is encouraging me to explore other avenues complementary to my day to day work. I have been struggling for awhile with my next steps and larger life goal when it came to me the other day. I think I finally know what I want to be when I grow up.
So I absolutely understand this is a long-term goal. First identifiable steps being take the LSAT, apply to law school, go to law school, get some experience and then judgeship!
As a baby step I found a meditation training offered in my area starting this June. It is every Friday during that month plus once in July for a total training time of 40 hours. The icing on the cake is when discussing with the boss lady, she felt like it would be applicable to my current job so in addition to providing me with release time, she is going to cover the entire cost of the training.
Suddenly February doesn’t seem so bad.
P.S. Having a boyfriend willing to go to a five hour cheerleading competition where your squad only performs for three minutes just because he knows it’s important to you…that also makes for a pretty awesome month
P.P.S. Aforementioned boyfriend was also smart enough to figure out that while I said I didn’t want to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day and also didn’t want to do gifts that what I really meant was I have secret hopes that my life is in fact a romantic comedy and not only did I desire a magical evening out together but flowers delivered to me at my office would be the perfect gesture. I like to think that I have been making deposits into the good karma bank for some time now and this man is the culmination of my savings. He is seriously fabulous. And I do mean that in the straightest way possible.