It comes as no news that I am selfish. Doesn’t necessarily mean I am a horrible person (though I have my moments) but I see my selfishness as “put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others” thing.
As a mother and wife you find yourself doing a lot of little things that the people in your family might not even notice, but that ensure everybody lives in a clean, healthy home and have something to eat. They will not know whether you steamed their mattresses when you changed the sheets or that the gas meter readings are sent on time each month to the utility company. Or that the squeaky door handles have gone quiet because you toured the flat with a canister of WD40.
With the kids and moving countries I have pretty much killed any ambition of having a “proper” career. Not that this would be impossible, I am not saying that once you have kids you can’t make that happen but I seem to have lost interest in that somewhere along the way. My social calendar isn’t exactly bursting at the seams either.
The one thing that I have any passion for, that gives me pure unadulterated joy and a sense of achievement is being able to run. And when I can’t run, go to the gym and kick ass on the Summit Trainer or Elliptical or whatever equipment challenges me… I need to sweat and feel the burn in my muscles and lungs to feel alive. I will do whatever I can to carve out the time for exercise; whether it is getting up at 5am to run or go to the gym at 8pm after the husband gets home from work.
On Saturdays I go to the gym and put in 1,5-2 hours of cardio and on Sunday I run my long run (which hopefully will get longer and longer). To be able to do that makes me feel good about myself and about life in general. Any stress or anxiety shrinks during the few hours when all you can think about is “keep on going”. I am protective of that.
So when the husband says that I am about to lose two weekends due to trips that he is planning my reaction probably wasn’t what he expected. I think it would be fair to say I went mental. And maybe a bit hysterical; gotta live up to the name after all. To me this was as good as him admitting to not understanding what that little bit of freedom means to me. Those few, precious hours. It is probably also a sign of an addiction – the thought of not being able to get my “fix” makes me more than a little anxious. And yes, I am being selfish but in order to be able to look after the family the rest of the time this is what I need. This is what it takes. I will clean the pee stains around the toilet, launder their drool covered pillow cases and fish out the mouldy vegetables from the fridge – but do not take “my” time from me. Not sure my family would like the person I become when I can’t run….