It’s a new year, time to stop eating all the holiday M&Ms and candy canes I bought for 80 percent off at CVS. Ready to start 2017, I tell myself.
Just two weeks ago I set aside time to consider my goals for the year, but did so in front of the computer interspersed with way too much refresh of the national news, where uncertainty about what’s next perpetually taunts me.
I’ve momentarily put my 2017 goal planning on pause, in order to navigate my current state of nerves and frustration. This weekend I felt the negative energy reaching a paralytic level, until I said no more, and laced up my running shoes.
Cold rain fell as I left the indoors behind. I really didn’t want to be outside, but my inability to shut out the headlines and think more than five minutes into the future was intolerable. Plus, my fingernails were bearing the brunt of my nerves. They deserved a break, too.
Living in D.C., there is little escape from the political environment. Politics is our environment. As I write, the city abounds with miles of fencing and porta-potties as D.C. prepares for the inauguration. Maneuvering through the city smoothly becomes more challenging each day. At this point it’s practically impossible. Nevertheless, I quickly plotted a route I hoped would be porta-potty and fence free. Then I ran. And ran. And ran.
It was a chilly day and white puffs of steam accompanied each exhale. I imagined every little cloud a release of the toxic energy that had been eating my insides. Occasional tears slipped down my cheeks, as frustration fueled my run. Mile after mile, the emotions that had overwhelmed me steadily flowed out through my physical exertion. My two-day stress headache ebbed, and 13 miles later I felt somewhat normal again.
Life is uncertain, eat dessert first. Then turn off the computer, brush your teeth, and go for a run. Let anxiety and negativity escape, one breath, one footstep at a time.