Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Compromise is for Suckers

Last weekend I discovered something about myself: I don't like to compromise. You might ask if this was actually a new discovery, and I suppose that's a fair question. Perhaps I was just reminded of it. Either way it turns out I don't like to compromise.

I made this discovery during a sluggish, humid run on Saturday morning, a morning following a party where I may have had a lot of bourbon. And maybe a few Moscow mules.  My legs felt like they were made of cement. I was also having difficulty catching my breath which isn't usually a problem I have while running. I was short on time and just ran a few miles to shake off the cobwebs, but even those few miles were tough. My body is less excited about running these towns these days than it is about taking a break. My mind is not happy with this disconnect.

Compromise is hard. I want it all. I want to do it all. I had a child and barely broke stride. We have a really active social life, busy jobs, intense travel schedules (both for business and pleasure) and a toddler, and I want to keep it all going. For 18 months I've kept all the balls in the air, and now I realize I may have to let something drop. I am not amused.

The thing that's been dropping of late is exercise which isn't ideal. It's my outlet, and I need to exercise to be sane. But my body is tired, and my joints hurt. Last night I came home from work and changed into cute workout clothes because that would motivate me right? After my son went to bed I walked my dogs and then curled up on the couch to catch up on Veep with my husband before collapsing into bed at the late hour of 9 pm. I did wake up early this morning to do yoga and write this blog, and my body feels relaxed and balanced. Note to self: compromise must include exercise and writing.

I said to a friend last week that I'm making a most valiant effort to slow down, but what am I supposed to give up? Being a good mom? Working hard at my job? Having a fun social life (okay that's probably it but I don't want to)? What happens is that the people closest to me - my husband, family and friends - end up getting the least of me because they have to love me. They have to understand. That's also not fair, and then I feel guilty about not putting enough time into those critical relationships. The cycle continues.

My husband has taken a busy new job, and my sleepy work travel schedule wakes up in June. It's a busy few months, and it's a delicate balancing act to figure out our work travel. Last week my husband was in DC Sunday through Wednesday. I left Wednesday for an overnight in Detroit and he swooped in for kid pick-up late that afternoon directly from the airport. Next week he's in Northern Michigan for a conference Monday through Wednesday, and there's another handoff as I head to Northern Michigan for my board retreat as he comes home. The transitions are more work than they look like, but for our son they need to be seamless. I wouldn't change our jobs we love for anything, but there's not a lot of room for compromise. Maybe I didn't need to be out late while in Detroit last week for work and then up at 6:20 for a group run, but it was one of the highlights of the event for me. Worth not compromising. 

Early morning run at the Congress for New Urbanism (I'm in the blue shirt)
After our busy travel week last week my husband and I capped it off by throwing a party at our house and heading to hang out with family at the lake the next day.  I was tired, but I still want it all. It's hard to figure out the balance between pushing too hard and the realization that life is short, and compromise is annoying. Maybe I can't always have it all, but that isn't going to stop me from trying. Now has anyone seen my running shoes?

With my dude at the lake. The best.

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