Of Goals and such

Things are beginning to slow down a bit on the work front (at least, in terms of programs) and so I have had some time to read again, as well as to think over my own activities and engagements.  I had been trying to run more recently, but I had been having trouble with consistency.  And so I came up with a goal to impose consistency on myself:  20 miles a week.  It isn’t much, under 3 miles a day, in fact, but the real kicker is that I have to run at least 4 times a week if I am going to make it (mostly because I am not a big fan of long runs).  Further more, to give the goal some weight, I have decided that I will reward myself if I can make it to 200 miles on this goal: that’s 10 weeks, to be precise.  If I can make it 10 weeks on this goal, I get to buy my own homebrewer’s kit, and start experimenting with beer-making.  I have wanted to do this for a while, and so I see my coupling of the two as one more way to reinforce my desire for consistent exercise.

I am doing well for this week (up to 13.1 miles as of Wednesday night) so hopefully I will be brewing beer come July 9th.

Wish me luck!

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The Joy of Waiting

So often I hear the experience of waiting described as hell, as agony, as the most distressing aspect of getting to something.  In the book I am reading right now, for example, the protagonist describes the moments before a cross country race as the worst part of his running experience, worse even than the pain of sprinting through six miles, of choking and gasping for breath at the end of it all.  Many others describe how waiting seems to drag on forever–children watching the clock for the bell to ring, college grads waiting for the results of a test or interview.  In my case, there is a lot of waiting to be had these days, but I find that, rather than dreading the wait, I have been basking in this in-between time of sorts, for it has allowed me to, of all things, take a moment of pause and to return to some of the simple things that give me joy.  

As I wait for, variously, graduation, a job, and my marriage, I find that I am more than content to indulge three of my favored (and often neglected) habits–reading, cooking, and running.  It is truly interesting to me, in fact, to discover how quickly the joy of some of these pursuits returns, for it was seldom to never the case that I would pick up a book for fun during my studies.  And yet, less than twenty four hours after my FINAL final I found myself devouring fiction like I had been starving these last few years.  I am beginning even to resent the reality that i will soon be far removed from my beloved Harvard library system, wherein my heart’s desire could be mine within hours, as long as it wasn’t already in use.

The gym has been a similar experience.  Sure, I have been diligent in going to the gym throughout my time at school, but my free schedule has allowed me to explore new things, to push myself in ways that my former time limitations couldn’t and wouldn’t allow.  I have tried two-a-days, for example, and find that I rather enjoy the burn.  It also doesn’t hurt to have access to a nicely subsidized Harvard Wellness Center that offers lovely massage services!

Finally, I have had time to indulge some of my sillier habits with regards to cooking, which I must say has been wonderful.  I am back to making granola again, which is hands down the best breakfast I can imagine.  Furthermore, I have the luxury of listening to my gut rather than planning around classes and travel–in other words, I eat when I am hungry, which is infinitely more satisfying.

As an aside, all this time to read and think has been good for my Spirit– I have found myself more open to exploring some ideas that I didn’t previously have time for, not only reading pursuits but also theological and pedagogical interests.  I have been thinking about sermons more, for instance, and it feels good to be creative.