Two years ago, when I was pregnant with my second baby, Mischa, I started keeping a journal, The Book of Things That Shall Come to Pass. Really it is just a stream of consciousness list of goals, plans, ideals and musings on how to achieve these things that shall come to pass. I have been sick with mono for the past two months – my illness has taken me away from so many things that are important to me. Through the boredom, guilt of being so unproductive and missing my former life, I found clarity in reading my journal and adding to it’s pages.
In the middle of September when I was deep in the worst part of my illness, Jesse came home at lunchtime to visit me. Waking up in the middle of the day put me into a confused panic. Why was I sleeping? Where were my kids? What was I supposed to be doing? He sat on the edge of the bed and listened to me cry about how pathetic my life had become. I couldn’t even take care of my kids for a full day, I let my running fitness go, I lost contact with friends, I fell behind with my responsibilities on the farm, and I couldn’t take care of our animals. Worse, I was selling their meat without being involved in their lives – just the separation I felt critical of in the meat industry. I had fallen so far from the balanced life I had worked hard to create. Just let it go, he said. It will all be there when you get better. The more you just let it all go now, the faster you can come back to it. Listen to your body and you will get better. Trust me.
I spent a lot of days laying in bed looking out the window at the sun filled trees, scheming and plotting my return to life. One day I pulled out my journal to add some goals for 2016 – Run a 100k race, Run a 100 mile race. Then I read my book from the beginning and laughed out loud at the childish whimsy of some of the things on my list and the comments I had written next them. I was also so proud of the goals I had met and what I had accomplished is such a short time. An excerpt from the second page of my book – comments added later are italicized:
- Buy a house with enough land for 2 horses – in progress
- Buy 2 horses – name them Scarto and Argento like from Gladiator
- Run an ultra before Mischa’s 1st birthday – completed 7.12.14, 2nd place
- Win an ultra before Mischa’s 2nd birthday – completed 7.11.15, 50miles
- Grow my hair to my waist
- Get a piano – piano located, need bigger house
- Learn to play the piano
- Qualify for the Boston Marathon – completed 10.26.14
- Run a sub 3hr marathon
- Teach Paavo and Mischa basic Spanish – in progress
- Sew matching dresses for Mischa and me – purchased floral linen fabric 6.5.15
I am returning to running slowly. I have run a few short runs on the road and a few decent trail runs. My first time back on the trail was beautiful. The maple trees were dropping their helicopter seeds as I darted through the forest with the nimbleness of a deer. I took steady breaths through my nose as I plunged down steep sections of single track. Coming back up was a little harder but the burning in my lungs felt good. My passion for running is unflappable. I am more interested now than ever and my frustration and sadness have been channeled into a fierceness that I didn’t have before.
The Book of Things That Shall Come to Pass has a lot of new entries and soon I will be able to write completed next to several of the milestones. Within the next few weeks we will begin construction on our new house. It will be big enough for a piano. There is more than enough land for two horses – though I’m not sure how soon that dream will come true. Paavo counts to 10 in Spanish and my hair is almost down to my waist. I registered for a 100k race in February in California. After I finish writing this I am going to go start sewing matching dresses for Mischa and me.