A Room of One’s Own

Posted by: , June 15, 2011 in 10:32 am

a room of one_s ownI am drowning. Drowning in the omnipresent laundry, drowning in macaroni and cheese, drowning in the needy needs of my children. Virginia Woolf famously wrote that in order to write, a woman must have money and a room of her own. No duh, Virginia. This was, apparently, groundbreaking news in 1929. She didn’t mean a literal room, although there’s no denying that helps. She meant that there is a need for both creative and personal liberty.

That’s all well and good, but I’d like to take the idea a little further by suggesting that perhaps what we all need — writers or not — is a freaking moment to ourselves in order to think straight and/or not go batshit insane.

I used to run. Once the kids were in bed, I would go to the Y and run on the treadmill, five or six miles. At the height of it, I was running five miles most days. It’s not that much compared to some, but it was a heck of a lot to me. Then I got into swimming, and added that into my routine. I was super-fit, but more importantly, I was relaxed.

That was three years ago. In the mean time, our lives exploded into a maelstrom of doctor’s appointments, therapies, and school meetings. I would sometimes make the effort, but I never committed to it again enough to justify new running shoes. Good ones are expensive, and I’ve been working out in a pair that should have been retired at least two years ago.

It’s odd that in the last three years, I’ve probably bought at least twenty pairs of shoes for my kids, since their feet seem to grow overnight.  For myself during that time, I bought one pair of flip-flops at Walmart, and of course, my boots.  But the boots were a necessity for IEP meetings.

I need to get back to running. Not for the love of smaller pants, but for the love of having a moment to myself. For the love of being physically exhausted instead of just emotionally exhausted. For the love of being sweaty and gross *on purpose* instead of just because I didn’t have time to shower this morning and then I spent all day chasing my peanut butter-encrusted children.  For the love of rocking out to tunes on my iPod that are completely inappropriate for my kids.

We’re saving up for the next house, so joining the Y isn’t really an option right now. But there are sidewalks. And there are Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. And there is the brand-new pair of running shoes I just broke in.

 A Room of Ones Own
New kicks + long run = instant mood boost.

p.s. Here’s one of the songs on my iPod for running:

My apologies to my local friends if they happen to see me doing James Brown’s funky dance moves while I’m running


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