Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I have trouble with steady.

The other day, running (uphill), I launched into "lamp-post" negotiations: when I reach that pole...  I started thinking...  I'll walk. Then I changed my mind: No, I'll run faster. I wanted to keep going, just not at the same painfully steady pace. In this moment, kicking it up, pushing harder, was far more appealing than chugging along.

I'm sure there's plenty of science to explain that tendency but, right now, I'm too lazy to look it up. Pretty sure it has to do with dopamine. And instant gratification. And all the things that make me constantly crave new things. A tricky thing for a mom of two with a full-time job and a mortgage. There's a lot of routine in my world. A lot of Groundhog Days.

On one hand, there's daily evidence of rapid change: Soft buttery bellies have leaned out and are starting to ripple into skinny-boy six-packs. (The adults 'round here are evolving in the opposite direction, albeit much more slowly.) And, still, some definitive firsts. J boarded a school bus for the first time last week. K refused to wear a Pull-Up to bed tonight. (I deferred on that and will probably be paying at 2 am.)  Milestones—yes. But not mine.

I've just come off a big run of years marked by proposals, big plans and pregnancies, promotions and well-received pitches. Major purchases. Attention, recognition, acquistion. All exciting stuff, great for unleashing big hits of dopamine—a chemical that drives us all and me, I have evidence to believe, moreso than others. So that was good. But my cadence these days is different. My world is mostly about maintaining and sustaining, improving status-quo systems—and ones that are constantly shifting. Going with the flow, patiently, with a big-picture focus. Trusting that I'm not messing everything up without the proof of solid analytics.

I'm not naturally wired to lean into that—but I'm trying. Because I can see that "succeeding" at that effort would be a beautiful thing.

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