Sunday, September 4, 2011

About Face

This post has been brewing for quite some time, I just haven't quite been able to put it all together in my head and I wasn't sure what the exact context would be. Then it finally all became clear and here we are.

I've been thinking about how we sometimes make decisions in our lives and feel like it's the right thing to do at the time, but then somewhere down the line begin to wonder if it really was the right choice. It can seem okay for a while, but then you get a little distance on things and think "Maybe I did something wrong. Maybe I made the wrong choice." Then come the inevitable questions: What do I do now? How do I go back without looking like a flip-flopper/failure? What will people think or say when they find out I changed my mind?

When it isn't me that has to face these questions for myself, the answers seem simple. What do I do now? Make it right. Fix whatever is wrong. Un-do whatever you did. How do I go back without looking like a flip-flopper/failure? Make the necessary changes and simply face the consequences (keeping in mind that consquences aren't always negative or bad). It's easier than trying to do everything else under the sun to avoid the problem/wrong decision. The shortest distance between two points, after all, is a straight line. What will people think or say when they find out I change my mind? Who cares what they think or say? It isn't their life, it's yours. Besides, after the initial shock or surprise, they will get over it. Chances are, they'll forget you ever had this little bump in the road. You're the only one who really remembers things that involve you.

It's a little more difficult when I have to actually do as I would say. I was going back and forth about something in my head that just didn't feel right, but instead of just giving up, I was continuing to push forward. The problem was that I didn't feel like I was making any progress, I really felt like I was regressing. In my mind, it seemed easy or possible, but when I actually had to attempt things, it wasn't that way at all. As I began to face the reality that maybe I wasn't doing what was right or best, that notion made sense, but I was hung up on what people would say or what they would think of me.

Finally, I had to say "You know what? I can't worry about anyone but myself. I can't put myself, my body, my sanity, my happiness at risk because of what other people will say or think. That's not fair to me and I'm the one who will suffer most." You know Dr. Seuss saying: "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." As soon as I realized that and faced the fact that I was being my own worst critic, the decision was made.

I'm not going to run the Marine Corps Marathon after all. It's not been an easy decision, but it is something that's been nagging me for quite some time. For me, it's better to lose the money that I paid for the registration than to spend even more money to go to D.C. and not be able to finish the race or, worse, get hurt, which is a very real possibility if I'm not ready. 26.2 miles is a long way. It's not something to be taken lightly and, frankly, I'm just not there. While I'm disappointed that I won't get to experience the race itself and D.C. from that vantage point, I feel great about the decision. Almost immediately, I felt like a weight had been lifted. (I also may or may not have started to feel like I can actually eat things I want again!)

This in no way means that I'm going to stop running. I just realize that I'm not capable of running a full marathon right now. Maybe I never will be. I do want to do another half marathon, though, and have plans to run the Disney Half Marathon again in January. That is a goal that is perfectly attainable and I'm in a good place to begin training for it. I can also set realistic goals for improving on last year's race.

I know that this idea applies to other areas of my life, too, this idea of doing what's right for me, but not necessarily for everyone else. It's hard to change. It's hard to go back on something that you said you would do or felt so strongly about, but the reality is that things change. Situations evolve and change and you sometimes need to revisit something you thought was a done deal. I think that to be able to face things and say "I was wrong about this" and doing whatever it may be to correct the sitation says a lot. I also know that you tend to suffer less the sooner you're able to correct things. Dragging it out doesn't do anyone any good.


Noelle said...

Those decisions are the hardest to make. As long as you feel like you did what's best for you, that's all that matters. There's always next year.

Melissa said...

Good call JAC. We got your back lady. Hey, do come run and sculpt now and then with us though!! We miss you girl.

Jill said...

Just found your blog - great stuff. I love REAL blogposts about REAL issues. I am glad that you got back on track with what is right for you right now. There will be other opportunities - should you desire to have them. :)