Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Two Reasons to Pause

This week I have had to reasons just to stop.

The first stopped me.  After two weeks that included two three day trips--to Tampa and Denver--being away during the unrest in Baltimore city, coming home to give nights of curfew, running as many miles in four days as I normally run in seven for two weeks in a row my body just said, "STOP".  Loudly and clearly.  I made it through a nearly 12 mile run on Sunday morning, but the miles got slower and slower.  My running partner had every right just to go ahead. But like a good friend, she would not leave me behind.  She encouraged me to finish.  I should have slowed my day down there.  But I still made a mother's day dinner for Sherry (as I had planned to), went for massages with Sherry, and then served dinner, and went to mass.  It was when we got home from mass that I just collapsed.  Slept for 10 hours.  And then tried to go to work on Monday.  I had not recovered.  I stayed at work for 2 1/2 hours and didn't make it past that.  My body reminded me that ever after putting it through 2200 miles last year and while only planning to put it through 1500 thsi year, I still cannot mistreat it.  There are limits I must respect.  And I was not respecting them.  So, my body made me pause.  That gave me some time to think about how to balance all I want to get done--which is and will always continue to be A LOT--and the need to just pause.  Pause to reset my mental health.  Pause to reset my physical health.  Pause because it is the necessary thing to do.  And if I do not give my body at least an opportunity to stop and sit and veg-out and just watch TV or get some extra rest every once in a while, then it will make me pause for longer than I had planned and longer than I would have to if I worked the pausing into my plans.  There is a lot to think about as I try to plan out how to lead my life in a way that will benefit myself and my family as much as possible.

The second made me pause in my tracks. I had recently met the co-founder of an education technology company. There was an Amtrak accident yesterday in which several people died tragically when the train derailed not far north of the 30th Street station in Philadelphia.  I would not want anyone dead or injured on a commuter train--especially one that would then prevent me from making it to an appointment later in the week. But then I found out that one of the people who passed away was the CEO of the education technology company whose co-founder I had met.  Someone with a child.  Someone who was just commuting between Philadelphia and the New York City area for her job.  Someone who had left 30th Street Station with one simple expectation--to arrive home safely.  And because the train approached a curve at more than twice the recommended speed, the train derailed and a person lost her life at random.  But those who lost their lives are just that--people.  Someone's mother, wife, daughter, sister.  Someone else's son or bother.  Each person has a story.  It can be all too easy for me to hear the statistics but be almost immune to the enormity of what had occurred.  Until I found out how close to me this was.  And then, I had to pause.  And remember, once again in my life, to hug my kids a little tighter.  To cuddle with my wife.  To tell my friends how great they are.  And to tell my colleagues how much I appreciate them.  To pause to do each of these as often as possible.  

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