I spent much of this week feeling pretty miserable (physically and a little bit emotionally, but mostly physically) and watching (despite my better judgment) the political theater currently unfolding in Washington. Correlation does not equal causation, but there was a bit of overlap on Thursday.* However, my melancholy mainly sprung from 1) a cold and 2) a few minor running injuries, which have prevented me from training over the past few weeks. I can neither confirm nor deny that homesickness may have played a small role in my melancholy as well.
Being sick is never fun. Being sick in a foreign country while training for a marathon is definitely not something to put on your bucket list. Being sick while training for a marathon and trying to not pay attention to or care about the current Supreme Court confirmation crisis and failing is just pure agony.
What’s a girl to do?
- Call Mother (especially if your Mother is a doctor). She will tell you what medicine to buy. She will also prescribe lots of tea and rest. You dutifully follow through on her orders.
- Call Father. He will talk to you about the SCOTUS news, which you watched too much of while carrying out Mother’s orders. He will usually try to be more optimistic than you, at least while on the phone. He is trying to cheer you up. He will encourage you to watch feel good movies instead, such as “The Quiet Man” or “Taken.”
- Go for a run. Despite being advised to rest, you feel the need to put in a couple of miles. After all, you have a marathon to run in less than two weeks and you haven’t really been able to run for the last week or so due to some troublesome, minor injuries.
- Call unofficial running coach. You were unable to run more than a mile. This is partially due to your inability to breathe effectively (remember you’re sick) and a sharp pain in both your legs. The pain is the main reason you stop, breathing deeply is overrated.** Your unofficial running coach (thanks, Jason) suggests new shoes and to not stress out. You’ve got this!
- Decide to take a trip. You realize that you haven’t left Dublin in three weeks! The horror! You haven’t seen very much of Ireland yet and maybe the change of scenery will help you feel better. You book an Airbnb and train tickets. You and your head congestion find themselves on the way to Kilkenny for forty-eight hours.
- Listen to your “Favorites” playlist on Spotify. While on the train, you are grumpy. It is early. You can’t breath well and your head hurts. You decide to listen to music. The first song is “Be Still My Soul.” (Apparently, God sometimes uses your music provider to remind you of important truths.) This song is a not-so-subtle reminder that God’s got this, not you. The second song to play is “I have Confidence” from The Sound of Music. Another not-so-subtle reminder that attitude plays a big part in how we approach the ups and downs of life.
- Turn off your “Favorites” playlist. You’ve had enough of not-so-subtle reminders for the day.
- Arrive in Kilkenny. You’re here. First order of business, you acquire Flonase. Second order of business, you acquire breakfast. Your physical and mental state improve greatly after these two things are accomplished. You’re ready for whatever comes next.
- Realize that castles should have never gone out of style. While touring the local castle, you are saddened by the fact that castles and ruins of castles do not exist with any regularity (or really at all) in your country. It’s time for a new architectural revival.
- Count your blessings. After wandering around the castle and the town, you go to a café. You order a cup of tea and a scone. You pull out your Kindle*** and settle down to re-read a favorite book. Your thoughts wander. You realize that Winnie-the-Pooh was very right when he said, “I think some people care too much. It’s called love.” Even though it isn’t always easy, you love a lot a things. You love running. You love your country. You love your family. You love God. You love adventures. You love your life. You wouldn’t trade a thing. Suddenly, you don’t feel even a little bit miserable (physically or emotionally). You are ready for whatever happens next!
I have confidence in sunshine!I have confidence in rain!I have confidence that spring will come again!Besides which you see I have confidence in me! – Maria, “I have Confidence”
* Let’s be honest, there was a lot of overlap on Thursday
**Being a swimmer, you sometimes forget that breathing regularly is required in other sports.
***Yes, I know. I hate Kindles as well, but while traveling it’s kind of hard to pack around my library.