Friday, July 25, 2014

Move it or lose it...or stick it in a box and worry about it later

I moved in with the BF last weekend, and that statement reflects just as much prospective long-term joy as it does short-term agitation. “Moving” is one of the great one-word oxymorons of all time, isn’t it? Good grief, but you never feel more stuck and stagnant and unmoving as when you have to put every single stupid thing you own into a box knowing you’re going to have to do it all in reverse a little while later. And unlike a lot of tasks that require steady effort toward an ultimate goal, this one gets less satisfying the further along you get. There’s always that moment during packing when you have a lot of weird random shit left that doesn’t quite fit in boxes or else fits but won’t let you put anything else in there with it so there goes a whole box on that stupid whatsit and why the hell do I even have that whatsit in the first place when I should have gotten rid of it several moves ago but then who in the world would want a whatsit so I guess I’ll just put it in a box and take it with me yet again.

I’m not a pack rat compared to genuine hoarder rodents out there, though the BF, having watched me systematically annex every available closet, drawer, and cabinet in the entire house (and it's a big house), doesn't believe this. I will admit that there are a few areas I’m particularly bad about:

1) Books. In my defense, they didn’t have Kindles or Nooks when I acquired most of my current library. Against my defense, I still have no plans to buy one of those contraptions.

2) Clothes. This is embarrassing, I have to say. No one should have this much clothing. Again in my defense, I’ve had several different careers, each requiring a different type of wardrobe, everything from the London Fog trench coat I needed for my Wall Street gig to the pajamas that are required for my online job at home. Moreover, like a lot of people, I’ve gained and lost weight over the years to the point where I have about five different sizes represented in my garb. The biggest sizes are from when I ate out every night in Manhattan because that’s just what you do in a city where kitchens are used as closets. The smallest sizes are from the year I took my running obsession to crazed extremes. That was the year that, for the first time in my life, when I visited my mother (who has always thought my sister and I were overweight because my mother has weighed about 97 pounds most of her life) took one look at me and exclaimed, “You’re so thin!” I hated the way she used to get on us about our weight—way to promote eating disorders, Ma!—and as such I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed hearing her say that as much as I did…but I did. Gist is it's not just clothing; it's, like, identity. Yeah.

3) Outdated technology. I have, I kid you not, a Macintosh Classic. I have a whole box of floppies that go with it. If you don’t know what I just said, congratulations, you’re not yet middle-aged. I also have a typewriter. See previous sentence.

4) Paper. I have phone bills from like ten years ago, filed carefully away. I’m supposed to shred these after a while but shredding takes so freakin’ long compared to shoving something in a file folder and slamming shut a drawer, you know? I also have notebooks of my writing from decades ago. I’m afraid to look.

I had every intention, as I always do, of getting my act together, of throwing out what needs to be thrown out and organizing what needs to be saved. Yeah, that so didn’t happen. At some point I did what I always do: shoved stuff in boxes and shoved the boxes where I can’t see them. “Moving” doesn’t necessarily equal “progress,” it would seem.

This is true of a lot of things, I think. When there’s a goal you want to achieve, you’d like to tell yourself that every day you get a little closer, everything you do is a step in the right direction, blah blah blah, but be honest, a lot of the time feel like you aren’t going anywhere at all. Even—and here it comes, at last!—with running, which would seem to be definitionally all about moving forward and making progress, there are times you start to wonder if it isn’t all just running around in circles.

For this week’s BQ speedwork I moved up to 4-2 intervals, which means 4 minutes at the fastest pace and 2 minutes at a slower, recovery pace. Prior to this I’d been doing 2-2-2, with the middle “2” representing a moderate pace. There was no moderate this week, and while 4 minutes may  not seem like a long time, well, do me a favor and hold your breath. Now don’t exhale for the next 4 minu…you already took a breath, didn’t you.

The 4-2 didn’t go well. It was one of those wet-cement runs where your legs just cannot give you the speed you want. That whole non-runner thing about how they only run if something is chasing them? Yeah, there could have been saber-toothed tigers after me; wouldn’t have made a diff. The last couple of weeks of speedwork have been modest successes, so it was disheartening to go back to a run that was very much off target. Of course the BF reminded me that this was to be expected; this is the next step up, after all, and it took me several weeks to get comfortable with the 2-2-2s. I know this—I know it—but it’s still hard not to wonder, each time a run doesn’t go as desired, whether I’m really moving forward.

Of course, there’s only one way to know if you’re moving forward, and that’s…to move forward. The boxes will get put away, another 4-2 session goes down next week, and a new life on the other side of town lies ahead. On we go.


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