How To Beat The Week (And Maybe Stay Sane)

life hacks, advice, mental health, dealing with stress, humor, Modern PhilosopherIf you’re like me, Modern Philosophers, in that you would prefer not to add a straitjacket to your Fall Fashion ensemble, then you need to learn to beat the week.

Let’s be honest…the work week is largely responsible for stress levels skyrocketing into the danger zone.

They say it’s only forty hours out of our lives, but we all know that’s a lie.  If it weren’t for having to be at work, we wouldn’t be getting up so early.  There’s also the commute time.  And the time it takes for us to decompress once we finally return home.

The work week isn’t going anywhere or getting shorter.  It’s like the bully in the schoolyard, just standing by the swings, smirking at you, and waiting to shake you down for your lunch money.

So how do you deal with this kind of bully without completely losing your marbles?

I say you stand up to it.  Don’t alter your routine.  Just go about your business as usual.  A bully often gets bored if he doesn’t get a reaction out of you, and will move on to a new, more rewarding target.

Do your thing.  Get through the week.  Don’t let it see you sweat.  All you need to do is survive until 5:00, and then you regain possession of your soul.

Perhaps that sounds like lousy advice, but I’m all about not giving the stress any more power over you.  Sure, making it through the day might be a struggle, but if you snap and lost your $%^&, then it becomes an entirely different beast.

life hacks, advice, mental health, dealing with stress, humor, Modern PhilosopherLike Obi Wan after his death, it will become more powerful than you could ever imagine.

So your advice is to do nothing?  And you think throwing in a Star Wars reference suddenly makes it witty?  Why not tell us to use the Jedi Mind Trick on the work week?

Patient, young Jedi.  I’m still getting to my point.

Yes, my advice is to go about your business as usual, and not allow the work week to intimidate you into changing how you lead your life.

But there’s more Modern Philosopher wisdom on the way.

Survive the week, but then dominate the weekend.

If you can do that, you keep the bats in your belfry content, and your wardrobe free of straitjackets.

It’s how you recover from the week and then prepare for the next one that determines how well you are going to deal with whatever stress the work week throws at you.

life hacks, advice, mental health, dealing with stress, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’m giving you advice that I have put to use myself.

These past couple of weeks have been rough.  We have been short staffed at the office, so I have been working a lot of overtime.  However, I have not missed a single day of running.  Plus, I’m still going for walks on all my breaks and after dinner.

This morning, I started my weekend with a run of 7.25 miles.  That’s a personal distance record for me, and it was exactly what I needed after the week I survived.

This week, I lost out on an opportunity that I believed was really going to help me move forward in my writing career.  I’m very disappointed, and it was the sort of news that could have put me in a total funk.

But I didn’t let the stress break me.  I just went about my day, kept working on the rewrite of my new screenplay, continued to outline the secret writing project, and reached out to a friend about working on another project together.

Then I ran 7.25 miles this morning.  It is no mistake that I took it well beyond my usual 6 mile Saturday outing.  That was me taking control of my life, proving that the weekend is my time, and reminding myself that I can not only overcome adversity, but also use it as fuel for my creative fire.

Running clears my head, and writing unleashes the creative flow that drowns the stress.  When I want to treat my brain to a much deserved escape, I get lost in a good book.  So I went to the library earlier this week, and checked out the new offering from one of my favorite writers, Dennis Lehane.

And because this week was extra stressful, I upped the ante on my escapism.  It’s absolutely gorgeous here today, more like a Summer day, than the first Saturday of Autumn.  With that in mind, I wandered down to the waterfront to read.

This was my view…

life hacks, advice, mental health, dealing with stress, humor, Modern PhilosopherOh, you want to see more?  I can do that…

life hacks, advice, mental health, dealing with stress, humor, Modern PhilosopherI found a bench in the shade, and then dove into the book for over an hour.  It was incredibly relaxing, the fresh air cleared away any remnants of stress that had survived my run, and the peace and quiet made me feel like the rest of the world had disappeared.

Take that, stressful work week.  You have no power over me!

life hacks, advice, mental health, dealing with stress, humor, Modern Philosopherlife hacks, advice, mental health, dealing with stress, humor, Modern PhilosopherI threw in those last two photos to help you relax a little.  Isn’t it beautiful?

I’m watching the Yankees, writing my blog post, and enjoying a most relaxing Saturday.  That, Modern Philosophers, is how you beat the week!  (And maybe stay sane…)

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Dislike This Work Week

poem, humor, dealing with stress, work, Friday, Modern PhilosopherDislike

This work week,

Yes, I do.

Dislike

This work week,

How ’bout you?

Too much stress

And headaches

To my dismay.

Thank God

It’s Friday,

Is all I’ll say.

A week of Fridays

Would be

A blast.

That way

The work stress

Would never last.

Let’s make

The weekend

Twice as long.

A four day

Weekend

Just can’t go wrong.

Money

Can’t buy

Mental health,

But I

Wouldn’t mind

A little wealth.

Pay me

Just enough

For all my bills,

Because

Working too much

Surely kills.

Just go away

And let me

Sleep.

Having

To work

Makes me weep.

I can’t

Keep doing

This 9 to 5.

I need

Some fun

To stay alive.

A working stiff

Is just a

Well dressed corpse.

And your desk

Is a casket

You know, of course.

Only the weekend

Can set

My soul free,

And finally

Allow the time

To be me.

Dislike

This work week,

Yes, I do.

Dislike

This work week?

What say you?

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Just Say AAAAGGHH!!!

life, stress, mental health, humor, Modern PhilosopherDo you ever just want to scream, Modern Philosophers?

I had one of those days today.  There was nothing in particular that caused my big pot of stress to boil rapidly, but the cover was ready to blow off that bad boy by the end of the work day.

On our afternoon walk, Mrs. Fish mentioned that I was being very quiet.  Which is ironic given that I wanted to just scream, but I explained that the day had simply gotten the best of me and I was spent.

Plus, polite society frowns upon random shrieking.

The thing of it is, letting it all out probably would have been exactly the release I needed to get me through my day.

When a radiator is overheating, you bleed it, right?

A high decibel, lung rattling, throat scratching scream would’ve done the trick.

But you can’t scream at work.

At least that was the argument that common sense made any time I went to open my mouth and just let it go.

I thought about screaming in the car during my drive home, but there was a really good song on the radio, so I sang along instead.  Plus, I didn’t want to stain the RAV4’s brand new interior with that kind of stress and angst.

When I got back to The House on the Hill, the interns made it perfectly clear that they would not put up with any ear piercing freakishness out of me.

Those college kids know nothing about how to deal with stress.  They just post witty memes and bitch about their problems in 140 characters or less on Twitter.

Whatever happened to a good scream to clear the pipes and calm the mind?

life, stress, mental health, humor, Modern Philosopher, ScreamGhostface knew how to help teens get out the bad stuff.  And I don’t mean by gutting them with that big knife.

He made them scream.  Out with the bad.  In with the tolerable until things get better.

I was going to scream after dinner, since the interns were gone for the day, but Cali was sleeping and looked totally adorable.  I didn’t have the heart to wake my kitty.

Even though they hang out with witches often, black cats are very skittish.  They prefer a loud cackle to a glass shattering scream.

Besides, after being home for an hour, I felt a little better.  Plus, I had taken the time to type up something that had really been bothering me, and getting that out of my head really helped lower the stress levels.

I went for my after dinner walk, and that was probably the best thing I could have done in lieu of the big scream.

life, stress, mental health, humor, Modern PhilosopherThere was a light rain falling, and it was just chilly enough to wear a windbreaker.

No one else was out, so I had the streets all to myself to clear my head.

I probably could’ve screamed at the top of my lungs and not have bothered a soul.

But I let my thoughts drift off to a happy, peaceful, quiet place.  I started to mentally outline the secret writing project that has been taking up a majority of my creative time lately.

Writing has always been my best escape, and tonight it saved me from a sore thought and raspy voice tomorrow.

I do, however, reserve the right to scream if the mood hits.  After all, this is America, and if our leader has taught up anything, it’s that you never hold anything in.  Just let it out.

Even if it’s just to say AAAAGGHH!!!

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When The Smoke Clears

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, Lost, Stephen King, How I Met Your Mother, humor, Modern Philosopher“I had the craziest dream last night,” I revealed to my guest when the football game finally went to commercial.

“Give me one second,” The Devil requested.

As always, he was well dressed in an impeccably tailored suit.  He had been reading the Sunday paper because the current game didn’t interest him, but now he carefully folded the paper and placed it on the table.  Then he fished a bottle of Snapple out of the cooler.

“Now I’m ready,” Lucifer informed me.  “Your dreams are always so interesting, and I wanted to prepare myself.”

He flashed me a devilish grin and took a long sip of Snapple.

“I was out for a run, and up ahead of me, I noticed a female runner,” I began my wild tale.  “The view from behind was quite enticing, so I decided to speed up my pace in hopes of catching up with her.  Maybe chatting her up and such…”

“A bold move.  I guess you’re much more confident with the opposite sex in your dreams,” The Prince of Darkness teased.

He was right, but I still gave him a dirty look.  This was my house, and you don’t come into my house and start talking smack without any sort of reply.  Even if it’s just a look.

“I finally catch up to her, and she’s a total knockout,” I continued.  “That’s when I realized I knew her.  It was Kate from Lost.  Do you remember that show?  It was about the plane crash survivors on that crazy island that might have been Purgatory?”

Satan nodded.  “I remember.  I’ve also been to Purgatory, and that lovely tropical island was not Purgatory.”

I rolled my eyes at his tossing an amazing personal fact into my story, and just kept moving forward.

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, Lost, Stephen King, How I Met Your Mother, humor, Modern Philosopher“Kate looks over at me, she’s clearly freaked out, but for once, a woman wasn’t upset because I’d tried to talk to her,” I joked.  “She told me we needed to run faster because the Smoke Monster was coming.”

“I turn around and sure enough, that creepy, smoky, black presence that the show never really explained was quickly closing ground on us.”

“So what did you do?” The Devil challenged.  “Did you man up and try to protect the beautiful woman from the sinister smoke, or did you run like the wind to escape?”

“I chose the latter,” I replied without hesitation.  “Kate is a total babe, but I knew she was into either Sawyer or Jack, and I really couldn’t compete with those guys.  So I found that extra gear I always need on the last mile of my run, and left her in the dust.”

“And here I thought the Nuns had raised you to be a proper gentleman,” Lucifer quipped as he took another sip of Snapple.

“They never covered what to do with Smoke Monsters, but survival mode, which is something one picks up from twelve years of Catholic School, kicked in on its own,” I informed him defiantly.  “I’m sure Jesus wanted me to save myself.”

“Jesus wants a lot of things from you, brother,” The Prince of Darkness snickered.

“Anyhow, I’m running as fast as I can, checking over my shoulder often, and the black smoke is still there,” I kept going with my story.  “There was no sign of Kate, so I hoped she had found shelter.  Eager to save my own ass, I cut down a side street I’d never noticed during my previous runs.”

“Oh boy,” Satan chuckled.  “This is where the character always dies in the scary movie.”

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, Lost, Stephen King, How I Met Your Mother, humor, Modern Philosopher“I’m booking down the street faster than I’ve ever run in my life, and next thing I know, I’m in front of Stephen King’s house.”

“Which is nowhere near your running route, and on the other side of the river,” The Devil pointed out for those of you not familiar with the neighborhood.

“Correct,” I agreed.  “But there I was, in front of the iconic gates, stopping like a total fan boy to check out his house.  The Smoke Monster is bearing down on me, but I don’t care because I’m pulling out my cell phone to take a selfie.”

“Stephen King then appears out of nowhere, yells at the Smoke Monster to beat it, and old smoke face turns around and hightails it out of there.”

“Uncle Stevie is a frightening being in his own right,” Lucifer commented.  “The Smoke Monster was probably afraid Pennywise would crawl up out of a sewer to do his master’s bidding.  I’d flee, too.”

“So now it’s just me and Stephen King standing in front of his house,” I explain.  “In the fifteen years I’ve lived only a few miles from him, I’ve never run into the man.  But now he saves me from certain death and even volunteers to pose for a selfie with me.”

“He’s a classy guy,” The Prince of Darkness offered.

“The crazy thing is, he knows who I am,” I tell him with shock in my voice.  “He says he’s glad we had this run in because he was about to call me.  He’d read my blog, he’d watched the trailers for my movies, and he’d even called Danny to ask about how I was as a writer for The Nite Show.”

“And why was Maine’s most famous resident stalking you?” Satan asked.

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, Lost, Stephen King, How I Met Your Mother, humor, Modern Philosopher“He wanted me to write the screenplay for the remake of Salem’s Lot,” I excitedly replied.  “With the success of IT, Hollywood is all up in his business again, and he wanted the next movie written by a fellow Mainer.”

“He made a very generous offer, right there in the street.  Money up front to write the screenplay, enough to let me quit my job, and then an even bigger payday when I delivered the finished script.  It was unbelievable.”

“Like a dream come true?” The Devil snickered.

“Exactly!” I answered.  “It was everything I could want.”

“And you didn’t have to give up your eternal soul in the process,” Lucifer added with that devilish grin I had come to know so well.  “I hope you played hardball and told him he had to throw in a date with Kate before you’d accept.”

I chuckled as I reached for a Snapple from the cooler.

“Actually, there was one catch to the deal,” I admitted after taking a long, refreshing sip of my iced tea.  “Luckily, it did not involve my soul, but it was quite an ask.”

“Now this I need to hear,”  The Prince of Darkness admitted as he inched a little closer.

“He told me that he really liked my blog, enjoyed the trailers, and had heard great things about my writing from Danny, but before he could trust me with his book, I needed to prove my writing ability one more time.”

“Ooooo!” Satan chirped excitedly.  “Did he want you to write a story scary enough to make him have to sleep with the lights on?”

“That would have made perfect sense and been an awesome challenge,” I replied with a shake of my head.  “What he wanted, though, was a daunting task, but something I knew I could definitely handle…”

The Devil looked at me in consternation.  “Don’t leave me hanging, man.  What did Stephen King think would be a proper test of your writing ability?”

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, Lost, Stephen King, How I Met Your Mother, humor, Modern Philosopher“He wanted me to come up with a better ending for How I Met Your Mother,” I told him in an almost reverent whisper.  “He said he was a huge fan of the show, totally hated the way they wrapped it up, and he wanted me to come up with something that would allow him to finally sleep better at night.”

“I’ve always wondered what gave Stephen King nightmares,” Lucifer admitted.  “I had no idea it was the adventures of Ted Mosby and his quirky entourage.”

“It would explain why some of his writing is so twisted, though,” I offered.

The Prince of Darkness nodded in agreement.  The ending of How I Met Your Mother was a creepy Pandora’s Box neither of us wanted to open on the final Sunday of the Summer.

We would save that for our nightmares…

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I’m Losing The War On Dating

dating, relationships, break ups, getting back out there, humor, Modern PhilosopherI met with my top advisers and chief strategists today, Modern Philosophers, and one thing was clear…

I’m losing the War on Dating.

Last month, I decided to put myself back out there again.  It had been a little over a year since Melissa had chosen to stay in Ireland, and I was finally ready to try to meet someone new.

What happened with the Sweet Irish Girl had damaged me more than I’d ever let on.  We had been in the process of getting her work visa, and talking about a wedding.

When that all fall apart, seemingly out of the blue over a stupid argument, I was completely devastated.  I retreated deep into my shell, and swore I would never again expose my heart for anyone to destroy in such a manner.

And it took over a year.  In that time, I put on a lot of weight, became so reclusive that Howard Hughes would’ve called me a freak, and I simply accepted the fact that I was going to die alone, surrounded by interns who secretly hated my guts.

My self-confidence played a huge part in all this.  After what happened with Melissa, I had zero confidence in my choices, my instincts, or my chances of ever being loved again.

I had become a fat, blubbering mess who would never even consider making eye contact with a beautiful woman, let alone trying to ask her out.  I thought I’d done everything right in my previous relationship, but that had crashed and burned like all the others, so I had no faith that I’d ever get it right.

dating, relationships, break ups, getting back out there, humor, Modern PhilosopherThen I started running and lost over 50 lbs.  I felt better, looked better, and suddenly had self-confidence again.

Truth be told, I was incredibly lonely and really wanted to meet someone.

Sure, I was scared of being hurt again, but I was confident that love was out there.

I had to give dating another shot because the interns had researched arranged marriages, and that didn’t really look like it was going to be a viable option.

Although, I did stay open-minded to all possibilities.  Such as letting the gorgeous Mormon Missionary give me her entire pitch three times in one day because I so badly wanted to ask her out, and thought converting might be my only shot.

Once again, I asked my friends to set me up on a date.  This is my preferred method of dating, as I’d much rather someone who knows me introduce me to a woman with whom I might have a connection.

I don’t like using dating websites because everyone is weird (myself included) and because no one ever found true love online in a fairy tale.

As usual, no one had any single friends.  While this might have been true, it did shake my self-confidence as I took it to mean that they didn’t want to introduce me to their single friends for some reason.

dating, relationships, break ups, getting back out there, humor, Modern PhilosopherWhat’s wrong with me?  I’m a nice guy, somewhat attractive, with a decent job, a nice house, a new car, and a leaner, meaner physique.  I’m also hilarious.

Set me up on a date, people!  Please!  I’m not good at this and I don’t know how to meet women on my own!

I do know a couple of single woman, and I am very interested in dating them, but I can’t get a read on one, and the other is going through a really bad break up.  While I’m thrilled she is single again, I know now is not the time to ask her out, and I’m not sure when she might ever be ready to date.

As for the other potential date, I’ve come to realize that in all my serious relationships, the future girlfriend always made it abundantly clear she was interested before I ever got up the courage to ask her out.

I’m not very good at reading the signs, so I pretty much need to be beaten over the head with a sign that reads, “Austin, you idiot, I like you!  Ask me out, stupid!”

This woman is very shy, so I cannot tell if she is interested, giving me the cold shoulder, or doing an excellent mime imitation.  Despite my soaring self-confidence, I can’t find the courage to ask her out.  I think I’d be crushed if she said no, and I’m worried that would send me crying back into my crusty outer shell with the gooey, depressing center.

dating, relationships, break ups, getting back out there, humor, Modern PhilosopherSo I wait.  For some sign from her.  Or to finish my time machine so I can go into the future and see if we end up dating.  If we do, I’ll travel back to the present and ask her out without hesitation.

At the moment, the time machine is just a pile of parts in the garage, and paying for my new car has left me low on project funds.

Which means, since the Mormons no longer seem to be prowling the streets of my neighborhood, my only viable dating option is one of those dreaded websites.

I guess I could just cold call random numbers and ask if there are any single women in the home, but I don’t know if my cell phone plan can handle that kind of call volume.

So to the dating site I went.  I uploaded new photos of the happier, thinner, more confident me.  I rewrote my bio so it was more positive, fun, and enticing.  And then I composed lovely, thoughtful emails to the women who caught my attention.

And no one wrote back.

That was a real blow to the self-confidence and a major setback in the War on Dating.

Why no replies?  I’m not a male model, nor do I play one on TV, but by simply having a job, a car, my own home, and all my teeth, I should be considered a catch in these parts.

dating, relationships, break ups, getting back out there, humor, Modern PhilosopherI don’t get it.  Honestly.  What the hell does it take to find a date around here?

Am I that hideous?  Are women on this site holding out for Prince Charming or possibly Freddie Prinze, Jr?

Have I run out of my allotted girlfriends in this lifetime?

Whatever the reason, I’m home alone on a Saturday night writing about how I can’t find a date.  All day, I’ve had to fight off a very strong urge to open myself to some real pain by writing to Melissa to see if she’ll talk to me.

I’m tired of being single.  I’m making an effort, but I’m ready to wave the white flag in surrender.  I’m open to any suggestions, but please don’t tell me that love will find me if I’m patient.

It’s had over a year to track me down, which shouldn’t have been very difficult because I was always either at work or at The House on the Hill.

The War on Dating is hell, and it might be time for my dishonorable discharge.

I thought dating was supposed to be fun, not utterly demoralizing…

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Rooting For The Jets Is Hell

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, New York Jets, football, NFL, humor, Modern PhilosopherI turned off the TV in disgust after suffering through yet another loss by my beloved, but pathetic Jets.

The Devil snickered from behind the Sunday paper, so I glared over at him and called him on it.

“Do you have something to say?” I demanded as I snatched a Snapple out of the cooler in hopes of drowning my gridiron sorrows.

My guest put down the paper to face me.  As usual, he was well dressed in an impeccably tailored suit.  He had added a green tie, though, to support my team.

“Every season, you put on your Jets jersey and hat, and then sit down to watch the first game as visions of Super Bowls dance in your head,” Lucifer reminded me with a devilish grin on his handsome face.  “Three hours later, you are inevitably disappointed after they lose and you remember the Jets are in the same division as the Patriots.”

The mere mention of the local favorites caused me to growl.  They had won the Super Bowl again last season, so everyone in these parts was feeling cocky about this year.

“The Patriots did lose on Thursday,” I pointed out as if that made any difference in the world.  “So for a few days, the Jets were ahead of them in the standings.”

“You have to take your little victories wherever you can find them,” The Prince of Darkness taunted me from his end of the couch.

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, New York Jets, football, NFL, humor, Modern PhilosopherHe was correct, of course.  I did this every September as I willed myself to believe that the Jets actually could go all the way.  When in reality, ten neighborhood guys and I had just as good of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl.

“The first week of the season, even the Jets are still in contention,” I reminded him like the diehard fan that I was.  “That’s why it’s my favorite football weekend.”

“It must be such a drag to love the Yankees, who are quite possibly the greatest sports them of all time, and then also root for the Jests,” Satan quipped.

He smiled at his word play, but I did not find it amusing.  Yes, they might be jesters in the royal court of football, but they were still my team.  I had to support them.

“Perhaps the Jets are the price I pay for the Yankees’ success,” I threw that crazy theory out into the world.

“Why not just like the Giants?” The Devil questioned.  “They’ve actually won multiple Super Bowls in your lifetime.  Plus, they used to play at Yankee Stadium, so there is a natural link to your favorite team.”

I never could figure out why I liked the Jets when my Dad had been a big time Giants fan.  Maybe I just wanted to be different.

“I don’t even like flying, so my choice of the Jets is a little confusing,” I confessed and took a long swallow of my Snapple.  “I do believe, however, that they will right their great wrong and win another Super Bowl during my life.”

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, New York Jets, football, NFL, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt was not lost on me that Joe Namath had famously led the Jets to an epic victory in Super Bowl III before I was ever born.

It was like the franchise was taunting me.  Showing me that they could be champions, but not wanting me to be a witness to it.

“My money still says the only way you see the Jets win a Super Bowl is if you get your hands on a time machine and travel back to 1969,” Lucifer announced with a chuckle.

This was why I hated watching football with The Prince of Darkness.  He always had the best trash talk ready for my pathetic Jets, and he was usually right on the money.

Thank goodness the Yankees look like they’re headed to the playoffs.  It won’t be a lost autumn after all…

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Seven Miles in Heaven

running, health, fitness, dealing with stress, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt was a gorgeous summer morning in Maine, Modern Philosophers, so it was the perfect setting for a run and some mind games.

The running is self explanatory, but I should probably explain the second part.

You see, Modern Philosophers, lately, I’ve realized that I am seven curious.

Now I know this is most likely just a phase, and most of us experimented with it in college, but I’ve always been a little behind the curve when it comes to social norms.

I mean, I’d like to see what it would be like, but what if I can’t get it up for seven?  That would be a bit embarrassing and might cause me to regress at a time when I’m trying to me more outgoing and open minded.

So I’ve decided to approach this curiosity with caution.  And might have played a little mind game with myself to get me to try it without even realizing.

Which means that when I left for my morning run, I told myself I was going six miles.  In the back of my naughty mind, however, I planned to finally try to get it on with seven.

I really needed to shake things up after the week I had, so a little dalliance with seven miles seemed like it was worth the risk.

After a very relaxing and peaceful vacation, I made the decision to not let the return to work stress me.  I told myself I would not work any extra hours, I would not complain or worry about things that were out of my control, and I would just smile and stay positive.

running, health, fitness, dealing with stress, humor, Modern PhilosopherBy Friday, my brain felt like it had been put through a blender.  Multiple times and at various settings.

My teammate missed the entire week due to illness, and had also missed half of the previous week while I was on vacation.

So I not only had to catch up on my work, but I also had to tackle unresolved issues on her plate.

I ended up working extra hours to keep from falling too far behind, got very stressed along the way, and found it very hard to just put on a happy face.

My cunning plan to ease myself gently back into the workforce with an easy, four day week was thwarted.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault, other than my own for being foolish enough to think that I could predict how an always unpredictable work week was going to play out.

So I definitely needed a way to cope with the stress this morning because there was no way I was going to allow my weekend to be ruined.

Running clears my head.  It’s hard to focus on the bad stuff when I’m working so hard to make sure my heart, lungs, and legs are working in conjunction to prevent me from ending up passed out in the fetal position by the side of the road.

I know they say you can’t run from your problems, but I prove them wrong every time I lace up my shoes and hit the road.

It’s like I’m sweating out the stress when I’m out there.  Every stride takes me a little further away from whatever the hell was bothering me, and brings me closer to feeling like I am a bad ass mother@#$%^& who can do anything he sets his mind to.

Yes, Modern Philosophers, my runner’s high causes me to curse like a sailor, and if you don’t like it, then I apologize.

running, health, fitness, dealing with stress, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe run felt good, the stress was exiting my body profusely, and it was a gorgeous morning.   So I kept venturing down little side streets, knowingly adding more distance, but never officially saying that I had decided to give seven everything I had.

But I knew what I was doing.

And I liked it.

I was pushing myself to do something new, and my confidence grew with every stride.

Of course I wasn’t doing my best imitation of The Flash.  I was going slow and steady because no one ever feels sure of himself the first time.  I was a bundle of nerves, just hoping I was doing it right, and praying that I’d be able to finish.

More than five miles in, I passed the little old man who always cheers me on when he sees me.  He asked me how many miles I was going today, and when I confidently told him “Seven!” his startled reply of “My God!” made me chuckle and gave me a little added push.

I was thrilled when the lady who lives inside my running app announced that I had passed the seven mile mark.  I wanted to give her a long, wet, deep kiss, but I decided that I really need to limit my experimentation to one thing a day.

Making out with a cyber woman was just going to have to wait.

running, health, fitness, dealing with stress, humor, Modern PhilosopherI made it back to The House on the Hill with a renewed sense of self-confidence, an overwhelming sense of pride, and a set of running clothes that had to be burned immediately because they were soaked through with an insane amount of sweat and stress.

I was not sure how things would go when I set out this morning.  I was intimidated by the idea of getting involved with a distance so much more experienced than I, and even though I’ve proven that I can do so much over the past five months, I had my doubts about whether I could get lucky with seven.

Bruce always suggests in my favorite song, “Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night”.  Even though it wasn’t night, and I he most likely wasn’t alluding to running, those lyrics always resonate with me.

Several hours later, I’m sore, but still glowing with pride (it could also be sweat, but I have showered, so probably not).  I love that I keep conquering new goals, and don’t simply rest on my laurels as I’ve tended to do in the past.

After the week I had, those seven miles I ran this morning were Heaven, Modern Philosophers.  If you haven’t run seven miles yet today, I highly recommend you get your butt in gear and go for it.

As I continue to prove, you’ll never know what you can accomplish until you try…

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