Choose life, choose running

Finding time is a big issue for running bloggers. There are times of plenty when all goes well, and times where nothing seems to go right. We all have them, some more than others. In the last 3 weeks I have had to deal with going into work to deal with an emergency at 4:30 am ( with a full working day on either side), son with a broken wrist and a late finish at work due to a colleague running 2 hrs late so I missed running club.

All these unexpected events eat into my ‘flexible time’. I have about 14 hrs of flexible time in a week. 8 of these hours are for work, ie I have session in the working day where if needed I can do something else and do the work in my own time, the other 6 are ‘mine'( ie I’m not at work and I have child care) and I try to use them for running. Sometimes life events overflow into work time ( ie the broken arm) and I end up using ‘my’ time to do work.

More often though, in my life I have often chosen to use ‘my’ time to work. why?

Before motherhood it wasn’t a problem. I had lots of ‘my’ time and it was easy to divide it up into work and social life. I have always been ambitious and hard working, so it was never a problem to prioritise work over social life. Even after having a family, although my son comes first and I have made compromises in terms of where I work and what I do in order to try to be a good mum, work has always been high on the agenda. It has been rewarding in that I have achieved much that I wanted to and there is a great satisfaction in that.

Today though I have made a choice to put work, or at least ‘success’ further down the pecking order. Crazy though it sounds I have decided that I would much rather be running ( which avid readers will know I’m not gifted at) than chair of our breast cancer network and I have resigned. I have been deliberating whether to step down as chair for a little while. It’s one of those jobs that you do as an added extra, it’s a bit like being ‘head girl’ or something, you get a prestigious title, shiny badge and a lot of responsibility (ie extra work), but it’s not paid and you don’t have any power, though maybe some subtle influence.

I have discussed it with a couple of mentors at work (men with wives, there aren’t many successful, female senior surgeons in their 50’s with husbands and children to turn to for advice in these situations) who have said that if I’m coping I should keep it on, but realistically I have decided that I don’t have the time. My working week is full, so the only time I have for this is Saturday morning.

In the past it would have been a no brainer, drop my son off, 3 hours to get lots of stuff done un disturbed. I love to work and to achieve, I could easily choose this. But I have changed. Now I’d rather be doing Parkrun despite being at the back and not much prospect of being ‘good for age’ never mind good!

Is this selfish? No, someone else will jump at the chance to be network chair. Also, I think that when I’m running regularly I’m less reactive to stressful situations and keep things in perspective, that’s got to be better for work and family, oh and me too!

Anyway, ’tis done. this time I chose life over success.

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About mawil1

Hi my name is julie and I took up running at the age of 46! Hence 'mawil' Middle Aged Woman In Lycra. I did it at first because someone asked me to do a charity run with them. I couldn't run at all, but pride wouldn't let me be seen to be unable to run so I started a walk run programme. I stuck with it and to my surprise I found that I liked it- after a couple of weeks of progress I was hooked! My blog is about my progress in running and how I fit it in with the rest of my life.
This entry was posted in blogging, change, Club running, fear, fitness, habits, middle aged women, novice, parkrun, reading, running, time management, Uncategorized, work life balence, working mum. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Choose life, choose running

  1. I would say that you’re redefining what success looks like for you (balance) and taking critical steps to achieve it. Good for you!

    • mawil1 says:

      Slightly scary though, worried that others might think that I’m copping out, letting them down or that I’m disorganised and can’t take the pace! Time will tell!

  2. pwhent says:

    This is such a great post Julie. It is what hundreds of people think but never do. I made a similar decision last year. I would rather be doing what I want to do than sitting on a train for 3 hours day – so I left the job I was doing. I haven’t looked back (so far!!) and don’t regret it. My wife regularly says to me “you can’t get the time back”. It is a great philosophy. Enjoy the time!!!

    • mawil1 says:

      Deep down inside I’m worried that I have burned my bridges, that no one will ever give me any responsibility again and that I will stand on the sidelines upset because I think that I could do it better! On the other hand, I also know that things generally work out for the best and the pace of life ( like a long run) has to be sustainable! I’m glad that it worked out for you it makes me feel slightly less crazy!

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