Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snow Day Dilemma

A crazy March snow/ice storm has me sitting at home, trying to take advantage of an unexpected day home from work to tackle my overwhelming to-do list. I'm a person who likes to be busy most of the time, and generally thrive on a packed schedule. Lately, though, I'm even busier than I like to be, and there's no quick fix. I just keep trudging along, trying not to fall too far behind on the most urgent tasks, and desperately wishing I had time to build toward a better future.

Meanwhile, I have also been experiencing a bit of a midlife crisis! That term has a pretty negative connotation though, and my experience has been mostly positive, so I prefer to call it a midlife crossroads. The past year of my life has been beyond difficult, leading me to spend a lot of time wondering how I got where I am. Recently, though, I decided to look at things a little differently, and evaluate literally everything I do with my time and WHY I do it, and whether I want to KEEP doing it in the future. It was quite an eye-opening exercise!

Now I'm sort of in phase 2 of the process -- I'm at this crossroads and I know where I want to go, but I have to figure out which road will get me there. Like I said, there is no quick fix, no easy way to magically change my life into what I want it to be. Most of my goals will take quite a while to achieve, especially because I am so low on free time (not to mention money!). I have to prioritize the goals, and try chipping away at them little by little. I'm not a very patient person, so this process is frustrating, and I constantly have to give myself little pep talks about what I'm working towards and why it will all be worth it in the end.

Unfortunately, my triathlon goals are not among the highest priorities, which makes me sad. This time last year, I was getting back on the bike and in the pool to start preparing for another season. I was hoping to attempt an Olympic-distance race last year, but that dream was put on hold when I lost my job in May. I was left with only the Iron Girl sprint to complete again, but I tried to channel my disappointment into hoping for a better year in 2017! Well, now it's the third month of 2017, and I am still broke, and I have two unresolved injuries I can't afford to get treatment for, and pretty much zero time to train. At the same time, amidst my midlife crossroads soul-searching, I concluded that triathlon truly is something I love to do and I want to keep doing it as long as I possibly can! So this is one area of conflict between what is desired and what is currently feasible.

That brings us to this snowy day. I know I'm lucky to have a little extra time to get things done today (even though the trade off is losing a day's pay at my temp job!), and that should be my focus. But an email appeared in my inbox today letting me know there is a snow day discount on registration for this year's Iron Girl. Oh, how I love a discount, especially on my limited budget! And I do want to race Iron Girl again -- it would be my fourth year in a row! What a powerful temptation it is just to click "Register" and figure out how to make it happen later. I can't determine whether that would be crazy and irresponsible, or brave and ambitious. I want to be a person who has the courage to chase my dreams, but I also want -- and need -- to be a responsible adult who makes wise decisions in the best interests of the family that depends on me.

The thing about a crossroads is you have to pick a path and GO, or else you'll never get anywhere at all.

This isn't my only chance to choose the road to Iron Girl, but it's a significant moment of decision regardless.

The discount is good until noon tomorrow. What will I choose?