Last week I had plans with a newer friend to meet at the beach for a workout. In typical worrier fashion, I fretted about traffic, parking and what we’d do once there. But in a conscious effort to “have more fun”, I committed to the workout date and told myself to chill out.
A text came in around the time I planned to leave, pushing back our meeting time. I lingered on the couch a bit longer, arguing with my anxiety if I “should just leave now and get there” or wait it out. I left later. Then plans switched back to the original time. Now I was late. Also, I was stuck in horrible traffic (harr-ah-bull Mom’s favorite adjective for traffic). Late + traffic usually equals a pretty stressed out me. But, I had been going with the flow and I was still determined to.
I was present. Each time the plan changed I took a moment, not consciously but I did it, to absorb the alteration and then think about what I wanted to do. Meet a bit later? Great, I could use more time. Continue on in traffic even though I’m was late ? Sure, why not? But the traffic was not breaking up and the planned workout seemed to be sliding quickly into a hang out session.
I wanted exercise. I wanted to be outside. I wanted to connect.
But sometimes, things aren’t meant to be. The sooner you accept things as they are the sooner you can get back to cultivating your awareness and response to the present.
So, I bailed. I didn’t want to bail b/c that’s something I usually do when my resistance tells me something won’t be “fun”. It’s my critic’s way out, but for some reason, in this small window of time, I knew that continuing on would only stress me out. I needed to let go of my attachment to a female hangout, to a workout, and to being a person who keeps their word. Plans had changed. My response to them had to as well.
I ended up running the golf course near my apartment. It wasn’t my first choice, but it was a great alternative. I felt empowered by choosing what I wanted to do. I was aware of how I felt and which decisions would keep me afloat. I listened to my inner voice and arrived home sweaty and happy. I had put myself first. And now I think I’m addicted.