Getting Back into a Routine
Possibly the hardest blog post is the one that comes after a period of silence. Was it writer's block? I'd argue no because I still have been writing *something* but just not posting. I'm not the type of person who forces herself to write if I'm not ready, but usually just staring at a blank page with a pen in my hand is sufficient enough inspiration, although what I write about may not be exactly relevant. And so, derailed and uninspired, I have been struggling with guilt and inertia.
Simply put, I was derailed by the flu. McCrae came down sick with the flu the same day they were offering flu shots at my office, so I had no time to build immunity. For a while there I thought I would avoid the flu; McCrae started getting better and I hadn't gotten sick, and then suddenly on a Thursday I succumbed. It was horrible timing: my big fall race was that weekend and for the first time I might not be able to run my target race. Over the next few days as I took my temperature regularly and shivered and groaned under a mountain of blankets I did the mental math - if my fever broke Saturday night then I could still run my half marathon on Sunday. If my fever didn't break then maybe I could still run the race as long as the flu didn't get into my lungs. But on Sunday morning as I groaned in my bed following a Stranger Things-inspired fever dream I knew there was no way I would be running any race that day.
By Monday morning I'd written a pitiable post on what it felt like being sidelined from a race by injury or illness, but I felt bad by how self-pitying and whining I sounded. I just had the flu and I could easily recover from that and run another race later. It wasn't like I broke a leg or had surgery or had any real tragedy befall me, so I deleted my whiny post and tried to figure out my next steps.
In an ideal world I'd be a good blogger and still have content written and scheduled so that you'd never notice a gap or delay in posts. Good, responsible bloggers have a content calendar and get their writing done in advance. I am not a good, responsible blogger, and now you know how much advance writing and scheduling I do for my posts (answer: none). And so as I slowly recovered and tried to rally some energy, blogging fell on the wayside. Then Thanksgiving happened, and suddenly I was drowning under the workload of a half dozen photography sessions, and the next thing I knew it was December and I hadn't posted in weeks. Guilt ate at me, and then uncertainty at what to say. Do I just jump back in with a post and pretend my silence never happened? It seemed wrong to do that, as if I needed to explain myself, but I also don't want to excuse myself. The flu derailed me for a week; the rest of the absence is my own fault.
So what's my game plan to fix this? The simplest answer is to just get my ish together. December should be slow in terms of photography sessions, and I've been doing some thinking about the passion projects I want to focus on in 2018. In the mean time I've taken up a running streak challenge: Run every day from Thanksgiving until New Year's. I did a 31 day running streak in October 2016, so a 40-day streak from Thanksgiving until New Year's shouldn't be so bad. I kicked it off with the Gallop & Gorge 8K in Carrboro on Thanksgiving morning, which was a fun run along a very familiar route despite the lingering cough in my chest.
It's day 12 of the running streak and so far so great! I'm well on my way to my goal and I'm even looking to sneak in a few more races before the new year.
So I'm back on track with running, I'm on track with photography, and I'm getting back on track with blogging. 2018 will be here soon and I'm looking forward to exciting plans and opportunities in the new year. I may not have all the answers yet, but I'm getting there.