Friday, January 7, 2011

I resolve to keep being selfish

I have to admit, I’m pretty selfish.

Not in all aspects of my life. But when it comes to fitting running into my busy day, something’s gotta give – and sometimes that means being a less-than-perfect wife and stepmother.

You know those women who wake up at the wee hours of the morning, bundling up to brace the bitter cold, slipping quietly out the back door to run outside or head to the gym while the family is blissfully sleeping and unaware? That is so not me. I wish it were. I wish 5 a.m. and I could just get along. I’ll sneak a shorter morning run in here and there, but for the most part  I’ve accepted that the only way running will be consistently in my life is if I don’t expect myself to adhere to a 5 a.m. routine.

What that means is sometimes I don’t join my husband and stepson for dinner. Or I miss my husband’s weekly soccer games. Or I wake up my poor stepson with the lovely ambient noise of a blaring treadmill because I know if I have to go outside in the cold I won’t do it. These things are not everyday occurrences, but they do happen. I do whatever I can to fit it into my day. And I’ve become rather acquainted with the working mom’s most familiar emotion: guilt.

So in 2011 do I resolve to do a better job of not letting my “me time” for running interfere with other things? Heck. No. In fact, I plan to continue on with my selfish mom ways only sans the side of guilt. I will take that time without apologizing for it. It would be great if I could arrange my days exactly the way I want them so that something didn’t get lost in the process, but life doesn’t always let you do that and you’ve got to choose. And sometimes, not all the time, I allow myself to choose selfishness.

Maybe that makes me terrible and loses me my bid for Mother of the Year. But the thing is, being selfish and taking that time to run makes me saner, happier, healthier, calmer, and more patient. So is my family really losing out by missing me at dinner once in a while? I’d like to think not.

Do you sacrifice anything for your “me time” or to fit in workouts? Or have you figured out how to balance it all? Join the discussion here.

Megan Brooks is a Senior Public Relations Specialist and a stepmom to an 11-year-old who dreams of running 8 minute miles one day.

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