This afternoon, instead of coffee and chocolate (which actually gave me a headache and kept me up too late yesterday, grr), I gave myself a run as a reward. That's correct! Me, who used to say, "OK, if you write a few pages and start reading that article, you can have a glass of your favourite rose with lunch." Which would, of course, lead to much more wine and not much productive work. I've decided that those days are over for me. But I am still trying to write the paper I mentioned yesterday, and it's harder work than usual. (I think, honestly, I'm somehow using most of my energy taking care of myself, paying attention to not drinking, remembering why I'm not drinking, reading about other people who are not drinking or are trying to stop, and on and on. It's taking a lot, and I don't have as much leftover for the academic heavy lifting I need to do this week. That's OK, I guess. I can admit that and get something handed in anyway. I'm trying to, anyway.)
Yesterday I was thinking I needed a new system to reward myself when I'm hard at the schoolwork. And I have committed to taking up running again, thanks to Lilly at http://onetoomany1.wordpress.com/ who is organizing a virtual run training group for the 100 Day Challenge folk. (Look at me! Not a joiner, never been a joiner, joining 2 groups in one month! Hooray!) I had planned to start today, but wanted to get some schoolwork done before I left the house. So I made a deal with myself: write 5 pages, then go for a run as a treat. And I did! (Well, I wrote 4 but it was close enough for me.)
And the run was glorious. Now I haven't run in a while, so no real runner would call what I did running. A walk to warm up. Few minutes trotting slowly, a little walk, repeat a few times, then walk home and stretch. It added up to 20 minutes running, another 20 or so walking. And I felt fantastic. I was smiling at babies. Smiling at toddlers. Smiling at other runners. Smiling at tomato plants. At bamboo plants. OK, you get it. A big smiley face on sweaty old me, out running! It's way too early in my little running attempt to have had a hit of those infamous workout endorphins. It was just so bloody good to be outdoors, in the sunshine, with the kids and plants and cats on doorsteps and the whole of summer, not one of them caring a jot if I wrote a good paper or a crappy one, or anything else about me for that matter.
I know it's important to be able to get outside of your own mind, and it's something I find hard to do. Especially when I'm cooped up indoors on a school project. But this was simple. Free. Healthy. And a possible start to a new way of rewarding myself, which I was in dire need of finding.
I'm 31 days sober today and it's feeling pretty good. Happy trails!