Fight-or-flight? I’m choosing to flee, literally and metaphysically

It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve blogged. I had actually drafted three different posts over the weekend, but ultimately deciding against publishing them.

It has been a busy week at work. I had a work-related nightmare on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, so that’s a good sign that I am clearly not mentally checking out when I physically do. Oh yes, I have to clock-in and out at my university job. How quaint indeed!

The Indy Women’s Half-Marathon and 5K is this weekend. I saw an advertisement for it in the summer before Hajj and Mr. Rafia had looked at me and said, “You should sign up.” I already knew that it would be right smack dab in the middle of a huge (for me!) event at work, so I was like, “Maybe.” But really, I wasn’t seriously considering it.

But after coming back from Hajj and wanting to have a different disposition, it was the anticipated work stress and the desire to get back into running that propelled me to sign up. Not the half. I’m not that delusional. Maybe one day, as I like to say. But I’m just not there yet.

I guess you can say I’ve been training for this upcoming 5K, going to the gym every day after week this week. Honestly, more than just “training” for this race, I kinda needed a metaphorical punching bag. Running while listening to Linkin Park does the trick for me. I actually think I may have pushed myself a bit too far. Hopefully I won’t be aching tomorrow! I really want to beat my personal record. As much as I cannot control what’s going on at work, I want to channel that need for control and accomplishment with this run.

I should not put too much into it, because, you know, beating records is not what it’s about. But I’m stressed, okay?

Regardless, as the stress from work accumulates, the anticipation for this race so too accumulates, but one of excitement. I’m still working on the whole anxiety thing, but the fact that I am looking forward to something personal (and not food-related) in the middle of a crazy time work-wise I think is a good sign. I had said no to another opportunity this week, but it wasn’t because of work stress. I simply was not that interested. And also, I couldn’t watch a show on a weeknight of a busy work week. Weekends are different.


The things that are causing me stress at work are not in my control (nothing is!). I have had to face this lesson many times — this desire for my surroundings to be perfect. But it goes beyond perfectionism, which for me is just a cop out excuse (how many people say they’re perfectionists. Really?). It’s the fear of being blamed for something going wrong that which fuels the anxiety. It’s like I’m expecting the worst to happen. I’m expecting to be in a state of panic, to start sweating because I can’t come up with the words to communicate…

But at the end of the day, this thing at work is not my “baby.” I am doing the best that I can do. Some might say I am doing more than necessary – okay, maybe I’m just telling myself that. That things have gotten derailed this week I think are lessons from God: “THIS is not worth your anxiety. This is not what your mind and thoughts should be oriented toward. Remember where you were just a month ago: that is what you should be preoccupied with.”

It’s a sad truth that just one month after returning from Hajj, I’m back to hanging out with my old “buddies,” Anxiety and Fear. But Alhamdulillah, I’m recognizing that they never really were my friends. I don’t need them. Not for this.

2 thoughts on “Fight-or-flight? I’m choosing to flee, literally and metaphysically

  1. You rocked the race! Although you may not have been running with anyone in particular, you were far from alone. You were surrounded by hundreds of other strong, motivated women.

    You won’t be alone this week either. It’s not all on you. And, I think God is right… it’s not worth the anxiety. One step at a time, just like the race.


  2. Life really is a balance of highs and lows. Of excitement mixed in with a little fear. Succeeding while things are perfect isn’t as much of an accomplishment as doing so when things AREN’T perfect, anyway. (In my humble opinion.)


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