Family & Relationships · Food & Health · Recollections & Reflections

When good habits turn into obsessions

I never thought I would be reading weather reports so intensively.

Before, all I needed to know was whether it was going to rain and how cold it would be, so that I could wear the appropriate coat and shoes. But now, I’m looking for humidity, dew point, wind gusts, and I’m looking at hourly forecasts as far in advance as possible.

When I went to Costco last week, I stared at a pair of running gloves for a few minutes. “Should I?” or “Should I not?” Costco is one of those stores where you really have to fight with the “Should I not?” angel sitting on your shoulder. From the most-of-the-time friendly greeters that make you feel like you are part of some exclusive club, to the free samples on the weekends that serve as a nice afternoon snack, all the way to the friendly cashiers, Costco has me hooked. I’ve stopped going to other grocery stores completely, except for when I have my bi-weekly cake-craving.

BTW, finding a good slice of chocolate cake in this city has been really hard. More difficult than making friends! That fancy Ina Garten-approved French-inspired bakery, while pretty, does not have a good chocolate cake. You’re not fooling me with that glitter crap, alright? Also, salt on my cake? WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE? NO. I do not want salt on my chocolate cake. BUT – and this is like Breaking News for me –  yesterday I tried something different at another place I’ve been to a few times, and I think I have found my cake in Indy! I shared a slice with Mr. Rafia last night, because I wasn’t sure. Next time though there will be no sharing.

I digress, as is my wont.

The running gloves were only 10 dollars. But did I need them? I had already told myself that I was going to make friends with the treadmill this winter (I actually pushed myself to run 5 miles on the treadmill last Sunday. It was difficult – I find myself needing extra prodding to keep running on a treadmill. Even though it’s supposed to be easier physically, I find treadmill running to be more mentally taxing). But maybe if I had these running gloves I’d be more inclined to try to run outside? Either way, I’m always cold so I could wear them at home, if all else fails.

But I ended up not buying them, figuring that Costco would still be around and I’d still be having this internal “battle.”

I am.

After yesterday’s run, I think I may have to revisit my decision. Although, I’m not 100% sure. Even though I am glad I got my Fall Run in, most of the leaves were on my path. I did get to witness some IG-worthy moments (I write this with full satire), but they were not quite the Jim Gaffigan FOLIAGE moments I was hoping to reenact.

A part of me wants to try to make another Fall Run today at another spot to see if things will be different. It’s going to be in the 50s and I don’t know if I can say the same for the weekends ahead. I don’t have the gear to run in weather any lower than that and I’m still not sure if it’s worth it to invest in winter running gear…

BUT, I have to keep it in balance. Even if yesterday’s run ends up being my sole Fall Run of the year, that’s fine. I’m really glad that I’ve found a new hobby, but I can’t let it take precedence over other aspects of my life.

Running is a solo activity for me. And I am already someone who does a lot of solo activities (this blog, journaling, reading – lol, that’s pretty much all I do). It’s part of the reason why I like running so much – I don’t have to rely on other people’s timing and schedules, I don’t have to make small talk, I can focus on my thoughts and clear my head, while simultaneously filling it with motivating lyrics (Isn’t that contradictory? Maybe, but I am not brave enough to start running in silence just yet. Maybe one of these days I will try it).

It’s funny how just a few months ago, I was so worried about whether I would be able to stick to this running thing, whether I would quit because I couldn’t do it, or progress as quickly as I would like. Now, I’m concerned that I may be coming close to an obsession.

This is a pattern I have seen many times before.

Keeping my history in mind, I don’t want my running to be motivated by guilt or neurotic compulsion. Those tend to be reasons why I do a lot of things. But that’s not how I want to live.

Even though the stress of work was what motivated me to go out for a run in the middle of a weekday afternoon (I was technically done with work, so I could), I don’t want running to become a stressor itself.

I guess the fact that I can acknowledge this tendency in myself is a sign that I won’t let it get too far, God-willing.

If Mr. Rafia does indeed feel like making chili together today (it’s going to be an all-day thing, as we’ll most likely have to go to a non-Costco store to get the ingredients we don’t have – that’s the bad thing about Costco), that’s more important than trying to fit in another Fall Run that might end up being the same as yesterday.

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