I need to take some lessons from my cat.

Things have been … stressful … recently. Getting by as a single-income household, even temporarily, is difficult. I face new challenges at work; I welcome those, because many involve changes that are overdue, but they are difficult nonetheless.

It’s a lot of pressure.

I don’t like this. I spent much of Tuesday at my desk with my teeth clenched, trying not to flip out on my colleagues. I had to run errands in Cranberry after work, something that won’t exactly help anyone lower stress levels. And when I got home, I plopped down on the couch with a bowl of mac and cheese and three hours of The West Wing queued up on Netflix.

Sure, there are worse ways to spend an evening. And yes, I’m not ever going to argue that an evening of escape isn’t helpful once in a while.

This month two years ago, I started running. It worked. I did it consistently. I felt good, about a number of things. I was at the age where I had to start thinking about things like my health, my weight, the fact that I work a very stressful job and that my family’s history with heart problems wasn’t exactly encouraging.

Hey, look — all those things still exist, except that I’m two years older. Hm.

I’ve run sporadically this fall, but I’ve managed to turn that into a chore as well. My bed is warm and hitting the snooze button is really easy — and then I beat myself up over the fact that I’m supposed to run 10 miles with Fred on Nov. 3. Boom. More pressure.

Take a look at Miles up there. He’s 13 years old. The internet tells me that’s the human equivalent of 75. Yes, he sleeps a lot. Yes, he doesn’t need to worry about websites or mortgages. But you know what else he does? Even at his age, he plays. He runs. He kills the catnip-filled bananas and furry mice he has stashed all over the house. And then he’s got a really good reason to take a nap.

I wish I had same kind of time for napping that my cat does. It looks like it does him good, because he’s in pretty good shape for an old guy.

But the other old guy in the house does have time to do something for himself. He knows from experience that taking that time makes him feel a lot better. He knows he’ll be better off, at home and at work.’

And, judging from the weather forecast, he’s going to be running in a cold rain tomorrow morning. And he’ll feel pretty good about it too.


  1. I feel you on the stress stuff. I’m glad I found some quick low-impact workouts (Jillian Michaels ahoy!) to get me back in shape. My running days are behind me! Good luck! You can do it.


  2. no pressure about running 10 miles with fred, i mean, me. we are just going to take a jog and a run and a walk and see how far it takes us. sort of like a couple cats in the neighborhood: move, stop, smell, move, lie down in the sun, taunt some dogs, move, chase a squirrel…we might even need a litter box. i would never want you to stress about running and especially stress about running with me. i just want you to enjoy runs when you can get them in and who’ve seemed to enjoy them. i always the feel the best run is the run i finish and feel good enough to run again tomorrow: I want you to feel that way on Nov. 3. signing up for this race is as much about finding an excuse to visit you guys (why do i need an excuse) and to just have some fun with you guys in my home town. i’m just looking forward to hanging out with you cats…


Comments are closed.