Choosing Freedom over Shoulds

My first thought when I woke up on New Years morning started with “I should.”

I should write in my journal. Right now. I should capture my first marginally coherent thoughts of 2011, on paper, in my own hand, before they’re rendered less real by coffee or Facebook.

Before I found a pen, though, a neighbor dropped by and I chose to enjoy a little in-person social networking instead.

I should have a smoothie for breakfast. I should start eating healthy again now that it’s the new year.

Thing was, I wasn’t really hungry. And since lolling on the sofa to watch parades all morning doesn’t require a whole lot of fuel, I chose to skip breakfast altogether.

I should run on the first day of 2011. I should even do that 5K on the boardwalk. I haven’t trained enough to run it, but I should at least walk the race.

I finished the fifth week of a 10-week Couch-to-5K training plan yesterday. Today’s assignment: rest. After recurring injuries benched me for most of a year, my running over the past five weeks has been a delight. Every run takes me just to the edge between too easy and too hard. Pain? Injuries? Bah! The only hard part is honoring rest days and not running longer than the plan suggests.

I chose not to run – or walk – the race today.

If you’re thinking that my three words for 2011 are Lazy, Slacker, and Slug, you’re wrong.

They’re actually Freedom, Choose, and Thrive.

I chose to ignore the shoulds and accomplished what they were trying to get at anyway, in ways that felt better and more, uh, free.

The visit with the neighbor inspired me to write this afternoon. I ate an apple during the parade. I did just enough yoga this evening to make me look forward to running tomorrow.

It’s late. I should probably have gone to bed already. I just might choose to take a nap tomorrow. After I run.

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