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Three Days

“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.” – Viggo Mortensen

It seems to have worked out that approximately every three weeks I make the long drive back to Missouri. This is for several reasons:

  1. I get a chance to see an important-to-me person who keeps me grounded and gives me a place to rest and relax (while I’m there) with no responsibilities.
  2. I get a few hours to spend with my children, loading more items in the trunk of my car to transport to Alabama and then spending time hearing about their weeks, school, friends, sports, etc.
  3. I get to work an EMS shift on the ambulance. Nurses in Alabama aren’t allowed to work ground EMS, so this gives me a chance to do the work of my first love of a job and keep my skills current as well.

I’ve worked out quite the routine before I make the trip — check the mail, pack the backpack, take the dog to the vet to board, fuel up and . . . . GO! I have designated stopping points for fuel, audio books, coffee and potty breaks. I usually arrive in the wee hours of the morning and manage to get some sleep.

As I start the return trip, I usually have the beginning of a headache and some shoulder stress. This occurs simply from having to deal with the ex- . . . either he’s late getting the children or he changes the pick-up/drop-off location unexpectedly or he attempts to delay me in some fashion by being “helpful.” Each time, I am reminded of why I chose to accept a job so far away, and other than the children, I have no regrets.

Of course, it is the wee hours again when I arrive home and I stumble to bed to wake after a few hours and return to work. Monday nights are my bubble bath, candles and Smirnoff nights. Following those weekends, it is a very necessary de-stress routine. The second day I am less exhausted, but still tired. By the third morning, I am almost top notch, but not enough to wake early for a morning run. The magic number to recover seems to be three days.

This morning was my fourth day and I was up with the first sound of the alarm at 0520, ready to roll out the door for a run before work and it was glorious. While the music of my playlist is uplifting for me, several things contribute to my enjoyment of an early morning run. The sound of the pavement against the soles of my shoes is satisfying. The work of my breathing as it increases with effort is invigorating. Watching the sky change with the sunrise and hearing the birds start their trills is a reminder of the beauty of life. Having to stop and stretch to relieve the tightness in my hips and back, yes . . . even the pain. . . is a vivid reason to be grateful for the joy of life.

I look forward to this weekend as my best friend will be here for a few days. (They say you should marry your best friend. LOL) Plans to eat, visit friends, hike and run together as well as go to church and relax have a huge smile playing across my face. Again, there is the magic of three days.

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