“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucius

You know that old saying, “write what you know?” Well, today, what I know is STRESS.  A couple weeks ago, I came to the realization that probably 90% or more of the stress I feel on a day-to-day basis is pressure that I put on myself and then allow to snowball in my own mind. This realization was somewhat of an epiphany for me, but that awareness doesn’t mean I can just stop that kind of self-inflicted stressful thinking in its tracks when I feel it.

This is a really exciting time for me. As some of you already know, I am moving to Baltimore later this summer (hopefully in six weeks). I feel so happy when I think about how wonderful it will be to see Tim every day and just live “normal” life together, not to mention the side benefit of saving hundreds of dollars between the two of us in airfare each month! But, between now and then, there is so much to do – getting my condo rented, finding a place that we like in Baltimore, finding movers, packing, and dealing with all of the little “to dos” that come along with the moving process.

Toss in work-related stress, three trips in the next few weeks, the bittersweet feeling of saying goodbye to Atlanta and my home here, and some other personal things I’m handling right now, and I feel like my mind is just a swirling tornado of “I have tos” and “what ifs.” Like:  “I have to cancel my gym membership, and I have to see my doctor before I move away, and I have to book plane tickets for my trips, and what if I don’t get my place rented in time or the renters don’t take care of my place, and what if Tim and I can’t find a place we like, and I have to get boxes, and I have to keep it together at work and…and…and…”

That’s pretty much what it sounds like in my head. Constantly.

I did go to a yoga class this morning and that helped. So did talking with Tim about how I feel this afternoon. I realize that moving, as a rule, is stressful and that it will all work out in the end. But that doesn’t make it easy in the short term. Anyone who knows me knows that I thrive on organization, order, and having a plan at all times. But right now, there’s a lot in my life that is out of my control, and that’s difficult for me – to do what I can for today, to let the rest go, and to trust that everything will ultimately come together. That’s where faith comes in. I’m working on it.

And, I’ve decided to try to simplify. A couple weeks ago, I went outside on my deck and realized how ridiculous my collection of running shoes was getting.

The two pairs to the left are shoes I currently use – the white and turquoise ones are my regular trainers; the charcoal/silver ones are my lighter weight shoes I wear for short runs and races. The next pair was my last pair of everyday trainers (recently retired); they still probably have a few miles left in them, so I hold onto them “just in case” – like if I want to go running somewhere that’s muddy or really wet and I don’t want to mess up my other shoes. The other three pairs are old, retired, and totally extraneous. There is absolutely no reason that I still have them on my deck. So, I’m taking them to Big Peach, my local running store, for their “Re-Use Your Shoes” program, which donates used running shoes to different organizations in and around Atlanta assisting the homeless and less fortunate.

I realize that, as with my shoes, there are a lot of other things that I’m “holding on to” right now that I need to let go. I’ve decided that for the next few weeks, I’m going to simplify and focus on the following three things:

  1. My health – eating well, getting enough rest, running/yoga/exercise, and spending time with people who are good for my soul.
  2. The move – dealing with what I can realistically handle each day and letting go of the rest.
  3. Work – again, dealing with what I can each day and letting go of things that are completely out of my control.

There are other things that I love – like writing here, for example – that don’t fall specifically in these three buckets, and I’m giving myself permission to let them go for now. That’s not to say that I’m not going to write between now and my move – I definitely hope to – but I’m just not inflicting more “I have tos” on myself right now. I’m going to practice staying in each day, working with what’s right in front of me, and dealing with tomorrow when tomorrow comes. It sounds so simple. And I guess it can be.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Miles run since last post: 59.6; total miles for the year: 328.4.



  1. Denise Pitchford
    July 11, 2011 / 4:41 pm

    Wow, were you ever speaking to me in the simplify area. It’s no coincidence either that one of my devotions this morning started off with “What if….”, then proceeded to list a bunch of “what ifs”!!!!
    The Bottom Line is….”Don’t Project!” Don’t imagine the worst; deal with your problems as they arise. In other words, live one day at a time….or sometimes one moment at a time. The quote in my reading, “It is a vain and unprofitable thing to conceive either grief or joy for future things which perhaps will never come about.” Your 3 “simplify” techniques are great. I’m also using those in my days ahead. Love you, Mom

  2. July 12, 2011 / 9:30 am

    Janice, I know you have a lot on your mind. I really loved this article. You constantly amaze me. If you need my help with the packing, you know I’m a phone call away. Love you so much.

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