Running To Stand Still

Posted on | January 23, 2013 | 2 Comments

No doubt about it, 2013 is shaping up to be the year of the silent roaring… the year of the hushed screams… the year of the whirring buzz of energy spiraling just beneath the surface. I feel blanketed in something slightly resembling discontent only it’s less unhappiness and more like the hum of something I can’t quite identify… at least not yet.

I’m not really sure what’s causing this state of unrest but I just can’t shake it… it’s as though my world has paused somehow and is just waiting for me to give it the signal to start spinning again.  Only I don’t know what the signal is, or what will happen when I flash it.

Most weeks I spend at least three days with my feet spinning uselessly against the pull of a gym-sanctioned treadmill, running like a hamster in a cage… pounding out mile after mile as though I were, in fact, going somewhere.  But I’m not… not moving forward, not falling backward, just caught in the drumming stillness of “nowhere just yet.”  And I look around at the people in my life, watching them bend and break, stretch and snap, and wonder if when they see me, they see the stillness; I wonder if they know that I’m not moving backwards… they’re just moving forward without me, leaving me idling behind in this no woman’s land where I can’t find the proper switch to start it all going again.  I count the days, the months, the years of my life and I wonder where they went, what they were spent doing, what they’ve even meant at this point… when all they did was lead me here, to thirty-five and restless.  To thirty-five and nowhere… or anywhere… because it suddenly doesn’t quite matter at all who or where or what I am.

I don’t mind the stillness, if we’re being honest.  I don’t mind having the time to notice the cracks in the paint, the webs of dust and spider that crease the ceiling corners.  I enjoy drinking in breath after breath of the coolness, resting my legs, watching the race continue without me.  I feel content in my discontented waiting, yet every so often, I open my eyes to find myself crouched and ready to move as though the starting pistol of my life will ring out any moment and I’ll start living again… start being someone worth moving again… start being part of the world again.

But no sound comes and my feet tire of waiting.

So they pound out miles, going nowhere on this trap of a treadmill, watching the weight of the world move on without me.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’m the one moving on, even in the stillness, even without really going anywhere.  Maybe just moving is all that matters especially when your steps are light, finally, without the heavy blanket of the world draped around your shoulders.

Comments

2 Responses to “Running To Stand Still”

  1. Me too; me too!
    January 23rd, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

    What an amazing description for… what I’M feeling too! I’m 42, mom of 2 beautiful exhausting girls, full time wife of one full time active-duty military husband and more-than-full-time accomplished (if I may say so) law firm (income) partner. I feel GOOD about where I am… blessed, really… but I also feel like I’m in slo-mo many (most?) days. I can’t keep up with my professional peers with fewer or no kids or who are male (:-) as I watch them moving past me up the law firm ladder; I can’t keep up with my peers who are in “lower stress” (is there any such thing?) industries or jobs as they pick up second or third languages or fourth or fifth hobbies or take their 2nd across-the-globe trip with their families; and I can’t keep up with my stay-at-home friends (men and women) as they become yoga masters or whatever and grow their own organic vegetable garden!!! Heck, I can barely make it into the office most days with some makeup on and my hair in ponytails, much less get to the gym like you. I know it’s all worth it; and I know how lucky I am. But I sure do feel like a lot of folks are passing me by these days…

  2. Law Momma
    January 24th, 2013 @ 9:17 am

    YES!!! It’s like I’m in the strange mid-level profession… where the people above and below me seem to have it all figured out but those of us in the middle are still treading water.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
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