Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekend, with Peacefulness and Some Stoicism

Garden Patio

I Am Always Looking Up


Week of March 11, 2012:

Wednesday: ???

Thursday: Bike commute

Friday: Bike commute

Saturday: Errands by bike, afternoon photo walk around the neighborhood

Week of March 18, 2012:

Sunday: More errands by bike

I’m sad to see this weekend end.  It turned out to be a pretty lovely one.  The students have been on spring break, and today they are trickling back into town.  I love how quiet it is around here without them, and the weather is cool enough to be able to enjoy the peaceful outdoors.  The next time they leave en masse, the weather will be brutally hot.

I decided to take another week off of running, just to make sure I wasn’t aggravating any potential post-race injuries.  I’m not too concerned, but I figured it couldn’t hurt, as I don’t have any pressing plans for races or speed workouts.  So in lieu of a run this weekend, I took a leisurely walk around the neighborhood with my camera, and I felt more like myself than I have in several weeks.  For Christmas, Matt gave me a copy of The Enchiridion, which contains the teachings of Epictetus, a Greek philosopher of stoicism.  I’ve only just begun reading it, but I flipped through it, and a passage that caught my eye discussed anxiety and the importance of knowing the difference between things we can control and those things which are not under our control.  As I thought about that idea, I realized that what I really wanted, in the midst of all that is happening and all that is not under my control, was to reach a place where I felt peaceful about the present and the future.  I am a really anxious person, so defining peace of mind as my goal is powerful stuff.  The only things I have some control over are my thoughts, my actions, and my emotions, and I’d argue that I don’t have complete control over those things.

This weekend, I felt peaceful.  I cooked up a storm, spent lots of time outside on foot and on bike, finally bought a new running watch(!), spent some time writing, and even squeezed in a bit of work.  (Just a little bit!)  It was all really nice, and if I can hang onto this peaceful feeling, I think I can survive whatever surprises are coming my way.  I’m no stoic, but maybe stoicism can teach me a thing or two about releasing that which only causes me misery, namely my anxiety.

1 comment:

  1. I really love the perspective of that first photo.

    I'm so glad to hear that you had a nice weekend. I have to admit that I kind of really love the quiet of a campus without students. I think it's especially nice when the weather is good for spring break.