It has been raining non-stop for five hours straight now. I have already read reports that it has rained more this morning alone than it did the entire two previous months. Wonderful!
This is perfect sleeping-in weather, but my butt was out of bed at 5:00 a.m. due to changes I have made to my running schedule due to changes that were made to my work schedule (more on that later). I always have my best runs when it’s early and not so hot outside. Sometimes, though, no matter how early I wake up, getting out the door can be a challenge. I have found that the best way to combat this and keep myself from dragging is to just prepare everything I will need the night before. And so, last night before bed, I set my shorts, top, and socks neatly in the bathroom. I filled my hydration bottle with water and left it in the fridge for the night. I set my shoes and arm band on a shelf in the living room for an easy grab. Perfection.
This morning, I was pumped and ready to get this new week on my new running schedule started. Oh, but wait. There was a storm approaching. According to my weather app, the storm was gonna hit at about 7:00 a.m. Bummer, man. The hourly forecast wasn’t any better. I decided to walk Canelo before my run knowing myself well enough to admit that I would run until it became dangerous for me to be out there, at which point, it wouldn’t be safe for me to walk Canelo. That sweet boy comes before all else. I sacrificed two miles in order for him to enjoy his regular long walk. Life of a doggie mom.
I did indeed run until it was unsafe. Just a little over three miles, well short of the eight miles that I was scheduled for. No worries, I’ll do the 8-miler on Wednesday instead. I was absolutely soaked by the end of the run, and it sounded as though the storm was creeping up behind me the entire time. The thunder simply became louder and louder, urging me to pick up the pace. By the last half-mile, the rain was coming down so hard, it was almost blinding me. Ah well. I finished strong, stayed safe, and my phone didn’t die. Success.
Let me tell you a little something about success… I had a major hiccup in life two years ago. Disastrous, catastrophic, heartbreaking? Eh, not so much. I rebounded by asking myself a single question: what do you want to do with your life? The answer was obvious, but it was what I felt had been interrupted. All I wanted was to help animals and make the world a better place for them. I felt that this was what I was in the process of doing and I had ruined it.
Au contraire, ma cherie!
In the past two years, I have helped a much wider array of animals than I ever have before! First of all, I finally made that final (overdue!) leap from vegetarian to vegan. This wasn’t simply a change in diet, either. It was a complete change in my lifestyle. By living a vegan/cruelty-free life, no matter how unproductive my days may seem, I help animals simply by refusing to fund and support industries and companies that exploit them. While I may not see the positive effect that this has, I just know that it makes a difference and that’s enough for me.
Other endeavors provide me with very concrete evidence of my impact. For example, In January of this year, I participated in a protest asking Southwest Airlines to end its partnership with SeaWorld. Stop supporting animal cruelty and exploitation, we demanded. Wham bam!
Amazing, isn’t it? The article mentions our protest! Obviously, the results weren’t immediate (we had to wait six months), and the ultimate goal (ending SeaWorld’s animal abuse) has yet to be reached, but it’s progress and it feels pretty dang fantastic!
Even more awesome success… Yesterday, I volunteered at Operation Kindness for Empty the Shelter Day, which was held at shelters all across North Texas. Adoption fees were waived in an effort to find homes for as many animals as possible. It was very hectic at the shelter, with people waiting hours just to get inside only to have to wait even longer to complete the adoption application and counseling process. It got done, though!
What an incredible achievement. Over TWO THOUSAND DFW animals found new homes in one day alone! I am extremely proud of the animal sheltering community here in Dallas and so happy that I was able to participate.
These “extracurricular” ventures of mine, they make me so happy. This is the definition of success and fulfillment for me, this is what I need to feel alive and accomplished. Sometimes, I do let life get me down. I’m human, after all.
I mentioned changes in my work schedule earlier, remember? Two weeks ago, when I first learned about these changes, I was VERY upset and stressed by the news. I am still iffy about them so I try to remind myself that I am more than what life throws at me. Okay, so I have to make some readjustments here and there, but that’s not going to stop me from trying to change the world. Neither are the mistakes that I make, the bad choices that are not thought through, nor whatever negative circumstances Murphy’s Law decides to conduce towards me. Through it all, this mortal can keep getting things done and that’s just wicked awesome.
Does this post make any sense? Sometimes my train of thought isn’t much of a train. It’s more like bumper cars.