Forty-five degrees. Right on the edge of needing something more than this ratty old sweatshirt, but my coffee is hot, this Adirondack chair is comfortable enough and it’s quiet out. Peaceful, save for the calling of a crow and the occasional cluck from the chicken coop. Birds flit from here to there and a chipmunk is casting glances at my breakfast from his perch some twenty-odd feet away. As the sun slowly climbs, the world is coming alive.

From this chair, I can see a half-dozen small tasks that need to be tended to. If I chose to listen to it, my brain would offer up twice as many major house and barn projects that are neatly listed on a legal pad, awaiting their check marks of completion. Switching thought tracks brings to mind the awful reminder that I should be training towards an upcoming mountain race. I’ve done the race before – it’s a gnarly half-marathon that finds its way fully up-and-down two mountain peaks. If I want to do well, I should probably get off my COVID-quarantining ass and cover some miles. My conscience also tells me that there hasn’t been any progress towards the lifting PR goals I set this year. My favorite excuse has been the unheated gym: it takes a lot of grit to crank reps with an ice-cold Olympic bar. (To be honest, the only grits I’m embracing around here these days are the ones with butter and cheese…)

There’s a whole lot of stuff to sort and keep track of in my brain today. Everything’s mostly lined up and ready for me to explode into action……But I don’t think I’m going to light that fuse just yet.

Shortly, the world will speed up. Get noisy. Demand my attention. I know these things, but stillness calls my name. Enjoying the warmth of the rising sun, listening to the birds, savoring the oil slick on my coffee; this is now.

Maybe it’s not all about finding balance. Seems I always have something pulling me away from “now”. Barn projects are on my mind as I work on the house. Lifting occupies my brain as I pass the hours at my job. Running consumes my thoughts….(well, let’s not try to fool anyone. Running is never on my mind for too long.) Maybe instead of ‘balance’, it’s about ‘now’.

Maybe life should be about chasing after goals, but not at the expense of rushing through the amazing “nows” that come our way.

And now, I think stillness is the way to go for a few more moments.

Lift Heavy, Run Long….and stop to smell the roses.