|The only way I can tolerate shopping in a mall |
anymore is in my running shoes.
As always, I'm a work in progress, and while theoretically I carve out enough time and space for what's important, in reality I frequently realize that the day is over and I got done only about half of what needed to get done. It dawned on me yesterday morning as I pored over my calendar and lists that it was really my only available day to get my holiday shopping finished. I didn't have a whole lot to buy (see above), but still the thought of giving up a day to battle the traffic and crowds at the mall filled me with dread. We had a gorgeous 70-degree, blue-sky day, and I'm one week out from my last marathon in Tucson, so really wanted to get in a nice recovery run. So, I mapped out my planned stops, packed up my backpack, laced up my running shoes, and went shopping.
I do a fair amount of what I like to call "errand running," in order to get some fresh air and exercise while ticking things off of my to-do list. Running to the bank, running to pick up a few items at the grocery store, and once even running to the dry cleaner (running home with the dry cleaning: not as easy as you might think!). Getting my holiday shopping done on foot was a much greater logistical challenge, but I got it done, and it was actually really fun. It took nearly four hours, and I covered almost ten miles on a gorgeous late-fall day.
About three hours into this adventure, feeling smug at my resourcefulness as I passed a line slow-moving cars filled with exhausted and grumpy shoppers, it suddenly occurred to me: this is kind of a weird thing to be doing. I caught a glimpse of myself as someone in one of those cars would have seen me: frizzed out hair, sweaty running clothes, and dodging heavy urban traffic wearing a giant backpack. And what struck me the hardest: I hadn't even thought about how weird this all was, how gross I probably looked (and smelled) until I'd already made about seven stops, in busy and crowded shops all over town.
Have I become a weird person?
At my final stop, I got out my phone and checked in with my husband, since I'd been gone for several hours and thought he might begin worrying. I shared my revelation with him, and he provided me with the following helpful reality check:
Ah, well. Weird or not, the shopping got done, I got in a great run, and I got to enjoy a scenic and serene side of Mission Valley (the congested home of several of San Diego's biggest shopping malls) that a person rarely gets to experience:
|Stopped to admire the sunset on the beautiful San Diego River.|
(Nine out of ten San Diegans do not know that this river exists.)
However you're celebrating, and however you're "getting it all done," I wish every one of you a joyful holiday season!