Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The ways in which I screw myself

Okay, here's the real deal: I am trying daily--pretty much every second of the day-- to distract myself from the devastation of the drought.

Okay, I know that sounds sarcastic but I am not joking.

Really, I cry a little everyday.


You'd cry too if your bills were piling up and you weren't sure you could pay them-- or the 8 employees you had-- because your business, your livelihood was going to pot because of a lack of rain; because of a water ban.

A level 4 drought.

And yeah, you would be pretty annoyed about all those people in Alabama who are sucking our water out but don't have a water ban like we do. There is no outdoor watering here, ever. And you see, that is a pretty big problem for those of us in the "green industry". It's a big problem because we don't really make any money if stuff doesn't grow and people don't want us to plant flowers or mow their lawn. And who can blame them because really? Who wants to pay someone to cut a dead lawn or pay for flowers and landscaping that is just going to die? So, go ahead, call me petty but if us landscapers in GA have to go broke because of our diminishing water supply then so do those in Alabama if it is our water that they are using to water their lawns.

And don't even get me started on the Floridians and theirs mussels. Because, really? You know what? The ecosystem I'm most immediately concerned about are named Carmella and Beau I am little more worried about keeping the shell over their heads than what the hell happens to a bunch of way too fragile mussels in some drying up river. My kids? Way cuter and worth more to this world than a bunch of mussels. So call me selfish (not shellfish, mind you), I totally don't care that I am not seeing the "bigger picture."

Selfish and petty is what happens when climate change fucks with you so personally. You start thinking really small, not globally. At all.

Honestly, this pain and suffering from the drought isn't new for us-- like it is for most Georgians. Ryan and I have been keenly aware of how much it sucks when you can't water your lawn--never mind that our drinking water may soon dry up. It was bad in the spring and we weathered it but we thought surely hurricane season would drop a ton a rain and fall planting season would be good--as it always has been--for us. But fall is worse than spring. So, yeah, like I have been saying for the past 6 months; the landscaping business is the wrong one to be in. Insurance? Now there is the one to be in. Or so it seems, since a good chunk of our change goes there.

Truthfully. I am devastated daily.

And being in the taper and not getting my recommended daily dose of endorphins is making me feel totally crazy.

I have been way down this week. Way down. Like, I've been thinking I should download some Bob Mould on to my ipod so far down. These little 4 and 6 miles runs aren't cutting it. Today I promised Steph I would ride with her but then I bailed because I felt I could squeeze a 16 miler in today before my half marathon on Saturday.

I need to give HUGE props to Steph. I think everyone deserves to have a friend like Steph. This morning when I set out on my run it was in the high 50s--prefect running weather. That is until it started raining before I even hit the half mile mark. By the 5th mile of steady rain I was ready to quit. I pulled out my phone to call Ryan to see if he was home and would come get me since I've already had my long run in the rain. I felt I had nothing to gain but misery by plodding ahead. But before I could call I saw I had a text from Steph.

She said the icky weather was trying to foil her bike and she wished I was there. Sheesh! How could I quit my run after I bailed on her and she was still riding in the cold and icky weather? I tried my best to hang but after another few miles I was too cold and my shoes were too wet. I called Ryan and he picked me up right as I hit 10 miles.

Guilt. Sadness. Anxiety-- plagued me all day. I really needed to feel good--even if it was just for a second and was about nothing-- so I went to the gym. The air conditioning hasn't been working too well there lately so it has been way hot but tonight they had a giant fan out pointing right on the treadmills.

It was so nice. The wind on my back. The whole time.

I surprised myself with a great treadmill run. I wasn't expecting much since I had already run 10 and they weren't an easy 10 since I had gone out with the plan of 16 miles at marathon pace. Despite the rain and misery I still finished the 10 in just under an hour 24.

My 5k on the mill came in at 21:38. I slowed it down thinking that would be it but then I rallied and ran it out to the 10K. I finished in 44:07. Now, I feel all giddy from the endorphin flood.

Not to worry though, I am sure at 4 am I will wake up--like I have every single day this past week--stricken with anxiety about our business situation; that really I can't do anything about but nonetheless pray and hope and wish and dream that everything will be okay. And tonight when I wake up inexplicably in the middle night I can add to my worry list the wonder of if maybe I screwed myself out of a PR this weekend because of my treadmill fun tonight.

Yeah, I know, who cares.

The weight of the world on your shoulders? Come on. Who doesn't have that?

And yes, no need to point out the obvious: I know how damn frivolous my running seems in light of our current situation but running right now is the only thing that is keeping me sane. Yes, I love my kids--little spots of happiness-- but everyone knows small children are not exactly what keeps one sane. God love them but more often than not they are known to do the opposite. So yeah, the running, it helps me be all chipper and prevents me from transferring my stress onto them. Everyone else though? Watch out.

You know, if I could just figure out how to make all this running and fitness crap pay the bills then we'd be golden. And then it would actually be a real bonafide--something to worry about, whine about, bitch about and lose sleep over--problem when I screw myself by running too hard before a race. Right?


  1. When I heard Perdue's new restrictions on outdoor watering earlier this week, I thought of you. I agree about AL & FL. The woman on Fox 5 from Alabama a week or so ago saying, "Well, I steeeel git to wash my car every afternoooon, so the drought hadn't really effected me" was way too much. I wanted to throw my bowl of cereal at her.

  2. I'm so sorry. It's the worst when something so big is so far out of your control. We will pray for rain for rain in your region.

  3. Hang in there Ms Natalie. You still have a couple of days to recover for your race.

    The rain from the last couple of days I'm sure will help. We're all praying for more rain up and down this coast.

    How about offering to paint your customers lawns green! :o)...must be some money in there somewhere!

    Of course you will do well on your half this Saturday!

  4. I hate it for you Nat. My lawn guy eats in my place for free, and I haven't seen him in a month. Don't know why. He doesn't have to do my yard to still come in. I don't mind.

    I know how damn frivolous my running seems

    Running is not frivolous. Ever. For the amount of hours we spend running, versus the amount of money we put into it, and after factoring in the rewards, running is one of the cheapest, most cost effective methods to stay healthy and sane. I guess we could try a psychiatrist instead.

    You know, if I could just figure out how to make all this running and fitness crap pay the bills then we'd be golden.

    Yes, why don't you figure that out, and along the way, let us know if we can help you :-) I hear a lot of people turn their passion into money making opportunities. What's that they say? Having a job you love and are passionate about? Priceless!!

  5. Wes has something there. Maybe you could be a running coach and teach literature?

    Next week we can Leita our troubles away. : ) At least the cold, icky run was because it was actually raining.

  6. I'm praying for rain for all of you too. What a scary situation. Running is not frivolous, taking care of yourself mentally and physically is not frivolous. Finding joy in something you like doing is not frivolous.

  7. Here in Las Vegas we've been suffering through a drought for YEARS! We're only allowed to water the grass once a week AND can't wash our cars in the driveway (must use a commercial water smart car wash). Nevertheless, the landscaping businesses here are flourishing. WHY? Due to many people wanting natural desert landscaping (read: variety of colored stones, cactus, etc.) The @ater District here gives a discount on your water bill if you have natural landscaping. Maybe your business could somehow corner the market on natural landscaping?

  8. Lala thinks rocks are the way to go.

  9. Rain, rain, pray for rain. I think you can definitely turn running into a job. What about personal training? Teaching a class (spin?). Tri training clinics? Start thinking about it and it might happen.

  10. Random thought--what if you ran a Running Bed and Breakfast. Tourists could come and stay in your B&B, and you could take them around you're favorite roots in the morning.

    ...That might be a little idea that I might produce in a few decades...You can have it for nowww if you want it!

    I am hoping that rain will come your way soon!