The Meaning in the Sentence

I don’t want to say we’re getting it right. I find it very hard to believe we might be. Maybe this is one of those correlation is not causation situations.

Meghna said she was not feeling the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that “should” have come from our 30 mile adventure last weekend. I agreed. I’m not feeling it either. This is all part of the afterglow and hangover I guess.

Meghna said (I’m paraphrasing) that if we do these big things and aren’t satisfied, then there’s a problem. I agreed with that too. You fear you’ve fallen into a trap where you put increasingly audacious goals in front of yourself and never reach a place of contentment with yourself. It’s never enough. What are you chasing?

But then I thought, maybe we’ve actually got it right. If I look back on the long runs we did to get ready for this event, they were all really satisfying. When I break down the event itself, the constituent runs were all good too, each in its own way. It’s just that the 30 miles, packed together into one thing, doesn’t feel like a particularly big deal, or rather there wasn’t an epic struggle in which we prevailed.

Is this how it’s supposed to be?

We pay lip service to the process and the work being more important than the event. No one day can determine your success or failure, even the ultimate day on which you test your work. It’s the whole thing. It was always the whole thing. This is how it’s supposed to feel when your ego isn’t bound up in accomplishments and exploits.

We enjoy running, and we enjoyed ourselves all along the way. There were fun, short, fast runs. There were fun, harder, longer runs. There were some shitty runs that gained value in retrospect, because we put them behind us and kept going. It was overwhelming good, the time and energy put into achieving a thing that was itself, not that thrilling.

To murder a metaphor, maybe it’s like eating salsa. The big jar will get you through a whole bunch of individual snacks and meals. You love salsa. Every time. Finishing the jar, rinsing it and putting it in the recycle bin is the logical conclusion, but it’s not, in and of itself, the goal.

That metaphor might have worked better with a package of cookies.

Or maybe it’s like the meaning of a sentence. The period is the end. It’s how you know the sentence is over, but all the meaning comes before.

Yeah. That’s better. I like that.