Productivity has never been my strong suit and by that I mean that I’m very, very, very good at procrastinating. I could write you a whole library of books on How Not To Get Things Done but I won’t because, you know, it probably wouldn’t get done.
In my more fantastical moments of day dreaming about this run, I imagined myself morphing into a hyper-efficient human from the second my trainers first hit the ground. Unsurprisingly though, that hasn’t happened because I’m still me, albeit a me who is covering a few more miles than usual. There’s still Homes Under The Hammer to while away my mornings to and Master Chef to grip me in the evenings. There’s still Taylor Swift to mindlessly listen to as I shuffle along from place to place and there’s still Twitter to scroll through and pointless Tumblr accounts to stalk when I stop for a break. And even in moments when my phone has died and there’s no TV, there’s still paint to watch dry and naps to take.
I started my day today having a not particularly fun conversation with a friend. I was whining, we were disagreeing – not very zen, I know, but it happens – and they said to me, “you were too wrapped up in being miserable/scared/grumpy about quitting your great job to go and do something people only dream of.” Shortly afterwards, I hauled my pack onto my back and started out on the short run from Sandwich to Deal, feeling distinctly disgruntled. At some point whilst negotiating a muddy field alongside an unpathed A road, snagging my leggings on brambles as I went, I realised that they were right. I’ve manufactured an incredibly fortunate situation for myself and a quite rare type of freedom. Do I really want to waste that by living the same life I lived at home, just a little lonelier and with a slightly altered backdrop each night?
In beginning this adventure, I’ve basically brought myself the most precious thing there is: time. Let’s say I run for five hours each day and sleep for nine. That’s ten hours left to do whatever I want. I’m not trying to squeeze hobbies and projects and ideas in around long shifts and a social life anymore. In simplifying my life I’ve gained so much time. I have ten whole hours every single day wide open to fill with whatever I want and, ultimately, it’s how I use those hours that will make this run mean something.
I have some ideas for what I want to use this time for – clue: turns out you can learn pretty much anything via podcast – and perhaps later I’ll publish those ideas a little more concretely. Then, hopefully, the slim chance that somebody might remember this post in a year’s time and the potential for that person to pull me up and say, ‘hey Elise, did you get that stuff done?’ will hold me accountable somewhat to not wasting what could and should be a very special year.
A 10 month adventure. 293 days left. 10 hours per day. What would you do with 2930 hours?