Happiest moments

Yesterday, somewhere halfway through my weekly long run (I’m still on a strict running once per week regime) I realized that I was right in the middle of my happiest moment of the week. Because I was visiting relatives later that day I was able to go running somewhere different from the usual areas I choose for my weekly run, and it was wonderful. Rolling hills, beautiful views, great running weather (cold and a bit of wind), it was all there. Plus I got the time to think some things through that were work-related, and I came up with a couple of decent ideas, something that happens quite often when I’m out running.

Realizing it was my best moment of the week made me feel both great and somewhat down. Sure, I felt quite good about myself being able to run through the woods for over 20k, even though I don’t run that often, and I felt blessed to run through such beautiful scenery, but on the other hand, if those 2-2.5 hours of running are my best moments of the week, that means there’s something severely lacking during the other days of the week.

I think I know where these feelings come from: they are related to my job. I work in an interesting field in IT, I have a good job with an employer that treats me really well, however, I feel like I’m working for other people all of the time, rather than for myself. Being in contracting means I have to put in (at least) the hours in my contract, regardless of whether it’s busy or not. Luckily, we are quite busy at the moment, which is a blessing in these economic times, but still, I’m feeling there could be much more to my career.

Therefore I made a vow yesterday to take action every single day, small as it might be, to get closer to experiencing these happiest moments at work, just as I experienced them while running. It means that some things have to change, and I don’t really know where it’ll end up, but staying put for another 30-40 years isn’t something I’m particularly looking forward to. If it means putting in extra hours in order to get there, that’s OK, if it means a change of career in the long run, that’s OK too. I have an idea about how my career should look like, but it needs working on, so that’s what I’m going to do.

By the way, this is where I ran yesterday (there were paths, though):

Sallandse heuvelrug

Inspiring, isn’t it?

In other news: there has been progress on a couple of other bucket list items in the past few weeks:

  • I’ve watched another Richard Russo film (Empire Falls) and read another one of his books (Straight man). I’m still very much enjoying his telling of ordinary people in small town America that go through their lives in sometimes less than ordinary ways.
  • I’ve received confirmation of my extra payment on my student loans, which means I’m now officially 1/3 under way.
  • I’ve submitted a suggestion for a presentation for a major conference in my field. I’m particularly excited about this one and can’t wait to hear back from the organizing committee. It would mean progress on at least two bucket list items at once.
  • I’ve extended my trail run length to almost 23k (on yesterday’s run). It was tough, and the 30k mark is still some time away, but I’m getting there.
  • I’ve returned for another blood donation. Completing that item on my list doesn’t mean I intend to stop doing it.
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