Oh, the relief of giving up.
The relief of backing out, hands in the air, and saying: "Nope, not me. Can't do it."
Don't frown. It's seriously underrated.
I am an enthusiastic proponent of the 'try, try again' method. But you have to be strong to keep trying.
This week I am not feeling very strong. In fact I am feeling rather Victorian: a bit swoony and teary and outfaced by modern life. (Oh for a lace handkerchief to flutter and a chaise longue upon which to collapse.)
Yesterday it took me two hours to leave the house for a twenty-minute round trip to the post office. Later, it took me three attempts at parking my car in three different parking spaces before I felt confident enough to actually remove the key from the ignition and get out.
Repeatedly admitting that you're not dealing very well with the stuff that other people do without thinking is embarrassing. The whole try, try again thing actually means: so you failed again. Tough. Keep going.
But you can only keep going so long. And then, I think, you have to stop for a bit.
So here's my new mantra: Try, try again. And then give yourself a break and give up for a while.
So I am giving up for a while. I'm not going to try to do everything. I'm not going to try to be everything to everyone who needs me and berate myself for not being brilliant at it all.
I'm going to narrow everything right down to two daily targets: to get out of bed. And to run.
On Monday for the first time in months, I put on my trainers, laced them up with shaky hands, and ran four miles. Actually, it was more of a jog. And I did it on a treadmill in a gym because I felt a bit scared to go running outdoors. But I ran, and within five minutes of starting I was smiling.
On Tuesday I woke up with a welcome, familiar ache in my legs that made me smile again and offset my fear upon waking. I went to the gym again and ran another two miles.
Today I plan to run again. It won't be very far or very fast, but it will be enough.
I will take it one step at a time, until I feel like trying again.
Who wants to run with me?