Summer projects

A view from the running path (Djurgarden, Stockholm, 21 July 2012).

It’s almost the end of July, and I have been contemplating progress on two projects: the flower box and my running skills.  They are related only in that I took them on for the summer, and that they both seem to need sunshine.

In between thunderstorms here in Stockholm (it’s hailed twice, once with hailstones almost the size of small marbles!), it’s been gorgeous and sunny.  Perfect for growing flowers (if not tomatoes), and for learning how to run again.

My friend SeraSera, on a recent visit, could not emphasize enough how great the weather is here for running:  cool and breezy, but warm in the sun, and generally never hotter than 22°C (somewhere in the 70s for you folks working in Farenheit).  And it’s pretty flat, with hills if you choose to take them in certain spots, but they are not required.

So, I’m proud to report that today, for the first time in ages, I ran 5 km without stopping (okay, yes, I paused to cross two streets, but!).  It took me about half an hour.

I’m kind of psyched about this, to my surprise.  When I headed off this afternoon, I did *not* feel like going for a run.  But then I got into the rhythm of it, concentrating on my breathing, and suddenly I was 20 minutes and 4 km in without feeling the need to walk.

It was a bit of a shock. And then I felt like I had to go the whole way, that little voice in my head pushing pushing pushing.  So I listened to it, even as I kept giving myself permission to walk if I needed to take a break.  I needed to once after I passed the 5 km mark, and only for a few moments.  I was surprised that I could cruise on through the last little bit.

Flower box that Matt bought me from OoB, many months ago, now filled with dirt and snappeas (snapped July 2012).

And then, waving in the sun as if they were there to greet me, hung my sweetpea flowers in their little box outside our French door.  The first bloom appeared about a week ago, and I decided to help the rest along with some nutrients in their water this week.  Who knows if that helped, but now the flowers are popping out, a few more every day:  Another pleasing project that took a little time to come to fruition, from seeds to sprouts to fuschia, white, and lavender flowers.

So is this one of those life lessons that you learn as you get older?  It takes time to get what you want, to reach your goals — and a little bit of sun, water, and nutrients can help a lot.

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