A Terrible Great Thing Happened Yesterday.

There is no post today.  I understand that seems unlikely since you are indeed, at this very moment, reading a post.  But … trust me.  There is no post today. 

I know this because yesterday, when I was supposed to be writing today’s post,  I sat at my desk staring out the window.  All day.  For like 12 hours. Occasionally I’d let my eyes drop and I’d stare at my boots for a change of scenery. It was terrible.

Let me explain a bit about how I work, and how most bloggers work.  You have a calendar and you have post ideas written down for the future. I personally have a month’s worth of post ideas scheduled in advance.  So at the beginning of the month I know exactly what I’m going to be writing about for the entire month.

This eliminates the stress of OMGWHATAMIGOINGTOWRITEABOUT. Which is an official disorder according to the Medical Association of Bloggers and University Students.  Treatment varies but ranges from doing 16 consecutive loads of laundry to attending a kegger.

So I had all my post ideas written on my calendar but for some reason today’s post was missing. I had nothing written down. No scribbles, no ideas, nothing, all I had was a big, fat blank square and the feeling of impending doom that goes with it.

So I stared out the window.  A couple of times I took a break from my intensive window staring to walk around and check my sap buckets, talk to some neighbours, and then I got back to my window staring. Every once in a while I’d swivel towards my computer determined to think of something to write about. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to force yourself to come up with an idea but it’s kind of like forcing yourself to poop if you’re constipated.  You can try all you want but nothing is going to come out.

In desperation I typed into the Google bar … what can I write about?  This brought up a litany of posts from other bloggers with ideas on what to write about!  I kicked my heels off of the desk, planted them firmly on the ground and got to reading.  Somewhere in between the suggestions of “Write about what you had for lunch” and the very popular “Write about something you know about”, I branched off into YouTube videos of cats doing weird cat things.  Somehow that led me to this fun little life tip.

I want you to go to Google right now.  In the search bar type “do a barrel roll”.  But don’t put the quotation marks in it. I just added those so you knew what I wanted you to type.  Go ahead, do it now before you forget.

I can’t say I was instantly cured of my writer’s block but I did feel mildly queasy which was a fun change the feeling of impending doom.

I then headed to Instagram where I asked my followers if they had any ideas.  They did. But I didn’t feel like writing about any of them.  I guess I just didn’t feel like doing anything.  So how did all of this turn out great?

At around 4:30 p.m. I finally decided to give up.  That it just wasn’t going to happen and I should just stop stressing about it.  I really should have recognized the signs and given up hours earlier instead of wasting time getting nothing accomplished.

I put on my running shoes and tights, plugged in my earbuds and walked out the door.  I ran.  I ran and I ran and I ran like I’ve never run before. I’ve mentioned  that I am a spectacularly bad runner.  Either my legs feel like they’re made of cast iron, or they tingle or I keep turning left so I’m never too far from home in case I suddenly get the desire to empty the dishwasher or paint my bedroom.

But not today.  Not on this terrible day.

Instead, I trotted off at my usual pace, arthritic elderly tortoise, and felt pretty good.  My standard run is 5 km.  That is all my body wants to do and that’s all my mind wants to do.  By 3km I’m usually thinking about what shortcuts I can take to get  home so I can make dinner and eat it all down.

What happened yesterday, on that terribly unproductive day was I ran longer and faster than I have ever run in my life. I had 3 personal bests. Fastest pace, longest duration and most kilometres. And it was easy. I could have kept running forever, but I stopped at 10 km because at the rate I was going I wasn’t going to stop until I ended up on a shrimp boat in Alabama with Lieutenant Dan.

It was great.  I felt great.

Somehow all the stars aligned. Something terrible turned into something great because I decided to stop fighting it and leave the terrible behind.

I hope you enjoyed today’s non post where my epiphany for you was  to literally run away from your problems.

You’re welcome.

This post was originally published exactly 3 years ago.  I still hate running. 

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←

 

116 Comments

  1. Teresa says:

    Perhaps you are just embracing the idea of your new blog, “The Art of Doing Nothing”
    That overheard conversation still cracks me up but there might be a bit of epiphany there too.

  2. Jane says:

    “No problem is so big or so complicated that it can’t be run away from!”

    ― Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, 1959-1962

    • Laura Bart says:

      I dreamed of Charles Schultz last night; just a few hours before reading your comment. (Cue the Twilight Zone theme song.) I grew up in Northern California, attending church with my family. Our pastor was an avid Peanuts fan. His sermons most often included the gist of a recent Peanuts comic strip from the San Francisco Chronicle. My Dad had a local Sunday afternoon TV show in which he visited and interviewed interesting folks from the area. One of his favorites was with Charles Schultz in Sonoma County. During this visit, Dad shared our Pastor’s inclusion of the Peanuts Gang in the Sunday services. Next thing we knew, Dad was presenting Reverend Tritenbach with an illustration of Snoopy, on his back atop his doghouse with a caption written just for our Pastor John. Sweet. Recently I was wondering what happened to that drawing and the dream seed was planted. Maybe a very uninteresting remembrance for everyone, I just felt I should write now in case I had block later, make hay while the sun shines kind of thing?

      • Pam says:

        Great story! Enjoyed it?

      • Dawn Jorgensen says:

        What was the show your Dad did? Was it a Bay Area station? I grew up in San Jose \Milpitas.
        Do you have an of them? I’d love to see them! On YouTube.
        This was in itself an incredibly informative article. We definitely needs to be reminded to focus on something different or just enjoy cats that are doing something cute, funny or adorable. Personally I love the dog ones! Especially Dobermans. Its fun to watch the smooth, elegant watchful dogs slip, collect themselves, look around to see if anyone saw then smoothly run on. Just one example.
        I appreciate this article. Thank you.

        • Laura McEachern Bart says:

          Hello Bay Area Dawn! My Dad’s show was called “Community Circle” on KRON, the NBC affiliate in San Francisco. It was long ago, it started in 1958. He went by the name Lee Noble (his middle name), or Lee McEachern. We’ve never found any of those Sunday shows in any archives. He was also a DJ on their radio station as well as KFRC before it went rock & roll. He was a radio operator on aircraft in WWII and brought those skills to a career in Memphis, TN then to California. My two brothers followed in his big footsteps and have worked in SF television news, video production and now one is the host of the World Series of Poker on ESPN. One of Dad’s grandsons does sound for all the Star Wars movies. I guess the apples really don’t fall far from the tree! 🍎 Thanks for asking, that was fun to recall all of that.

  3. Kat Bat says:

    Okay, so the barrel roll made me nauseous, but walking across a room has the same effect, so… Everyone deserves a day off, and if you’re feeling particularly unproductive on a particular day, so what? You have my permission. And we all know how important that is. LOL! My goal every day is to do nothing. I just haven’t figured out how to make that happen. Maybe if I had a pair of really groovy boots to stare at…

  4. Jane says:

    I have noticed lately that alot of your posts are just repeats. Kind of disappointed as I enjoy your blog…why?

    • JOHN C. TRUEX says:

      I just wanted to congratulate her for doing nothing yesterday ;-)

    • Ly says:

      when you have nothing good to say, it’s good to say nothing

    • Therese says:

      The last six days were not reposts…..

      I started following Karen because she is funny. Smart. Not full of herself. She inspires me.

      I am sure her artistic side needs a break at times.

      I have not read all of her previous posts, and I happen to enjoy many of the reposts she puts out. I also enjoy reading most of the comments others make.

      I am sorry you are disappointed but perhaps you will find another blog to fulfill your needs.

      I hope Karen enjoyed her day off . t

    • Gigi says:

      I have noticed the same thing. Guess that just means we have been with Karen a lonnnnnnnng time and have learned her arts already. Still enjoy the comment section even if I’ve read it all before. Karen is always good for a chuckle or two. I’ll stick with her awhile longer.
      Perhaps her new subscription blog is her new energy direction?

      • Mary W says:

        I’ve been with her quite awhile and also enjoy the reposts. I’m so old that I forget I’ve read them, I enjoy them all over again, then start to reply and see my old reply (I read the comments for fun) and realize I had forgotten everything including my reply. Not only do I get a laugh with her writing, I get a double laugh at my memory. Being able to laugh at yourself should provide a life of merriment! My morning coffee is not the same when I don’t have a Karen post to read.

        • Jacquie Gariano says:

          I do that too. But it’s OK. I enjoythe blog like it’s new to me. I even buy books that I have read before, but don’t notice til I;m well into te book. But since I can’t remember the end, I finish the book anyway. It becomes a double treat. So, I believe also, “If you can’t think of something to do, do nothing or read a good book over again….LOL

    • Karen says:

      Some of the topics are repeated because the majority of readers are new. People come and go. So someone who wasn’t here 3 or 4 years ago won’t have seen any of the posts before that. With most posts (not this one) I completely rewrite, rephotograph and update them. I understand it seems like I just quickly repost something but reworking and republishing them takes just about as long as creating an entirely new one. Hope that explains it. ~ karen!

  5. Joanne Lewis says:

    loved the barrel roll!

  6. Shirley says:

    You didn’t say how your body felt the next day! If I did a 10 k run, I would have to spent the next day watching my feet poking up under the blankets!🥴

  7. Tate says:

    Some times you have to just start and run by the roses.

  8. I love this. –It’s like your unconscious knew you were simply supposed to run that day. AND you were rewarded by not fighting it.

  9. Gaeyl says:

    I believe that was the best you could do you restored and refreshed . Should’as and could’as some times need a chill out. So thumbs up from me.

  10. Maureen Locke says:

    That barrel roll just about did me in. I just stuffed my face with a huge roast beef dinner and wasn’t prepared for that. Queasy much? I wish I could run, or walk, or do any kind of good for me exercise stuff. I’m just a lazy lump….. Tomorrow will be a better day :)

  11. Yabut says:

    I used to have “the stress of OMGWHATAMIGOINGTOWRITEABOUT” when I was a newspaper columnist with a deadline. I gave that up as it was turning something I loved to do (write) into something too much like work. As we all know, that can take the joy out of things in a hurry. So, now I’m a blogger, but on my own terms. Even so, my blog has been picked up by news agencies and duplicated in their online publications. I don’t pre-plan anything. I just write when the idea hits me. And if one doesn’t, you are likely to get samples of my latest art project. LOL

  12. judy says:

    What a wonderful inspiring post. We should all do more of getting outside-outside of our nagging brains, manmade structures with their enclosing comfort or duty or time wasting distractions and breathe and move and sit- on a park bench and just be…at rest,at Peace,fully alive…and happy

  13. Mary says:

    Amazing! I am so jealous. I don’t think my body has any ability like that.

  14. Kmarie says:

    This makes me like your internet self even more. Well, I already liked you from your posts anyway but still…

    You are almost the opposite of me in your go getter abilities. I think I read you because of both your humour and counter balance to me. Plus, not many people blog regularly anymore and I miss those days:) I don’t attempt half of what you do…or I make my husband do the DIY projects and I decorate them. You remind me of my fav aunt. She also weirdly shares your name with the ‘a’ instead of ‘e.’ Anyway, weird personal tangent. I’m not especially socially appropriate I suppose…maybe? Regardless, It’s nice to know you have days that are awesomely ordinary…Except for that Gump run…I count that as at least a week’s work of productive activity:) Bravo.

    • Michelle says:

      I’m sorry for your bad day!!! We all have them and through them!!! Keep your chin up Sunshine!!!🌻🌻🌻
      Hugs from Iowa 😊

  15. Heather says:

    I wish I could not write as well as you!

  16. Ardith says:

    Brava, Karen! That is some magical transformation of a day.

    For myself, it is the zen of preparing to move. Right now this consists of defying physics (or rather adapting quantum physics) to pack belongings into boxes that exactly fit the space and time the objects currently occupy. When I succeed, the universe shifts just ever so slightly.

    May you enjoy more endorphin-filled days. Now I’m off to experience some barrel rolling firsthand for an adrenalin rush.

  17. Allen says:

    Congratulations! You had what we call a “blow day” ; when nothing seems to work, so the hell with it. So, you’ll feel better when you next sit down to blog. Kinda like a bumper sticker that says “Trump happens”…

    • Karen says:

      LOL! ~ karen

    • Nancy Ann says:

      Not funny, Allen. The majority of Americans wanted him for President and still do.

      • Pam says:

        Not the majority. Not by a long way. Don’t go there.

        • Nancy Ann says:

          Well, it’s apparent you listen to main stream media. Ever heard of Dominion voting machines? That’s what kept Hugo Chavez in office for 20 years, after his death Maduro stole elections using the same machines. Under Chavez, Venezuela was mismanaged from a beautiful, oil rich, independently wealthy country to what it is now: poor, no clean water, hopeless, starving people, desperation. Dominion voting machines were used in our last election. My horse vet is from Venezuela.

    • Dee says:

      Good one Allen!

    • Joy Smith says:

      I’m with ya Nancy, a lot of blind leading the blind in this country. Sure does suck.

  18. Susan B says:

    Those boots are worth contemplating!

  19. J says:

    Karen-Love your posts, love your not posts. Sometimes life sucks, and given enough time and/or distraction life can awaken in us curiosity or what ever it takes to get a person moving. Getting outside and doing something repetitive helps me.
    Love your posts.

  20. Melissa C says:

    Karen, you always make me laugh. Loved the barrel roll thing too. Don’t sweat the writer’s block. I think your blog of not having a blog was great and puts into perspective of how we all have those days of “holy [email protected]#, I’m not prepared but I’m going to wing it” kind of days!
    Contrats on the run by the way. I say that to anyone that actually runs on purpose!

  21. Heather Sykora says:

    I think this is in my top 10 favorite posts! Or non- post post 🤔
    I plan on rereading it next time I have a day that comes to a grinding halt!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • I am new to your posts, but I have to say….hooray! You have reached an accumulation of consistent works to allow yourself to be a more confident/secure human. We all need an unplanned day now and then to hit pause, and feel the earth turn.
      I started running longer distance in my fifties, inspired by athletes in their 60’s, 70’s & 80’s! I found the mental health benefit to be truly astounding. In a perfect day, I could start that turtle pace (water and small snack onboard) and 2 hours later, hit 10 mi and LOTS of creative ideas. Or 29 hours, 100 miles and the outline for a whole novel!
      Also, I love repeats. My brain needs repetition to learn.

      Thank you for your great work, Karen
      -Kirsten

  22. Mary W says:

    Wiggly – poopy – squirming runners are a real workout to deal with but the sweet hugs and smiles make it worthwhile! At 72, it becomes an olympic workout.

  23. Andrea says:

    BArrel roll was great. And 8 found out if you type in “askew” the results will be. Askew!

  24. linda in illinois says:

    I’ve never been able to ride amusement park rides so the barrel roll about made me puke. Thanks so much for that first thing in the morning.

  25. Dawn says:

    It was your daily destiny. You can’t fight it. You just have to find it.
    You found all 10K of it.

  26. Alice says:

    😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣😄😄😄

  27. Mary W says:

    I ran, too! I ran after my 2 yo grandson while babysitting. It was fun for the first 3 minutes, then I just wanted to sit and work Sudoku. He did the barrel rolls! Rather then my normal exercise of diddly squats, I can mix it up and little and do some barrel rolls – thanks!

    • Jenny says:

      Sounds like a workout to me! My current exercise regimen is just benchpressing our 9 month old–he’s only about 22 lbs but the real challenge is the wiggliness. ;)

    • Karen says:

      LOL, I’m there for ya. ;) Now get back to your exercises. ~ karen!

  28. Eileen says:

    WOW…MOM…WOW!

    [ulp]

  29. Mia says:

    Walking has similar effect for me; it clears my head if I’m not trying to. And I’m with others in that I felt better just reading your post, but wish the running section had more details and was just a squoosh more detail.

  30. Barb says:

    This post was a “Seinfeld” moment! And the barrel roll was totally unexpected. Thanks.

  31. Melissa says:

    A PB? That’s amazing! If you really want a challenge, try running in those boots ;)

  32. Sabina says:

    That. Made. Me. Dizzy. I’m going for a walk…

  33. Cathy Reeves says:

    Nevertheless she persisted.

  34. Barbie says:

    I meant SAT not Saturday lol

  35. Barbie says:

    Hmmmm …. I had a day like that yesterday…. Saturday on one chair most of the day doing nothing at all…. next time I will try running!!!

  36. MrsChrisSA says:

    I feel queezy.
    That’s all.

    Barrell roll on an empty stomach.

  37. I don’t run but I did have a very non-productive art day in my studio ! But I did get a longer walk in today with my two dogs
    …..one of whom can roll a barrel shaped exercise ball !!!

  38. Jo says:

    I think this is the perfect non post. Very inspirational! Good job!

  39. Kim says:

    You’re awesome. And I think that’s just my favourite part of life: when the wonderful thing happens because of the shitty thing. I never get tired of it.

    In fact, I’m waiting on a wonderful thing right now.

  40. Luanne says:

    This was a pretty good non post post. :)

    At any time of the year, btw, I like to read about people who are still working on their New Year’s resolutions. How they managed to prepare a resolution that they can maintain.

  41. Mark says:

    You impress me all to hell, Karen.

  42. Robert says:

    Karen……………………………………………..
    Are you sure you’re OK?
    First brussel sprouts and now this?!
    Should we get into a bunker?
    You are killing me!

  43. Carol says:

    Love them kind of days if I ever get one… good for you! Happy your bad day turned into a good day!

  44. Kipper says:

    Very impressive. I only run to sales racks. I did the spring prune of 60 rose bushes today. Does that count as exercise?

  45. Kerry of Inman says:

    Your nonproductive day turned out great! I laughed out loud when I read the words ‘a shrimp boat in Alabama and Lieutenant Dan.’ I love Forrest Gump – one of my favorite movies! thank you for the laugh and the lift. I spent all day in my pajamas, tomorrow I’m going to try to do better

    • Karen says:

      A day in your pajamas every once in a while is a great thing! More than every once in a while might be a cause for concern. Get out of those pajamas! ~ karen

  46. Ev Wilcox says:

    2,320,000 barrel rolls. Really.

  47. Sandra says:

    This is fantastic as I, too, ran away from my problems today! I didn’t break records but it was such a great feeling to be out and pushing myself physically instead of being chained to my computer attempting to finish my dissertation. At first I chastised myself about procrastinating but then halfway through the run I realized this was actually better use of my time :) As is reading your blog as a ‘break’ ;)

  48. Brenda says:

    OMG – no post today! Woah Though – Thanks for letting us know.

  49. Biggi says:

    OMG OMG the barrel roll thing lol 😆

  50. Julie says:

    I love it when a run just turns into a run and not a chore!!! I’ve given myself a #50by50 challenge and I’m running 50 races by the time I’m 50.

    16 down! 2 years to go. Might have to sign up for Around the Bay!

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