On Sunday, I was cranky. I thought I'd had enough of Kevin and needed a break from him. But I was cranky with Andy, too. So maybe I needed a break from the whole family. I went to my volleyball game in the evening and continued to be cranky. I was very excited to be there and playing but it wasn't a very taxing game and afterward I was in an even worse mood. On the way home, it hit me... what made me cranky before I was a mother can still make me cranky now that I'm a mother and it's not related to being a mother!
When I don't exercise, I can get in a really foul mood. It's the kind of mood that nothing can cheer up - not chocolate cake, not a really funny joke, not time alone. Nothing makes me feel better except to exercise. And I don't mean that I need to take a walk or follow Kevin around the house a few extra times in a day. I need to really work hard and fill my muscles with lactic acid. Granted, it doesn't take much to do that these days as I haven't been exercising regularly :-)
Sunday evening on my way home from volleyball, I knew that I couldn't go home and be in a good mood. I couldn't imagine facing Andy and Kevin and any of our usual antics with any sort of cheer in my attitude. So I pulled into the elementary school down the street, parked at the end of the dark lot, stepped out into the brisk air and started to run. I ran laps around the parking lot. It felt like heaven. I had to stop and walk a few times, but as soon as I caught my breath, I started to run again. My legs and arms pumped, my heart pumped, and all kinds of good chemicals were spreading their way into my brain. I smiled. And it was a lasting smile, not the kind that I can force onto my face while gritting my teeth behind it. I was joyous.