Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful for Positive Peer Pressure

This morning Chad and I trotted with the other turkeys at the seventeenth annual Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot to benefit Caritas. Chad planned to walk the one mile route. However, I don't think that one measly mile is worth getting out of bed early on a holiday and braving the chilly forty-degree temperature. I signed us up for the five mile trot, and I pressured Chad into jumping into the pack for the five mile route. It was so much fun! There were people pushing strollers and walking/running their canine companions. Chad and I hope to have a dog of our own next year to take to the trot. There were groups of people sitting on their front lawns along the race route cheering on the walkers and runners. One group had big water bowls for the dogs, so thoughtful. Chad and I completed the five miles in a little over an hour. Yeah, no four-minute miles here.

Earlier this week Chad asked me how I feel about not working during the holiday season this year after twenty years of working over the winter holidays. I admit that I have mixed-feelings. I'm so happy about the prospect of enjoying the company of good friends at the Thanksgiving potluck later today without having to run off early to visit pets for other people, without worrying about getting up early tomorrow morning to work a retail job, without making the rounds at the near-empty residence halls like I did back in college. Somehow, it doesn't seem like the holidays if I'm not working. I have fought the temptation/compulsion to apply for a holiday job at the myriad of shops and boutiques around town that are still hiring. Chad kindly reminds me of the mornings that I would put my feet on the floor and wince at the pain from retail days that dragged too long. He reminds me of the daily stories I brought home about mean or crazy people I encountered at the various stores where I worked over the years. (I encountered many nice people too, but tangling with one mean or crazy person can seriously ruin your whole day.) Chad half-jokingly offers to pin a note to my shirt each morning that says, "please call my husband if I ask for a job application," at which point he will talk me down.

I owe Chad some thanks for going the extra four miles for me this morning and for reminding me to take care of myself this year during the holidays after so many years of caring for others. Positive peer pressure can be a very healthy thing.