More than a week

What a week it's been. I ran my first marathon, an emotionally charged event that helped me cope with my father's August passing. I became the legal caretaker for an elderly friend, moving her from independence to a nursing facility. A new business opportunity landed in my lap, creating behind-the-scene scurrying. And of course, those of you from St. Louis know the baseball week it's been. (Yes, 2011 World Series champs in a town hard hit by the recession. Chaotic glee.) I didn't plan it that way, yet every event was a result of planning. Or a response to a wrench in plans.

I'm feeling uber empowered after the run. It was a better finish time than I anticipated, great weather, and I enjoyed most of the miles thanks to cheerleading family and friends. As though I needed a cathartic moment mid run, I came upon the church where I was baptized. My dad told me stories of ushering (he often used sermon time to get hot stock tips from a seasoned investor:) and raising money for the stained glass windows, so as I breathlessly passed, I sobbed and sweat and possibly bargained with God to help me finish this run and this life in good form.

On Monday, my mom-in-law's best friend became my legal charge. I'm praying she lives her final years surrounded by loving caretakers. But, let me tell you, the paperwork stinks.

On Tuesday the business opportunity knocked. Am I ready? Probably not, but the research began despite my legs still aching. Laptops are a blessing.

And the backdrop to it all was a town gone mad with baseball fever. Although I'm not an avid follower, I watched and celebrated our comeback kids. Late night games (read pizza, wings, Ted Drewes heath bar concretes) cut into my post run recovery plans.

With a little reflection, it's apparent the week was only the culmination of a great deal of planning. Marathon training began in late spring, keeping my base miles from the April half marathon. When I was introduced to Coach Kristen, she gave me a plan. It didn't include my dad passing suddenly, so I stumbled through August. But a great coach will help you redirect, and I can honestly say I would have given up if not for her support. Life, and death, happen. And a 6:30 AM run around a lake was a reminder that I was very much alive.

Planning for my caretaker role started years ago with mutual respect and trust. I've always been an elderly advocate, annoyed when I see impatience and disrespect for those that once stood strong and no longer can. No need to talk down (just louder and slower), no need to internalize comments (so the filter disappears with age), no need to ignore (yes, a good manicure can brighten the day).

New business based on reputation feels good. Even if it doesn't culminate in a contract, I know I'm a viable choice for wellness consulting. And that requires planning and action to sustain. Just like our come from behind Cardinals!

I love busy weeks. I know there'll be plenty in the future. I'll keep running, keep working, keep care taking. Will I be ready for the next hurdle?

I plan on it.