Friday, November 26, 2010

Run Down

So I've been walking like crazy this week. I walked 5 miles yesterday. I just kept going. And every so often I felt like running. So I'd just start running until I stopped. Then I hack up a lung because it was like 30 degrees and windy and made it hard to breathe. Then I'd walk my little heart out some more. Then went back out last night for a half hour walk.

The night before I walked out the door and was hit by such a blast of cold air that I just started running and before I knew it I was half way down the street. Then I walked more. Then ran, then walked.

Today, my quads hurt. Like worse than mountain climbing. And my knees are wondering what I did. And my shins think something might be up. I'm trying not to blame it on age. But I'm thinking we'll take it easy on the running for now. Walking is just fine and I can get the bike out if I need speed.

But I walked 40 minutes tonight. It was so pretty and just the right temperature.

According to my little tracking system I have walked 535 minutes so far this week, and burned 4057 calories. Sweet. Let's see if we can get it up to 600 by tomorrow.

Thank heavens for my jacuzzi tub.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Little Habit

I seem to have developed a little habit. I don't want to jinx it but it appears that I go for a morning walk every morning at 7 (2 miles, 30 minutes) and then when 7 at night rolls around I'm back out for an evening walk (2 miles, 30 minutes, 1 flash light, 1 reflective vest). I have a few routes and they are all exactly the same length and take exactly 30 minutes no matter how slow or fast I think I'm walking.

It's nice. The air is nice now and I like walking in the dark at night. I like seeing the other people out. Soon I'll be able to start seeing people's Christmas lights. And walk when it's snowing which is so beautiful and peaceful.

On the morning walks I tend to plan my day and have epiphanies about work and look at the ocean. In the evening I look at the sky and make up pretend stories about my life and talk to myself.

I highly recommend it. All of it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Yoga Class I'd Like to Take

Enough people in the room so the energy was good, but not crowded. Lights down. Gaura Vani and his band in the front. Harmonium. Drum. Chanting. Then the teacher, and this is the most important part, instead of shouting over the music or talking incessantly through each pose, acts like a conductor - silent, or maybe just whispering the name of a pose and then the students are free to get in it, explore it, breathe. But the teacher is quiet. Silent. Until "tree" she whispers and we find our trees. They sway, they stand tall. "Flow" he whispers and we go where our flow takes us, with the music. "Floor" they whisper. And we make our way to the floor. Bending forward and back, doing what our bodies want all the while the music is playing. "Still" they whisper and we lie there, while they come around and tuck us in and we listen to the music.

And then we all wake up and sing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things I Love

  • That I can walk around the curve of the harbor to meet friends for drinks,
  • Friends who make me laugh and whom I make laugh,
  • Pomegranate martinis,
  • Walking home and seeing the lobster boats sitting on the water like they are on glass,
  • Seeing faint Christmas lights in the distance,
  • The air that is just cold enough to wear a jacket and scarf,
  • Coming home to a warm house,
  • Coming home.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Strange Epiphanies

Sometimes I'm riddled with anxiety. I could say it was brought on by this or that, but really it lives in my brain along with joy and calmness and elation and sadness and everything else. And sometimes it just bullies its way to the front of the line and says "I'm in charge here! There is danger lurking and I must warn you all what might happen. And remind you of all the things I thought would happen last time. And prepare you to fight fight fight! or perhaps die die die!" It puffs out its chest and grabs its spyglass (it is quite dramatic) and wrestles the wheel from me (we're on a boat, stay with me here) and proceeds to try to steer with one hand while scanning the horizon wildly for the Very Bad Things that are surely out there. And my little boat that was sailing along is now keeling from side to side, hitting waves the wrong way while my anxiety (who I think must have been hitting some sort of bottle while he was below deck) steers the way.

And the little quiet emotions like contentment, happiness, curiosity, joy, and bravery get sea sick and slink down to their bunks to nap and puke. And I hang on and humor the anxiety and try to remember what I'm supposed to do when he's there behind the wheel. Mindfulness? Now? When there is Danger Ahead?! And where was this ship going anyway? And why?

So that's where I found myself today, green on the deck of my little ship and in a government office with my lawyer uniform on picking up some papers. The type of government office where you think everyone will be mean. And not helpful. And rude.

And yet. And yet. Every single one of them was nice. The receptionist, the people who walked through the waiting room and asked if I'd been helped, the woman behind me talking to a recipient of their services who was so nice to her I about burst into tears, the supervisor who came out to help me. Every single person was nice. As though that was their job. And with each bit of kindness that surrounded me, the boat got a little steadier, anxiety loosened his grip on the wheel and stumbled away (spyglass in hand, just in case, but lowered a bit), the map got a little clearer, the journey a little more sure, and I took hold of the wheel again to steady our course.

Kindness. That is the reason for our journey. Not the sort of kindness where I let my ship crash upon the rocks so someone else doesn't need to move, but the kind where if I need to send a letter to someone who hasn't done what they need to, I can write the letter kindly but firmly. If I need to say to someone, "please get off my ship, I have not given you permission to board" I don't need to kick them in the balls while I say it.

Why kindness made the anxiety dissolve is unknown. But just as I try not to question it when it comes, I don't question when it leaves either. It's part of my journey, but it's not the destination and it is not the captain of this ship.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gold Stars!

I'm handing out gold stars today. Just to myself since I'm the only one here, but feel free to award yourself some.

One for making my bed.
One for walking this morning.
One for voting.
One for packing a lunch (rice, roasted squash and plain tofu. Better than it sounds.)
One for having all my November bills paid. On time & in full!
One for having sore triceps from lifting weights.
One for tracking my food.

Big fuzzy things like being a good human being don't get gold stars. Those are a given and done because they are what you do. Like not getting money for good grades when I was in school because of course you got good grades, that's what is done.

And one for shutting the computer off at 8 p.m. and going to lift weights, write, and perhaps even sit.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ends v. Means

So I'm doing that thing again where I think "there's too much around the middle here, it's uncomfortable" and I start walking and lifting my hand weights and thinking about what I eat and tracking it. Etc.

But this time I don't have a scale. I am not measuring success by the scale. The scale is not the end, with the actions being the means. The actions are the end.

When I get up and walk in the morning - success!
When I take some time to pack my lunch - success!
When I come home and make wicked yummy tofu & veggie stir fry over rice instead of macaroni & cheese - success!
When I lift my hand weights at night - success!
When I pack my stuff and go to yoga - success!
When I sit at the table to have a meal instead of perching on the sofa with the laptop - success!
When I have my glass of water instead of a second beer - success!

Hmm, 6 gold stars for me today!

Every single day, multiple times a day, I can and am succeeding. Each of these things is an end in itself. I don't need to wait for one day a week to be told whether I've succeeded or failed. I certainly don't need a number to tell me whether I've succeeded or failed (and if I do, I'll look for that number on my client roster or bank account or Christmas card list) and I don't need anything to say "those things aren't working." Because anything that gets my feet moving and heart pumping works, anything that gets my mind and soul chilled out works, anything that gets more veggies in my belly works, anything that makes my muscles stronger works.

That's what's working well in my brain today. The things that aren't working so well shall be journaled later. After I clean the kitchen and have tea. Ooh, 2 more gold stars.