Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Feat #3: On the Road Again

I decided I'd count what I did today as one of my 50 Physical Feats because it represents what I hope is another turning point since my last post (which, yikes, was over a month ago!).

If I plotted points on a graph to represent my progress since then, it would have some nice highs and some crazy lows with a general rising trajectory. My vitamin and meds regimen has made a difference, but it hasn't been magical. I think the body part of my challenges had a far greater impact on my mind and spirit than I realized. It's been an uphill climb to say the least.

The scariest part was discovering that in my exhaustion and resulting depression, I'd gotten detached from everything that is important to me. It would have been just so easy to let it all go. The image that ran through my mind over and over was releasing the grip of my fingers from the monkey bar. So easy.

I had an epiphany while watching all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer over the past few weeks (yes, that is what I've been up to in the guise of regrouping from meeting the barest minimum of life's requirements). She spends several seasons grappling with her ambivalence about being the slayer, and then ends up sacrificing herself to save the world. Her friends figure out a way to bring her back to life and it seems like all will be well, but she realizes that she doesn't want to be alive again. She disconnects. Then it takes another near-miss with the world ending for her to realize that she doesn't want it to end, and she does want to live.

In a (much less dramatic and less well dressed) way, I am Buffy. The sense of calling to make a difference, the ambivalence, the sacrifice of exhaustion, the prescriptions bringing me back, the renewed ambivalence and disconnection. And I've realized that if I totally disconnect, my little corner of the world will end. I can prevent that if I reconnect.

So I've been trying to get outdoors more. I've been diving deeply into books rather than aimlessly surfing the web. I've been spending more time with Roger and Jack. I've been trying to be more engaged at work. I've been spending more time with friends. I've been playing the piano. I've been eating food that tastes good and is good for me. I've been cleaning and organizing the house so I can enjoy a more pleasant, uncluttered environment. I've been more focused on nurturing my spirituality. Stuff like that. (And it really helped that I turned in grades for the semester!)

I've also been exercising more regularly. This afternoon, for example, instead of taking the nap that I yearned for, I walked to the mouth of the canyon on our city bike trail. I meant to walk back, too, but decided to run some intervals. After the second interval, I just ran. Ran about a mile, all the way back to our neighborhood. I totally surprised myself.

And given the state I've been in for the past few months, I count that as a physical (and mental and emotional) feat.