I took the day off today. Again. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to go see my PCP so I could get a referral for physical therapy. Which, BTW, I already have from the doctor who did my surgery. But, no I need one from my PCP, who won’t give it to me without a visit. A $60 visit. I have not shed a single tear since I fell. But yesterday, dealing with the red tape blankety-blank b%•*^#t, I became a bit of a blubbery mess. I than went home and ate an entire box of Skinny Cow ice cream bars. Sidebar: Have you ever actually seen a skinny cow? No. No you have not. I wish I could say that it was a rough day, and one day isn’t going to derail my otherwise healthy habits. (Spoiler alert: can’t.) You’ve all heard the saying, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”? I had coffee with my wise friend, Gila. She is a great sounding board, because she does not tolerate bullshit. She knows what her priorities are, and will not budge on making sure her needs are met. Whatever sacrifices there may be, she is willing to pay the price to keep herself healthy and vibrant. I can picture myself, healthier, leaner, able to dance my way through my vintage years. It’s like Alice looking through the Looking Glass. The healthy me is downward dogging on the other side while the me on this side is rolling around in jellybeans. Am I using my injury as an excuse to do absolutely nothing? Without a doubt. I’ve been playing this game my entire life. There’s always something else l have to do that keeps me from doing what I know is good for me. Oh, crap, I was gonna go to the gym, but I have to eat this donut instead. It’s a running joke at work. When I go off the rails, I really go off the rails. It’s hilarious. Until it’s not. So, what’s next? I don’t quite know how to answer that. I know what I’d like to say. That’s it, enough. I’m going to commit to the things that will make me healthy, physically, emotionally, financially. But I think I will say nothing. After a while it’s like listening to Charlie Brown’s mom. “Wha wha wha wha.” So for now, Ima just hold my breath….
Remember that old Joni Mitchell song “Circle Game”? It’s a poignant song about growing up, growing old, how as a child we are in such a hurry to be older, but as we age all we want is to slow time. Too young? Hate Joni Mitchell? Never heard it? Go listen to it. Yes, now. I’ll wait. Beautiful, no? Even as a young person, that song gave me a stomachache. I remember wanting to be 13, 18, 21. Wanting to grow up so my real life could start. But even then, my fear of being old, of dying? That was something that got swept under the rug. Locked away in a little box in my head. Not gonna think about it. Nope. Never gonna happen. And now, I’ll be 60 on my next birthday. My husband will be 70. We’re dealing with social security and Medicare and menopause. Friends are welcoming grandchildren. Celebrating silver wedding anniversaries. Dying. I feel in my heart the same as I did when I was 30. But my body’s got other plans. Night sweats, sleeplessness, dizziness. Arthritis, bifocals, gas, poor balance. I’m so afraid of being old and sick, I am making myself old and sick. I’m so busy pretending that I’ll never die, (Spoiler alert: will), I’m ignoring the things that might keep me stronger, that will help me live longer, be happier. Simple stuff that anyone with two brain cells to rub together has been doing all along. Exercise. Eat well. Manage stress. How hard is that? Hard. It’s hard. Very. Very. Hard. I have always lived my life in the peaceful village of Someday. Someday I’ll stop eating so much sugar. Someday I’ll go back to the gym. Meditate. Clean my closet. Big Spoiler Alert. There are never as many Somedays as we would hope. I want my days to be joyous. I want to dance and act and sing. To dream and laugh. Travel and learn and create. Until I’m old. Very old. So I guess I’ll have to accept the fact that the face in the mirror isn’t as smooth as it once was, but I do not have to accept the things I can control. I may be wrinkled. I may be completely grey under the Nice and Easy, but I can still be strong and healthy and gorgeous. I just have to want it enough to work a little harder. And to surrender the fear. Worrying doesn’t prevent bad things from happening. It just makes you less prepared when they do.
The Other Half of the Orange
Reticulated Silver, Wrinkled and Gorgeous