So many things have changed for me over the past year….new jobs, another move, my kids are adulting – I’m happily involved with a wonderful partner. Yep…so many things have changed, yet so many things are still the same. I’m ready to hit the road, but I’m also a bit stuck in neutral. Some paths are easy to navigate, others are dark and sinister and yet some are just unknown. I’m not afraid of change, but I am afraid of complacency, so I keep myself occupied by taking charge of my health and well-being.
I took the leap and got a membership to the Y. I’ve been working out at least 3 times a week and I’ve paid for a personal trainer to guide me so that I don’t hurt myself trying to become healthy. The last thing I wanted was to get started, hurt myself and then have my monthly payment just be my monthly “donation” to the Y. I wanted to utilize the services that are available and make fitness part of my life. I’m so happy I did because I feel better and even my clothes seem to fit better. However, I’m not going to say that it was easy by any means of the word! My personal trainer, we’ll call her Little Miss, is probably the same age as my daughter and it would take two of her to make one of me! She is a tiny, sweet-faced young lady that I believe is completely made up of sugar and spice and everything nice. Her long, wavy blond hair styled perfectly, lashes covered in a thick coat of mascara and her little tanned body, I’m convinced, is solid muscle.
She wasn’t intimidating in the beginning, and I think she was thrown by my “witty” sense of humor, but the little sprite got me set in the right direction! She’d say, “Ok, just one more set…on that side.” I’m sweating like a whore in church, breathing heavily and could feel my muscles screaming “NO MORE”, but I persisted…I pushed and I kinda finished the last sets as well as my middle-aged, soft, mushy body would let me.
She’d say, “Good going! See? You did it!!”
I’d look at her with my sweaty red face and say, “My muscles are biting me, really hard!” Meaning, of course, that my body is out of shape and I could feel “the burn”.
Poor little thing – she’d get this frightened look on her face and asked me worriedly, “Are you in pain? Do we need to stop?”
I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be embarrassed or happy, so I just put my hand up and told her I was fine. Then Little Miss hopped on over to the next mind-bending, pain toture device and say in her sugary, sweet voice: “Just three sets.”
Finally, I’ve lived my whole life never doing a squat, I now understand that they are an exercise thought up by some horrible, awful, mean person who loved to see middle-aged, red-faced women cry. I was completely caught off guard by this exercise and had no clue that there is a right way AND a wrong way of doing them. Also, I wasn’t aware that Little Miss was going to make me do them over again when I didn’t do them correctly! I hate squats and honestly? I hated her for awhile, that is, until I realized that my ass is looking quite bit less droopy and there is a very good possibility that one could bounce a quarter off of it…so I may not be running any marathons, but it’s not about marathons – it’s about feeling better and staying strong. If my ass can do it, then so can I.
For my well-being, I meditate. I used to think it was hokey and people who yapped about their inner peace were weirdos, but my advice to anyone contemplating meditation: when someone tells you to meditate for your mental health and inner peace – don’t brush them off as hokey weirdos – try it! At first , when I would try to mediate I would get comfortable, turn on the groovy meditation wind pipe music and sit cross legged with my palms turned upright so that I could accept the universe and release the negativity. HA! As soon as I finally got situated and things were ready for me to meditate, my mind would get noisy. I had this preconceived notion that meditation was total silence and focus on just “being”. That’s a load of crap!!! What I’ve learned is that meditation is not doing what everyone else does, but doing what you can so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, your thoughts, and your physical self – like your breathing, and, you know, like that itch? Yeah…be aware of that itch and scratch it!! It’s not about trying to ignore your physical feelings or your thoughts, it’s not total silence or chanting or letting go – it’s being aware of your thoughts and feelings. Meditation for me is experiencing all the things that I’ve ignored throughout my busy day. Keep trying – don’t give up because your thoughts wander to what you want to make for dinner – experience that thought, be aware of it and just let it be. I promise that you’ll be so much more peaceful. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but I am saying it’s worth it!!! Being mindful of your inner self and letting your inner self be at peace is the true gift of meditation.
Speaking of mindfulness, I’ve become more mindful of the importance of writing in my journal; however, I’ve failed miserably at making this a daily habit. I even purchased a journal with coloring pages along with a couple packs of colored pencils, so that I could entice myself to be a more diligent writer in my daily journal; however, that backfired – I just color instead of write. I know, I know…I need to write! My sweetheart just bought me a clever little book of writing prompts to encourage me to write more, so I’m running out of road blocks. I still haven’t written in it and I don’t know why I’m so intimidated or why I feel so threatened by writing daily. I’ve never had this problem before. I hope it’s some form of writer’s block and that one day the block will move a bit and I’ll see the words form and feel that unearthly, surreal need to write the words and have the words read. I need to find my way back to the “shitty first draft” (Anne Lamott) – I’ll get there…I will. I know it.
Unfortunately, I’ve made the discovery that I’ve written more as well as some of my best stuff when my life was in shambles. I found it theraputic to write when my mind was uneasy, my heart broken and my world was utter chaos. What do happy people write about? When I figure that out – you’ll be seeing more from me…I hope.