DOWN YES, BUT NEVER OUT AND NEVER FOR LONG…
DATE: ANY GIVEN DAY
I am known for many qualities, stubbornness being perhaps the most prominent. If I’m not especially pleased by this singular trait being so prominently in play, I am definitely proud of it. Like everyone I have so many great days where the world and almost everyone in it (baring the ones on my “list”) make me absolutely believe in intelligent design, a perfect plan, the wonder of tiny, average things. Regarding the aforementioned “list”, I am human after all and there are maybe 3 or 4, or 30 persons/things who have the dubious ill honor of being on “my list”. Hey, no ones perfect. Certainly not the ornery girl stabbing away at this keyboard. Nope. There are no trophies or angelic wings waiting at this end. I’ll get to heaven, probably, but it’ll be a total 11th hour Hail Mary pass, head to toe muddied slide into home. Yeah, I realize that’s two different sports references in my game theory metaphor, but you get the picture. If you don’t get the Hail Mary pass reference, then you are likely one, or two, or all of three things:
1. Not a Boston College football fan. Egregious flaw on your part.
2. Too young to get Doug Flutie’s awesomeness. Here, again, nothing personal, but you suck. I’m sorry, I know the truth hurts, but I like keep it real.
3. Never heard of college ball. Seriously? Never? What the hell do you do in the Fall for fun? Are you unamerican?
If you are all three, then my friend, there is no hope for you. Lock yourself in a closet. We’ll come back to you later. Maybe. Probably not. Bring snacks and a bucket, you could be in there a while.
Anyway, back to those moments of unmitigated joy, sincere pleasure at just being alive and on a beautiful planet with people you love, hurtling through time and space. Good times. They make my heart warm and fuzzy, and being a Lebanese girl, fuzzy is something I just naturally am, but on the outside. The inside fuzzies? All happy thoughts. Don’t be too busy everyday to stop and look around and take it all in. This is the good stuff old people are always taking about when they’re dropping a little wisdom on you. Stop squirming when they talk, sit up straight and pay attention. There will be a test. Ok, there won’t be a test, but relationships and life are richer for the attention. As a wise person once said (I know, you’re all thinking it was me. I get that a lot, but I didn’t author the following gem) “life isn’t greener on the other side of the fence. It’s greener where you water it.” Water your life.
Sunsets and loved ones
….and then there are the other days…the days we also each have, the ones that really feel like an uphill-all-day-blazing-heat-choking-humidity run. Moments that sap your spirit, challenge your soul. Times that leave you bloodied and beaten and down for the count. Down, yes, but never, NEVER out. At least not for long. I’m a fighter by nature. I am ill equipped to take no for an answer. I refuse to accept my limitations even as I run up against them time and again, taking swings and still falling down. Sometimes I can get up and back in the fight right away. Some days, like today, I can’t and I lay here, telling myself that I’ll bide my time. I’ll rest and rebuild my strength both body and mind. Pain is an effective equalizer. It is also an effective teacher. While pain is one of the things on that “list” I mentioned earlier, I have definitely learned to use it to see life differently. I notice more things. I notice there are others down and in some kind of pain too and it makes me want to lessen theirs. Mine is manageable. Mine I can live with. My amazing and faithless body, in all its fickle wonder, has made me aware of how loved I am. When it lets me down, others lift me up, carry me, sometimes they simply lay with me, letting their closeness comfort me.
This morning, in full defiance of my physical pain and knowing the next several days would be hard and have me in bed, fighting nausea, waiting for the aching to ease and the medications injected every three months into inflammation at the base of my spine, inflammation that likes to play games with the reliability of my feet, I went for a run. I chose a flat route, a favorite. One that passes under breeze filled trees, past a small creek, around playing fields and playgrounds with children. Past benches where very old friends sit and talk and people-watch every morning. It was hard, my legs did not want to cooperate, I dragged my right foot for the last mile wanting to just give in and stop. But whenever I feel like that, which is a lot, I like to always take one step more than I am positive I can manage, just to prove to myself that I can, that I am capable of even more than I believe.