Aging gracefully

  I am far from saintly, imbued with a weakness for the profane, for excess, and more than my fair share of debauchery. However, when it comes to my health I am the model of good intentions: I exercise mindfully every single day. I eat healthy foods, meditate, pray, and hug people all of the time (which we know thanks to science hugs help you live a longer, happier life. The more the better!). Hell, I even stretch after exercising. I even stretch after sleeping! However there is still the nagging fact that I am imperfectly made in my human design. All those ounces of prevention do me a world of good, but are no immunization for aging and genetics and general “well that’s life-ness”. Still I soldier on cheerfully. Mostly cheerfully. Ok, I get monstrous at times. It makes me appear mysterious and keeps my family guessing. This morning I had 4 more injections into the base of my spine, just four weeks after having the same procedure done, with the same flat on my ass, nausea filled recovery. My kids are awesome. They know mom’s not ever down on the mats like this easily or often and they nurture my peaked spirit with such tenderness and love. They stepped into every role plus their own, and made giving in to a long day of fitful sleep, guiltless and easier. I know my hubby longs to be here to be superman for me but he is currently taking the capital by storm with our 4th son and the entire 8th grade class on a week long field trip. Somehow I feel I got the easier deal, but he really loves stuff like that. So I am curled up with pillows and ice packs, and treated to snuggles and whispered stories of the day in my cool, darkened room while it spins slowly on towards tomorrow, and one more step closer to healing.

This

    This. Just…THIS. This night sky greeted my eyes moments ago when I gingerly stepped outside for a slow, cool, soothing breath. Today I had 4 shots in my spine to abate the chronic pain and inflammation that I refuse to give in to. I thought, with great hubris, that my husband, Dale, would be able to simply pick me up from my work and take me back after the procedure with this small inconvenience only a blip on my screen for the day. I had plans, but hubris, that’s what I had more of. Getting up from the table I was met with the unplanned, the un-allotted for, the how-dare-I-be-human reality.  It was more painful than I expected, but I’ve had 5 kids, so this is small potatoes. If hubris is my fatal flaw, perspective levels the field as my dear companion. This won’t take me down, there are much worse things that could happen. I’ll carry this one gladly. However, nausea, deep, sweeping nausea from my toes to the hair in my head, met me. Unceasing, sweaty, dizzying nausea that I know with certainty will be a faint memory in a matter of days, hopefully replaced by a spine that won’t defy me all the time, met me with a desperate intensity sending me home and banishing me to my bed. But this nausea is so overwhelming, and the dull ache in my back and legs cause a restlessness and drive me out of my bed and into the evenings embrace for fresh air and peace. And with that first, slow, cold breath filling my lungs I opened my eyes and saw this beautiful, brilliant sunset. This. Here. Now. Peace.

Always the absurd


I consider myself a capable woman. I am attentive to my health and wellbeing, ever striving to better the fascinating contradictions of the body I was given, and the body I have made. I exercise and eat healthy, though I am also given to sloth and gluttony on occasion. As I approached my birthday, I renewed my efforts to not lose more ground than is absolutely necessary and so I promised myself to run more miles each week, and added fish oil at the insistence of a friend who swears by its benefits for those like myself given to that sloth and gluttony I mentioned. I have resisted other popular/faddish trends by successfully hiding under blankets with coffee and doughnuts, but this seemed like a doable thing. I was wrong.


These are ridiculously large supplements. I find it difficult to believe the company that makes these could not package the healthful dose in anything, ANYTHING smaller for consumption. After failed attempts to choke these down, I suggest (in frustration) that it’s possible I am taking them incorrectly. It occurs to me that perhaps it was an error in judgment on my part to say this to my husband who is clearly incapable of restraining himself from further commentary on the matter, accompanying his clever witticisms with inappropriate pantomime depicting alternative ways to…ingest them. He is quite pleased by the amount of water passing through my nose, and is essentially high fiving this masterful accomplishment, appreciating as only a guy can, the charmed cause and effect of a well timed bawdy joke. Thankfully, he appears to love me as I am, being an enabler of doughnut consumption , and an enthusiastic hiking companion in equal measure. The absurdity of life continues, so please hand me my running shoes, and pass me a pastry to go.