Days #98-101: The Struggle is Real

I have developed a catch in my back that seems to refuse to go away. It is bothering the nerves in my right leg so that when I try to exercise my entire leg goes numb.

I have also caught a nasty cold that has the pressure in my head so intense that I feel like it will surely explode and that would be preferable to how I feel.

The snow has been beautiful but plentiful on Monday, Tuesday, and now Friday and Saturday encouraging my hermit-like existence this week.

To top it all off, I took my Love to get a simple medical procedure done yesterday morning. His doctor wanted a endoscopy to see if there was a reason for his chronic acid reflux. As they were placing his second attempt at an IV, he had a vasovagal response and passed out. He fell back on the bed, his heart rate dropped, his breathing slowed, and began to jerk in a seizure-like way. We went from one nurse to five in about ten seconds and they started different things to get him stable and going again. The whole experience only lasted about a minute. Then he was awake again and they had him hooked up on oxygen and saline. But it was the longest moment of my life, thus far. I knew rationally that no one dies from passing out over a needle. But I wasn’t exactly rational in that extended moment of panic and my brain (why do brains do this?) automatically went to worse-case scenario, “What if I lose him?”

Let me be really honest about myself for a moment. I am a wanderer, a dreamer, a doer, a be-er, but I’m not a great lover. I tend to focus too much on the tasks, the to-do list, the future, the adventure, and I have learned through nature or nurture to not get too attached to anything in my life. I have moved several times in my adult life, I have changed jobs often, I have watched too many friends and lovers become strangers. Therefore, some where along the way I decided it is better just not to put too much stock in any relationship because they all seem to falter or fail. I enjoy friends and family but mostly on a pretty superficial level and I’m completely okay with how things are.

But when my Love came along, he demanded differently. He helped me go into the deepest parts of me. He gently teased out my thoughts and opinions on things. He created such an environment of safety for us that I was able to finally let my guard down completely. I love him from the best of me with all of me because I trust there will never be a day he won’t see that in me. What we have is rare and vulnerable and frighteningly everything. Our souls are intertwined as they dance through this life completely individual but always as one. I never knew the completeness of love until him.

So as my mind went to what life would be without him, I could not possibly fathom it. As I sat beside him for the next hour, his face pale, his body trembling, his voice unsure, I saw it in his eyes too.

He looked at me, tears threatening to spill over, squeezing my hand, and whispered, “You are the best person I know.”

And I whispered back, “Thank you for really knowing me.”

Day #89: Watching the Snow Dust the World

Snow day! Probably the only one we will get this year. It was pretty unexpected and thoroughly enjoyed!

I lounged around, read, stayed in PJs, drank my hot tea, slowly. I lay in my bed propped up staring out the window watching the snow dust the world with beauty. I read lovely words that nourished my soul. I enjoyed the softness of my sheets and comfy PJs. I breathed in the joy of minutes undefined and agendas taken apart.

Little love occupied herself playing and my Love made breakfast and did some work on the computer. It was a quiet, gentle morning… and for me that is a rarity for mornings. Brunette woman giving the thumbs up.

We went to lunch and then little love got to go with a friend to a movie. We went to the gym and I actually completed a five mile run without stopping to walk. Also, unexpected and exciting! It was one of my best runs yet! A brunette child with head phones sitting in a zebra-striped chair.

Mr Meander shared today… I love to read his voice… his thoughts… I fell for his words first and I love every opportunity to read them again. I was not expecting his post and it was a sweet surprise. Don’t forget to read it, too!

I love unexpected gifts and today was definitely that… I am thankful to the universe for weather that can stop hectic Mondays in their tracks giving us one last luxurious taste of the weekend.

Blonde child looking at a phone in her lap.

Day #87: Valentine’s Day and Living with Passion

Valentine’s Day… a day for romance and love… sweetness and hearts… passion…

And running. Today was our first long run (to me) at 8 miles. We had our little love this weekend so we asked Mimi to keep her while we ran (it was an awesome date, lol). We took off and about two miles in I was wiped out… thanks to different trails and gear… my passion for running was at its lowest and if I had been alone in the run I would have walked away for the day. But I wasn’t, so I didn’t. I trudged through… and as with most things… the endurance paid off and I picked up a second wind… I ended the 8 miles running although I could not run it all… it was a start… and it felt good to finish what I started… to taste the victory.

I thought about this as I ran… I thought on passion and how passion demands you to be all in… no sitting on fences, no pretending to be unbiased. I realized that I often fear becoming too passionate about anything or anyone because that requires me to become vested in how things turn out. On the one hand, I like this about me. In my job, it becomes important to give space for people to do their own work. If a counselor becomes too enmeshed it becomes difficult and often unethical. However, in my personal life, I find this is also a trend. If I don’t care too much, it won’t hurt if I fail, if the friendship fails, if the plans fall through.

The problem becomes that living without passion about anything means also living without profound joy, the taste of victory, the pounding heart of pride, the hot passion surging through your bones. So maybe I save myself a degree of pain, soreness, and possible defeat, but I also never know the sweetness of eight miles done and the lightness of victory at hand.

I hope through this journey that 2015 becomes my year to learn the impractical necessity of living passionately.

Bearded man in black hat, sitting on couch with his arm around blonde girl, wathching television.

Day #83: Tearful Reunions and Exquisite Exhaustion

We made it home… and through the day… and for the day after coming back from vacation, that’s pretty good.

I went and had lunch with my little love because I hadn’t seen her in five days and I couldn’t wait one more minute. She didn’t know I was coming… when she walked in the cafeteria and saw me sitting there, her face lit up and her arms reached out for me before she even realized what she was doing. The pureness of wanting me was so sweet on her face that it choked me up a little. She came over to me and kept looking away… refusing to say anything initially… I thought maybe she was mad because she’s not a kid that particularly loves surprises. But as I looked closer, I saw the un-shed tears in her eyes. After getting a hold of herself, she turned around and the talking began 🙂 After not seeing me for five days, she had a lot to discuss with me.

But her prolonged pause reminded me of how I felt this day. Not really ready to jump in, not sure about how I feel, and maybe a little tearful. It was in this state of exhaustion and confusion I was able to pass out at 9:15 without a thought to anything else except the beauty of a little girl safely tucked in her bed, a pair of arms holding me tight, and my own marvelous bed.

Day #80: Tread Lightly, and Laugh Loudly

Another day of skiing, another wonderful adventure…it was a bit windier today which kept things more…”interesting”…and cold.

We both only fell once today. Him while standing perfectly still, and me when the lift chair decided to give me an extra push… we laughed both times till we cried…

On the way back down the mountain, we stopped at the overlook and took some pictures. The aspens were breathtaking… they stood so white, so stately… so unassuming in their pale nakedness… and I could feel their energy… their whispering… as I stood there…

I am not generally a mystical person but I felt so drawn to these trees… I felt compelled to touch them, to take them into me… a reminder… “but for what,” I wondered… and then it sang in my heart…“tread lightly.”

Smiling brunette woman wearing heart-shaped glasses, purple beanie, and wearing pigtails.
I spent the rest of the day contemplating this… my mind took it all over… to Theodore Roosevelt’s similar advice to “speak softly, but carry a big stick” to thinking about the footprint I leave on this earth and what we can continue to minimize that we haven’t (we currently recycle and compost).

But it took on a completely different meaning for me that night at dinner… we met up with an acquaintance from my hometown and her significant sweetheart. She is a couple years older than me, so growing up she was a grade or two ahead of me. She was super popular, wealthy, and a cheerleader. She was beautiful and outgoing and smart. And to me, growing up knowing of her, she had it all. So I was nervous as I got out of the truck and headed in for dinner. I could have never dreamed or hoped for the shared connection that transpired. She is going into the same field I am in and we have similar interests. She is still beautiful, and outgoing, and smart… but as she shared her journey with me… the good, the bad, and the ugly, I listened in awe of how perception and reality are often so contradictory… and it reminded me of how we see people two-dimensionally and think we see it all.

We forget the depth, the shadows, the corners of a person that actually gives them sustenance.

It was a beautiful reminder to tread lightly because it’s so much easier to not know than to know… 

Smiling man woman bundled up on top of a ski slope.

Day #78: Marriage, Love, and Abiding Joy

We drove and drove and drove today. We went from Arkansas to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We sang and danced. We played games. We jammed to music. We ate. We listened to TED Talks. We answered “love questions.” We talked about everything and nothing. We sat quietly holding hands.

We laughed and we loved and we never once grew tired of each other. The thing is… we never do.

And twelve hours later, I was in New Mexico getting ready to embark on a new adventure with my best friend. And I couldn’t be happier…

Day #71

It was an ordinary run in the park. It was chilly so not a lot of people were there. I ran my 3 miles steadily, slowly, and with little pizzazz. But I ran it all and I finished.

Then my Love and I went back to Adalie’s dance class and waited. We did dinner, bath, homework, bed. I did my homework … Love worked on his computer. We went to bed, we kissed good night, we drifted into dream worlds.

It was nothing special of a day by the markers of extraordinary days. But it was mine and I loved it.

Every grateful breath of it.

Shiny balls of candy-coated chocolate atop ice cream in a clear bowl.

Day #63

Today my Love woke up sick. Back to the doctor and another round of antibiotics. More infection and more depleted energy.

We were supposed to run 5 miles today. But I chose to nourish with food instead of exercise today.

And what do we cook for the ill? Soup, of course! My Love is allergic to a good deal of foods so no chicken noodle here. I made carrot ginger soup instead.

A stock pot with soup ingredients in it. I giggled to myself as I placed leek, garlic, ginger and then broth, 2 lbs of carrots, and salt with a small dash of cinnamon. I giggled because of everyone who give outcry that healthy food is too expensive. My simple little soup was so cheap but rich in nutrients and vitamins and love.

I mindfully prepared this meal for my sick Love. I peeled the carrots and thought of them deep in dirt somewhere growing in the sun soaking up the water. I imagined the leeks being pulled from the ground and rinsed on their journey to my kitchen. As I stirred it all up, I focused on the energy and health that was present in that pot.

There is life and death in the power of food, my gentle readers.

An hour later, we sat down to eat.

He’s grinning at my homemade delight, “It looks like a gourmet soup.” And after tasting it, raves about how good it tastes.

Now I’m grinning ear to ear. The nurturer is being nurtured because there is health and harm in the power of words as well.

And there is love all around …

 

Day #59

We went to Lee Creek Reservoir with our two sweet dogs, amazing daughter, and beautiful friends. It was unseasonably warm in the low 60s and sunny.

It is like the sun nourishes is my soul. I love the warmth of it on my shoulders, my neck, my face. It is joy materialized.

I watched the girls run ahead, giggling, telling secrets, and breathless. And I loved that moment.adalie-and-taytum-talking-in-the-woods

We stopped to sit for a bit on the top of the rock for a snack and some pictures. I observed families, attachments, and so many, many years of bonding in our circle. And I sat in awe of the work we had all done to be together as family. The odds we’ve overcome, physically and emotionally, to just be present together in that place. And I loved that moment too.

Man with a dog touching a large old tree named the devil tree becuase of its sinister appearance. And I watched my nature-loving husband caress an old tree with reverence. And I could feel him in my core. His thoughts, his feelings, his heart beat with mine as we stood connected by something so much bigger than us. And it reminded me that no matter what … I am him and he is me because we are one. And, you guessed it, I loved that moment most.

Days to wander and observe and be are so rare for me. I try to soak them all in like the sun on my skin. They nourish my soul.

Today I am glowing with soul health

Day #58

Today I ran 3 miles without stopping … and for most of it … I felt awesome. Today I was a true runner.

Today I got paid … and that also feels awesome. Today I am rich.

Today was spent, off and on, with my best friend. My Love. We talked, flirted, planned our anniversary trip and generally were awesome. Today I was in love.

Today I was the mountain peak — unstoppable, beautiful, and breathtakingly awesome.

And I’m just gonna ride the high all the way down to the valley…

Ebb and flow … its a beautiful flow …