In the quiet


Winter, One (beginning of January)

Winter kicks my butt. 

I went for a run on a particularly cold day. I thought perhaps I was all badass and such because even though it was in the 20s, I was out there running. But I wasn’t really running so much as I was clenching every muscle and shuffling. 30 minutes later, I finally hit my stride but I had to wonder how much damage I’d done by pushing myself to run in the cold. I just don’t know.

I stopped writing my blog because I have gotten so freaking tired of the sound of my own (writing) voice. It always sound as if a) I know what I’m talking about or b) I’m almost whining or c) I’m verklempt about my kids. I couldn’t figure out who’d want to listen to that again

I also stopped writing because it takes energy, and I have had none. Some nights I need 9 hours sleep. Some nights I’m sooo tired and why can’t I just fall asleep then? Some nights I’m lying there, thinking about people or situations that make me made or that feel unfair. Yeah. That’s helpful. And I didn’t have enough energy to stop myself. 

I’m supposed to be grateful that winter reminds me to rest more. I’m supposed to enjoy sitting around reading, but I don’t have that much energy, so I spend a whole lot of time sitting around playing Free Cell on my iPad. 

My achilles is still upset, and now my IT band, too, and it’s the perfect time to not run for a while. It so wouldn’t matter if I took off 3 weeks. I can’t do it. I can’t let go of what is pleasurable when it’s warm. I can’t let go of wanting to get a bunch of stuff done instead of saying, well, heck, it’s January. Just do nothing. Or go to hot yoga. Nah. Or do nothing.

I am relentlessly cheery and an unflagging cheerleader. When a friend writes me and tells me her troubles, I can’t help but respond with how well she’s handling everything. While I’m writing, I’m thinking how annoying I must be. I’m annoying because I’m relentless. Want a dose of “you go, girl!”? Just tell me your woes. I feel like I’m missing something. I’m missing the deep empathy that comes from just listening. But, really, when someone emails me to tell me what’s going on (I asked), can I really respond with “I hear you”? That sounds pretty lame. Can I just write, “Wow, that sucks”? That sounds flip. All I know how to do is say, yes, that’s very difficult, and you’re doing such a good job at _______. And I mean it. 

Being tired makes me feel uncertain. I question all my choices. This should be the gift of winter! It opens the door for me to consider how I am in the world. I freaking hate this gift. F- you, winter, and your miserable gifts. 


Winter, Two (end of January)

In November, I wrote a blog each day. It was pretty yummy. I wrote less frequently but still a lot in December. Then in January -- not a thing. 

I’ve discovered this really strange new fitness concept. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s called rest.

know. Who would have thought? Sometimes I take a day off from exercise. Every now and then, I take a nap. 


Winter, Three (February)


Winter, Four (beginning of March)

Finally. 

I make no secret about my dislike of winter. Grudgingly, this year I will admit that this winter was transformative. Yes, I finally slowed the heck down this winter.

Step one. My feet hurt. Instead of powering toward a goal of a half-marathon, I ran less and less until I finally took off my shoes. 

Step two. I couldn’t focus. That darn cold. That darn perimenopause. So, I read some books. Then I read a few more. Though my To Do list got pretty big, I prioritized more: this has to happen this week, but, really, this can happen next month. Let it go. Folks, while it still weighs on my mind a bit, the ability to let go of getting everything done is a big step for me. So this blog didn’t happen for all of January and February. That leads me to...

Step three. Be quiet. Just, stop talking for a while. I focused in January on listening. When I had a conversation with a friend, instead of jumping in with advice, I just listened. What a relief. 

Step four. Give up the adrenaline. I noticed that my beloved Righteously Raw chocolate, sweetened with (supposedly) low-glycemic agave syrup was making me feel like yuck. I was craving it, eating it without savoring it, and then getting anxious for more food two hours after eating. I felt full but my head needed some simple sugars. Ack. I gave up agave for February. My  energy evened out within two days. 

I also got a few acupuncture treatments so I could sleep better. Instead of staying up to midnight (well, okay, except for that one time I didn’t want to put my book down and read until the last page), I got to bed between 10 and 11 pm. I stopped eating at 9 pm to fuel myself and drive myself later. Well, okay, sometimes I still do that. 

Step five. When I said I gave up my shoes in step one, I meant that literally. On the last day of January, I went for an itty bitty barefoot run. Barefoot as in bare feet. By the end of February, I was able to run two miles in my bare feet. Whoohoo! That’s been incredible, and I’ll blog about that later this weekend -- really, I promise -- unless, of course, I decide it’s better to sit around and do some of nothing. After all, we have a few more weeks left in winter.