We’re rolling into this weekend with open arms! I’m so happy the weekend is here. We have errands to run, a movie date, a hair cut and shoe shopping for new a pair of running shoes on the agenda. There are candles to be lit, music to be played and good food to be had! Starting tonight with a new pizza recipe we’re trying out. I have an excellent overnight rise in the fridge dough that is dreamy. It’s crunchy, chewy, yeasty; it’s perfect! But, I still haven’t found a quick dough that I really love. So maybe tonight, we’ll hit a home run with this one!
Yesterday was a good day in many respects, but it was a long day. I hadn’t slept very well the night before because a local security alarm went off literally all night. It started just before 1am and didn’t quit till after 6am. I know it didn’t quit till then, because I was downstairs making breakfast and just after six, went to open the curtains and as soon as I peeled them back the alarm stopped. I just rolled my eyes.
So the not sleeping so hot, compounded by the fact that our neighbours are door slammers and they must have been in and out of their house over 20 times yesterday and every single time they left, they kept slamming the door, making everything rattle. Plus I had a long list of tasks to get through and for one reason or another, they just weren’t getting ticked off of my list.
All of that was piled on top of the serious amount of pollen we’re getting at the moment and it had made my voice hoarse and my nose run like a faucet. So I was feeling a little sorry for myself.
Mr. Michie had a late meeting and I walked to meet him after work. It was a lot windier and a lot chillier than I thought it was after I started walking. By the time I realised that, it was too late to turn back for a coat. I was a popsicle by the time we met each other. He kissed me hello and then he slipped off his coat and put it on me and zipped me up in it and all of his warmth inside the jacket was warming me up and suddenly the world felt pretty rosey again.
He did what he always does, what we always do; we take care of each other. It was an act of kindness, of love, of gentlemaness. It was a simple act, but that simple act had turned my day around. In that simple act, I knew that I was home.
I’m always accepting of others, yet I’m my own harshest critic. I workout on a daily basis and as with anything there are highs and lows to my practice. I want everything to change faster, with a snap of my fingers. But, that’s not how it works. I’m blessed to have a body that is healthy. I’m blessed to have legs that carry me where I want to go and eyes to take in the beauty around me. I might not always be in love with everything about my body, but it is mine and it can do amazing things. My daily run is just as much about mental health as it is physical. I love being outside. Watching the seasons turn from one to other and seeing that transition everyday makes my heart happy.
The first part of my routine starts pretty much the same every morning. It is a combination of jogging, running and walking. After which, I do a full series of stretches and yoga in a little nook in the woods.
I felt I was ready to take my running routine up another level and asked Mr. Michie, who is an incredibly strong runner to help me devise a plan. I’m four weeks in to this new routine and today, I was supposed to take it up a notch. Yesterday, I ran last week’s course again and after that I realised that I’m actually not ready to move to the next tier this week. I spoke about it with Mr. Michie last night and his advice was to repeat week three again. I can’t tell you how frustrating I found that suggestion. But, he was right.
I’m not a quitter, I push myself every day and to have to go back to what felt like square one made me feel discouraged. But, this morning, I stood back, I took a deep breath and I knew that it was more important to listen to what my body was telling me. I’m in this for the long haul. So, what if I’ve added on another week! I’m just building up my endurance. Today was a little easier than yesterday and I know tomorrow will be even more so.
It’s so easy in the process of trying to achieve something to get discouraged. But at these moments, I pull out my binoculars so I can look way, way back into the past and clearly see that I’m better than I was a year ago; I’m better than I was sixth months ago. I’m building something, brick by brick and it is far better to have a strong foundation underneath me to build it on. So, this time next week, I’ll add the next step into my new running routine and I’ll do it with the confidence that I’m in the right place to do so on my journey.
As many musicians do as they climb the ladder of fame, they play smaller venues. The first time I saw John Mayer was at a local college next to my hometown. It was the eve of the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks. As he started his final set, he spoke briefly about that day and the people that were lost and how we’ve now turned the corner. That we’ve passed through every major holiday or personal event in someone’s life, in this one year. I remember that moment so clearly, yet for the life of me, I can’t tell you what song he started to play right after that, but half way through it, he just went in to one long solo that included, “Happy Birthday” and “Auld Lang Syne”. He was marking each yearly milestone that we all passed through before we came back full circle to this one particular day.
Today is a full circle day for my family. Somehow we have had birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and all the other things in between without one of my greatest soulmates present. How this year has passed so quickly, I’ll never be able to tell you. I still smell her, I can hear her, I talk to her on a daily basis, even if our chats are just to the whispering winds.
Somehow, it feels as if the universe knows that a piece of my heart is still missing, because a large number of the blogs I read have all been talking about grief lately. She wasn’t a wallower, she was a pick your head up, put one foot in front of the other and keep walking kind of lady and that is what I have done this year. But I won’t say that she isn’t in my daily thoughts. The amount of times I’ve been in a stationery store, waiting in line to pay for my handful of cards, only to realise that one of the ones I’m holding, I no longer need, is actually laughable. I normally do chuckle to myself, step out of line, put the card back and just shake my head.
Despite what people say, what textbooks tell you, I don’t think there are any “rules” to grief. You simply make the journey into this land the best way you know how. Maybe you pick up some pointers on the way, but I feel grief is about learning to live with your altered self. I’ll never be who I was before this. How can I be? But you pick yourself up, you dust yourself off, you see beauty in the everyday, you love those around you a little harder than before, you continue to laugh and you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you need to feel. Life is a dance of pain and love, without one, we would never appreciate the other.
I was fortunate to grow up in a home where music of every genre was played. That still applies to our little cottage. Recently my parents asked me if I had heard Scott McCreery’s new song, “Five More Minutes”? I had not and after looking it up and watching the video, I was just left in a puddle of tears. Because this song is about life, about living. Time is a funny thing, it ebbs and flows like a river. There will never be enough time with those you love. You will always want more. I could have used five more minutes with her, but I’m greedy, because after that I would have asked for more. There still was so much more to know, to learn, to hear, to see through her eyes. But she is still with me, I carry her in my heart.
We’ve passed this last mile marker that brings us full circle to one year.And we’ll all keep going because that is what she taught us; to keep your faith, to keep your head up and to keep moving forward. She’s still with us, her footprints just aren’t visible to the naked eye any more.