It’s still February. Let’s keep talking about lovely things. Like intentions; resolutions; the thirty-days it’s supposed to take for something to sink in.
1) Off-Leash Hours
You’ll recall that I promised myself that this year, I’d spend more quality time with Roo. With my hectic life, it’s easy for him to get lost in the shuffle. Loving him is probably not enough. Sometimes, our walks are abbreviated. He’s a lazy dog, so that’s not necessarily the worst thing in the world. And he’s young, so the fact that he has a few extra pounds on him isn’t going to hurt him right now.
But what happens to him later in life? Why am I making these investments in myself, and not him?
And what kind of person am I where I can’t get up fifteen minutes earlier and take him for an extra lap around the block? What kind of dog owner am I where I can’t drag myself out of bed on a weekend and take him to Central Park?
We’ve been making it to the Park on weekends. Our lives are better for it.
2) The small things
I ordered little love notes from Felix Doolittle. I suppose this also goes to the idea of saying “I Love You” more. Sometimes, one can say it. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, one cannot. Regardless, one should always be prepared.
3) New Mountains
I keep alluding to having been sick, and the fact of the matter is, my rheumatoid arthritis has begun affecting my lungs — which is a serious problem for a distance runner. This is a strange situation for me — as I look remarkably healthy, but I have not drawn a deep breath, or a breath without pain, in about a month. We’re still struggling to control the inflammation in my chest. What I thought was just a cold was a sequence of much more serious situations.
I hate this disease. And the treatments for it are sometimes worse than the sickness itself. I did not expect this to be my “new mountain,” but it is, and I’m beginning to be ready to face the challenge.
Classifying this as a beautiful thing seems strange, I know. But in life, I think one can either say: These are my challenges and I give up. Or one can say: These are my challenges and maybe I hate them but I’m going to face them.
Life is life. It changes; it goes on. The really gorgeous bit here is that I spent two weeks in Thailand just a month or so ago, laying on the ground, spending hours each day learning how to breathe. I was listening to the rain, and the waves, and feeling my chest move up and down; up and down.
And when we were on the mountain top a few years ago, trying to summit Mt Whitney in a day, Kat struggled with breath and Strand was trying to teach her how to breathe. Smell the rose; blow out the candle. She made it to the top; we made it to the top.
What I am saying, really, is that in these times of swelling and constriction; in these times when I think I am gasping for air and I cannot get a breath at all, the absolutely beautiful thing is that I can remember I know how to breathe.