Thursday, August 30, 2012

Walking, wounded

Couldn't decide whether or not that title needed a comma ...

So I've been walking around the lake with my dog, because I do as I'm told, and the therapist spends a lot of time encouraging me to get out of my head and live in my body.  I was resistant, at first, because I'm not a fan of this body (Asthma.  Infertility.  Arthritis.  Curly hair.  The list of grievances goes on and on ...)

However.  I have long recognized my penchant for living in my head, and sometimes thought maybe there was a better way to do things. 

I knew I couldn't walk, though - my knees would never take it.

One night last week, I clipped the dog to a leash and started out.  We meandered around the lake, looking at the birds and the sky and talking to little old men named Ken, (total aside:  Ken's dog, who was not with him, is a cross between a DOBERMAN and a CHIHUAHUA.  First of all - how?  and second, who thought that much bad attitude was necessary in an animal?  "He had issues for the first few years", Ken told me.  Shocking.)  So basically Toopka and I would go on this lovely ramble every evening, and my knees weren't complaining.

And then T, the woman I used to babysit for, called one night.  "Going for a walk.  You coming?"
Yay!  A friend!  We could ramble together.

I forgot one thing.

T is the woman who called me on her day off to say "I'm bored. Can I come and power wash your house?"

She stomps around the lake like it's something to be CONQUERED.  I still sit down, but it's not to gaze at the sky.  It's to catch my breath while she bounces and stretches.

And ...my knees still aren't complaining.

For the first time in a really long time, I'm asking my body to do something and it's complying.

I can't even tell you how good that feels.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Not really a knitting post

So.  I'm in therapy.  The effect that the body has on the mind and vice versa would, as a dear friend observed,  be fascinating and interesting if it weren't happening to me.  There are times when it is fascinating and interesting but there are times of great pain.  And times of lesser pain and times of bewilderment and times of ...peace.  More peace than there's been in years.

On the stormy days, when the cycle between grief/rage/denial/hurt and calm is two hours of agony followed by ten minutes of peace before it cycles back to agony, I ask WHY AM I DOING THIS?

One of those times, I was knitting. Knitting keeps the hands busy.  No stress eating while you're knitting.  No throwing breakables at walls.  Just ...yarn, yummy soft yarn, pretty needles.  Concentrate on the tactile details.

I am knitting a baby blanket, and I'm about 80% done.  I looked down at the blanket and wondered what I would do if I noticed a mistake in the second row that threw everything else out of kilter. I would whine, throw up my hands, declare I was never knitting anything ever again ...and then take it out and do it over.

The unraveling would be painful.  Ask any knitter.  That pile of spaghetti that is a project ripped back is an assault to the senses.  Row by rebuilt row, we're just not happy until we're moving forward again, that is, knitting up yarn that hasn't been knit yet.

I think therapy is like that.  I'm unraveling, back to where the hurt started, to events that made me think I wasn't good enough, I could never be good enough, I am not, even now, good enough, and I'm reknitting.  Only this time, the mistakes aren't there, and the resultant work will be better.

Truer.

I think the pain is worth it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Solvitur Ambulando*

*it is solved by walking

I came home alone this evening - A is at camp, and B and B were out buying hockey equipment.  I didn't want to be home alone, so I took the dog for a walk.

As I mentionned in an earlier post, I am sad these days.  Seeking a therapist to help with burgeoning anxiety issues has kicked open my own personal Pandora's Box ...I cling to the fact that the last thing out of the box was hope.  Nevertheless, these are stormy days.

I head down to the lake with my happy dog bouncing along in front of me.  "Jesus, come with me", I beg.  It's a lovely soft evening, full of fresh rain and newly-washed grass, trees in their full summer splendour.  Just ahead of me on the path there is an older man, limping along slowly.

The dog decides to befriend him.  He has a wonderfully kind face, and I strike up a conversation.  (it's sort of my superpower.) We walk together for half an hour, talking about dogs and hiking and perseverance, and as he climbs into his car and I head up the street, I find I am singing out loud.

And what I am singing?

"Isn't the love of Jesus something wonderful, wonderful, wonderful ..."

Thank you, Ken from Ogden, for being Jesus in my life this evening.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"I need you in my house cause you're my home."

Friday afternoon we were driving from Winnipeg through Selkirk to my BIL's place in Riverton for a family get together.  I was crying, as I so often do these days (more on that in a post I write on a braver day), quietly, on my own side of the car, and trying not to make a big deal of it.
We drove past the cemetary where my father's ashes are buried and I started to cry harder.
My husband calmly and quietly turned the van around and drove me to the cemetary, walked me to my Dad's grave and held me while I sobbed.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

the rest of the vacation posts all rolled into one

 - Really?  That's Devil's Tower?  How odd.  Why are there 18 bazillion motorbikes here?  Why does that grizzled old man have a teddy bear on his bike, and will he kill me if I take a picture of it?  Wow, it's hot here.  Oh hang on, yes, by all means go take pictures of Devil's Tower, dear, I have a grainy one on my phone that I'll post on facebook later.  Facebook needs more grainy photos.  My lungs appear to have decided this air is too hot to breathe.  I'll just stay in this airconditionned vehicle right here.  You knock yourself out, honey.

- Wall Drug.  All started with a sign advertising "Free Ice Water", almost 100 years ago.  Okay maybe only 80.  Math and I nod at each other condescendingly, and not that often.

- Mt Rushmore.  I'm not American.  I don't - why?  Why blast a mountain so that it looks - and wow, is it hot here.  I can't breathe.  Also - did all the bikers in the world suddenly decide they needed to be here today?

- Ohhhhhhhhhhh.  The Sturgis Bike Rally.  It's very noisy, this bike rally.

Road signs that cracked me up.

"XYZ campground!  We have over 300 shade trees!!"

"Come and see our (insert giant mesh and plaster creation)  Biggest in the world!!" Canada does this too.  Why?  What is it with the North American obsession with making giant replicas of things for people to drive by and take pictures of?  Is it the small town version of Free ICe Water?  While you're here looking at our giant Easter Egg, or Canada goose, or rocking chair, or big fish, buy some ice cream!  have a meal!  etc!

- Mall of America.  A was giddy with delight.

Sneak attraction of the trip - Action City, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  Some of us drove GoKarts for 8 hours straight, some of us held the Stuff and knit.  All of us were content.

- teeny Baptist church in a tiny Wisconsin town.  We didn't realize the door was a time portal, that took us right back to the small churches we grew up in - Sunday School at 10, church at 11, order of service?  two hymns, the birthday song, a special number, the offering, another special number, the message, a closing hymn.  Wooden pews, and even an old codger in the corner shouting Amen! at random intervals.  And we'll see you for prayer meeting on Wednesday night!

Highlights - hearing the kids laughing together, and a fantastic family night on Dwight and Lorna's big veranda on Friday night.  And a nice breakfast with a sister in law I don't get enough one-on-one time with.

And now we're home.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Vacation Post #1

We have taken to the road for a few weeks in search of malls and amusement parks, in an effort to find something that each of us likes to do.

TechnoBoy and I like road trips, so we're headed to a mall far from where we live.

**

When the kids were little, I used to sing a wee song to them - "If you can't say something nice/Shh! say nothing/Take a bit of good advice/Shh, say nothing!"

They revised it.  They would start to bicker while we were driving, I would sing "If you can't say something nice - " and they would interrupt by shouting "SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!!!"

At least it stopped them bickering.

**
(this part connects the previous parts of this post)

Today we were at Wall Drug (thriving because of the water torture method of advertising.  Two hunderd signs in 50 miles - you just have to know what it is.)  So because we wanted to know what it was - actually, we knew.  A didn't.  We didn't tell her.  So because A wanted to know, we ended up at Wall Drug eating pie and the children, who are now long and lean and lovely, were goading each other the way teenagers do, over their pie.  I started to sing "If you can't say something nice.." and then I stopped, thinking someone would say "shut your piehole" and the goading would stop ...

There was a longish silence, as A refilled her fork, and then she said "But I need my piehole right now."

Long and lean and lovely and really very funny.