I slept in this morning, with a cool breeze blowing in through the windows. (Well, technically, I got up at the same time I get up every other day, but then I laid back down for a little bit. So, I guess I took a nap this morning with a cool breeze blowing in through the windows.)
I did some yoga and some pilates.
Hubby and I went on a hike through steep, sandy hills. A hike for which we needed long pants and sweatshirts.
It's been sunny for most of the day, with big, puffy, gray "fall" clouds in the sky. Clouds that I had to stand and stare at for a few minutes because it's been so long since I've seen them.
I took the sparkly plastic fruit out of the bowl on the dining table and replaced it with sparkly plastic pumpkins and gourds.
I made peanut butter cookies, so the house smells all cinnamon-y and warm and good.
Hubby is currently making fresh pea soup, which is adding nicely to the warm and good in the house.
The Colts are playing Denver on the television. (And Notre Dame will regroup for next week.)
There was so much to figure out. Big, life-altering decisions had to be made, and they had to be made Right Now. And we were hungry, Hubby and I, so we went to our favorite little cafe for some soup and a sandwich, and we figured we could figure it out there. Maybe.
They were out of potato leek soup by the time we got there. But they let me finagle a vegetarian panini, even though there isn't one on the menu, because I so wanted something warm and comforting and slightly gooey. And we sat by the window to wait for our food.
There was so much to talk about, but we just sat there, silent, staring at the flowers in the window, hoping they would give us the answers. Maybe they did because, somehow, during a meal in which very few words were spoken, we figured out what to do.
We were going to try to sell our house and buy another. Sell the house we live in, that previously belonged to my great-aunt, that we worked so hard to make our own and is just a bit (or maybe a lot) small, to try and buy the fully beautifully renovated and spacious house that was originally built by my great-grandfather. We agreed that whatever happened was meant to happen. We'd move. Or we wouldn't. And either way, we would accept that. At least, in theory. But we wanted that house. Everything about it was so perfect, on so many levels. It just seemed like fate, like we had been led to this point, this place, this house. I had already started thinking of it as "our house."
And then we sat down to talk to the realtor. And the more he said, the further back we stepped. And at the end of the night, I was in tears. Not because we couldn't get the house. I was in tears because I knew that, technically, we could get the house. And I knew, with everything in me, that we shouldn't. And I knew that Hubby knew it, too. We both knew that the wise thing to do was to stay in our small house that we worked so hard to make our own. Even though we wanted that other house, even though we technically could do it. So we made a great big grown-up decision - it is better to stay where you are than it is to spend too much money to be someplace newer and bigger just because you can. And we thanked the realtor for his time. And we closed the door and took a good, long look at our house.
Then we went back to the little cafe, and sat by the window again, and drank tea (me) and coffee (him). We talked about how much we'd learned in the whole process, how it seemed like such a long time when it was only four days, how nice that house would have been. And we talked about how nice our house is, how it is just exactly how we chose it to be, how much we've done to improve it, how much I adore my tiny kitchen, how the fact that his office is our bedroom has never really been a problem for us, how the tree we planted in the yard for our first anniversary is doing so well, how I finally figured out the right flowers to plant, how I know just where to step so the floor doesn't creak as I'm walking around in the pre-dawn morning, how many memories we have there already, how many more are to come. How, actually, it's home.
So much needed to get done this past weekend. And so much did not get done. And it's not all going to get done. Ever. Because there is just not enough time to do it.
And I did not do something I had planned to do. And I would guess there were some (not so nice) comments made about that choice; comments that I will never hear. Those comments will possibly be made worse when it gets out that I (gasp!) chose to do something just for me for a few hours of the weekend. But don't worry. I feel horridly guilty about all of it.
It's odd to me that so much of my "youthful idealism" remains intact, while so much of it has been stripped away. (By the reality of the situation? The reality of life? Either way, I guess.)
There are things that used to matter to me; things I used to think mattered, period. But I think they only mattered to me. (Maybe a few others, too.)
I used to have passion and enthusiasm. It used to be exciting. Because I thought it mattered.
Not so much.
The first time I heard the song Viva La Vida, I sobbed. I didn't really understand why at the time. But now I do.
I feel guilty. Guilty for my loss of enthusiasm. Guilty for the things I cannot do. Guilty for the things I chooses to not do. Guilty for the things I choose to do. Guilty for wanting to put my real life (my family, my friends, my health, my well-being) first. Guilty for feeling resentment. Guilty for enjoying 45 stolen minutes just sitting with my husband when I should have been working or cleaning or running or or or or. Just a lot of guilty.
And that doesn't seem right.
But there it is. And here I am.
"One minute I held the key, next the walls were closed on me."
I ran a race this morning. It's a race I haven't missed in over a decade. And it was the first time I've run the 5k, not the 15k.
Chiropractor (New Chiropractor. The one who's dissertation was on runners ankles and knees, and who specializes in "runner.") sat me down in his office on a recent visit and laid out two choices for me.
His Option A was "I can get you back to where you were. I can get you back to Boston if you want." (Of course there was a great big "but" accompanying that.) "But it will be painful. Your knees will be swollen all the time, far worse than they are now. You'll have to have them drained on a regular basis. You'll see me more than any family member or friend you have. You'll most likely be looking at surgery within 5 years or less."
His option B was "You can run for the rest of your life. You can run three or four days a week, nice and easy. You can run races. Even Big Race in the spring. And you can fully accept that you'll never ever run that fast again. But you'll run. And it will be virtually pain-free. And you'll run. And you'll do other things. And it will be fun. And you'll run. For the rest of your life."
There was a long pause, not in hesitation, but to just breathe for a minute, before I said "Option B, please."
He smiled, then laid out his rehab plan. (And just that he had a rehab plan made me feel better. No one's ever given me an actual plan.)
Until October, I can run two days a week, no more than three miles. There is an optional third run day, but if I take that option, I must run less than three miles. I must use a compression brace on my knee when running. I must do specific strength training exercises twice a day, every day. Come October, I'll be running just one day a week, with the focus turned to strength training.
He said "Yes, run the fall 5ks that you haven't missed in ages." Then he said "And go ahead and register for Big Race, if you want. You'll be fine for it. It'll be fun."
So, I'm running a few days a week. I'm expanding my yoga practice. I'm doing a freakish amount of strength training. (What's going to happen when that's the "focus?") I'm reacquainting myself with the elliptical.
And this morning... I'm running in the mass of people, heading toward the 5k/15k split. And I was sooooo tempted. I sooooo wanted to go straight, off into the hills, with the 15k runners. I was almost seriously considering it. And at the exact moment when I needed to force myself to turn with the 5k crowd, into my ear buds shuffled - wait for it - Rehab by Amy Winehouse. And I laughed. And I turned. And I ran the 5k. And it took me forever. And, for the first time in a long time, it didn't hurt.
1. My cousin gave me the means to hear all of the new songs U2 have been debuting on the European tour, including the kind of acoustic version of No Line On the Horizon. He has absolutely no idea just how happy this made me.
2. Work Neighbor came through the connecting door Friday morning, cup in hand, and said "Here! I got you a soy chai." She had absolutely no idea how happy this made me. Although maybe she did because it made me tear up a little bit.
3. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks. (Or, if you're me, pumpkin spice steamers, because me and any kind of coffee drink don't really like each other.) And I've already had three.
4. There are warm oatmeal cookies on my kitchen counter right now.
5. I am wearing a dress that was recently purchased at a street fair and is now the most comfortable thing I own.
6. When I woke up yesterday morning, after sleeping with the windows open, the house was cool. I needed slippers.
7. This was the view on the hike I took this weekend:
The breeze blowing in through the open windows is cool. Cool enough that I snuggled back under the covers to ward off the chill, and fell back asleep. Because I could. And it felt good to sleep.
Now it feels good to be awake.
I'm waiting for my tea to cool (just a touch).
I'll drink it, then unroll my mat and get the day properly started.
There is talk of going hiking, going running, going for a bike ride, watching college football, dinner at home, going to the movies, doing laundry, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, going out for dessert or coffee or chai or something. There's lots of talk. We'll see what comes of it.
It doesn't really matter.
Right now, for this moment at least, I can breathe.