I spent 45 minutes in the gym this morning. I did leg curls with 20 pounds on the machine and squats without weights. I couldn't move the seated leg press machine with my right leg, couldn't move it an inch... until I looked and saw that there was 50 pounds on the weight pin... and then I felt better.... until I remembered that I'd been doing much more than that before....
Before.... I was fast, I was confident, I scurried. Before.... I didn't have to worry about keeping my planters hydrated while I visited Big Cuter for a long weekend. Before.... I was symmetrical.
It's been a while since I've been so disappointed. The sun is out, the air is clear, the wildflowers are blooming, and I'm blue. I have plans to visit with Amster's kids this afternoon, and there's a massage awaiting me later on, too. My kids are healthy and happy and G'ma is stable and as delightfully confused as ever. There's no real reason for my heavy heart.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a universal background check proposal this morning; our side is flexing its muscle and I should be beaming. I've had a (very small) part in the effort; I should be proud. I am... kinda sorta... but there's a cloud sitting on my lap.
Actually, the cloud is centered on my right thigh, just below the hinge of my torso. It's an interesting pain, sharp and deep and consistent. I like consistency. It keeps me centered. I just wish this little piece of heaven would leave me alone. It's changing my posture and my outlook.
I find myself shifting to the left as I type; I just rearranged myself in my birthday chair. It takes a conscious effort to weight both sides of my sitting apparatus on the best of days. Today, that effort involves working through the pain.
Yes, it's pain. I've had discomfort and I've had anguish and I've had searing, stabbing, unrelenting awfulness over the last two years, but I've rarely used pain to describe it. Today, I'm giving in. I'm in pain.
Accepting the ups and downs of recovery has been the most difficult piece for me. I like a steady course, one that rewards effort and demonstrates progress. Too bad. As I used to sing to the Cuters in similar situations, You can't always get what you want.
Right now that fact is making me sad.
My Man Godfrey, William Powell's 1936 Depression masterpiece. A rich boy running from responsibility, he is found living in the dump by a rich girl on a scavenger hunt. He's her lost man and she's going to save him. As with most of the comedies of that era, he ends up saving her, as well. Only this time, the benefits cover the other lost men, those who were living in the cardboard shacks in the dump right next to Godfrey. The details of the story are less important (and I would hate to spoil the tale for those of you who are going to watch it on Netflix tonight) than the lesson I'm finding within.
Those men were truly down in the dumps. Again, like most Depression era filmmakers, de Cava portrays them as down but not out, lost but not despairing, alone but helpful to their neighbors. I find myself wondering how they could smile... and why I can't.
I'm laughing at myself as my fingers tell you that movie characters are pushing me to look deeper at my life, but it's true. I'm searching everywhere for pieces of the puzzle that seem to have gone missing over the weekend. I walked, I learned, I ached. I thought it was the vastness of the Festival of Books that did me in, but it's two days later and my leg is still screaming. It's hard to stay upbeat and focused when, just sitting here typing to you, my thigh is announcing its presence with authority... in a loud voice... laced with pain.
I'm usually pretty good at pushing the aches to the background, but the warm weather and sunny skies remind me that I'd rather be digging in the garden than whining about my hurting hip. The effort I'm expending to move the pain off the front burner is taking all of my inner strength... and I'm failing. I can't distract myself today.
And then, back I go to Godfrey. When the trash intruded on their living spaces, the denizens of the dump moved their shacks to a clearer patch, and then helped their neighbors do the same. The characters were cognizant of the changes but not overwhelmed by the challenges. I'm holding them in my head as I take myself to the shower (where bending to wash my feet will make me wince) and to lunch with TBG (where lowering myself into the Boxster will make me gasp) and to watch Amster's kids while she's in trial (where I won't be able to play tag or chase them down the hall).
All those problems.... and I'm here to have them. That's a good thing.
I just wish it didn't hurt so much.