I finally made up lost ground in my None 2 Run program, and got past the four-week mark where I stalled over the summer. I signed up for a 35-mile October challenge/fundraiser to keep me motivated and consistent.
Then yesterday I stupidly broke a toe.
The internet says 6-8 weeks to full recovery. There’s not much to do for it beyond Advil, ice packs, rest, and “buddy taping” (an irresistibly cute name for a treatment). I’m frustrated about having my good running intentions disrupted once again. Not to mention our plans to spend weekends doing fun stuff, now that we’re done moving, museums are reopening, and the weather is lovely.
Still—ever the Pollyanna (ha), I am playing The Glad Game.
- I’m glad my husband works nearby and my kids are old enough to help with stuff, so I don’t have to be up and around quite as much.
- I’m glad moving is done, so there’s not as much I need to be up and around for.
- I’m glad for the motivation to do some other forms of exercise, both physical and mental/spiritual. I established a running habit (yay), but I’ve been lazy about flexibility and mobility. I can do restorative yoga—and meditate, and pray—with a bum toe.
- I’m glad for motivation to work on sitting-down activities, like the two big writing projects I need to finish.
And I guess I’m glad it wasn’t my leg. 🤷🏻♀️
A writing week. (Month, actually.)
The rest of October is dedicated to writing. I may not be walking/running 35 miles over the next few weeks, but I do have miles of words to go before I sleep.
I’m a big fan and semi-frequent contributor to d365.org, a daily devotional site geared toward youth/youngish people (but often very appropriate for less youngish people too!). My series will post over Thanksgiving week, focusing on gratitude and generosity. This week I’ll write those reflections, for the week leading up to Advent.
Then I can stay in chronological order by writing for Advent itself, beginning next week. My goal is to complete Advent devos by the end of October, so that I can concentrate November on NaNoWriMo. Also this month I’ll keep up with picture book class and work on a plan for Nano; I’m thinking a knockoff on Rear Window might be timely?
Fatigue and rest.
I’m guessing I’m not alone lately in feeling so tired. Physically fatigued.
Maybe it’s my age and the ways my body is changing; I heard someone say recently that perimenopause/menopause is like a second puberty, and this comparison makes total sense to me. I feel like I’m having to learn everything all over again. (And it is no more fun than it was the first time.)
Anyway, puberty redux + pandemic + politics + Pollyanna-ing… it’s all so tiring, even when I’m honest about how relatively easy I have it. I need and want to do the writing work I’ve committed to, and the writing work I’ve created for myself. But keeping up energy and enthusiasm is tricky. I’d rather sit under a blanket and drink hot tea with honey and watch old movies and knit. With my toe iced and elevated, of course.
One of the online yoga classes I like includes a pose the instructor refers to as “constructive rest.” There’s a time for everything: a time for a blanket and tea and Rear Window or Pollyanna. But there’s also a time for “constructive rest,” and we may have to put some effort in to figuring out what is both constructive and restful for us. I think this will be on my To Do List this week. How can I practice rest in a way that is energizing instead of lethargic?
Ennui and inspiration.
I’m mentally tired, too. Is “ennui-ed” a word? I’m “meh.”
In all the writing workshops and conferences I’ve watched over the past few months, there was lots of talk about Doing The Work, which is very inspiring and also exhausting just to think about. But one of my favorites was a session about “filling the well.” What inspires us? How do we take care of the emotional and mental drain we face—especially these days? I was encouraged that a “real writer” also experiences it and was willing to share her suggestions.
But I have to figure this out for myself, too.
Yesterday afternoon (yes, on my sore foot!) I went with my husband to a new-to-us used bookstore nearby. It was the kind of bookstore that belongs in a movie, a warren of tall shelves packed full in a weird combination of order and chaos. I went in thinking I’d look for picture books and middle-grade novels to study, or books on writing, and maybe a knitting book or cookbook.
I came out with four random books of poetry.
They’re not “for” anything, and even as I carried them around I wondered why I was getting them.
Now I think: maybe this is how inspiration works. We can’t plan for it. But we can set ourselves up to discover it—or be discovered by it—when we take the occasional “outing” (or random class or aimless wander) and let go of our predetermined “shopping lists” (and expectations and plans). We can’t always anticipate what will catch our eye—or our imagination, or our heart. But when it finds us, we can listen. We can receive.
This is the Rx I’m giving myself this week: RICE. Rest, Ice, Compression (buddy taping!), and Elevation for my toe.
And (Constructive) Rest, Inspiration, Connection (emotional buddy taping?!), that will lead—I hope— to Elevation for my spirit. I’ll remind myself regularly that RICE doesn’t happen by magic. It takes intention and effort to determine what we need, and to make it happen.
And for that, I’m glad.
Stay well, friends. 🙏🏻