Sometimes I make my way through life, happily oblivious to any signals my body may be sending me that something just isn’t right. During these periods of ignorance, I may feel content, or even have the false idea that I’m finally “on top of” things.
My body is working overtime lately to get my attention. It has no voice, but in its own way, it’s screaming at me.
First of all, I’ve gained over 10 pounds in the last 8 weeks. I’m only 5’4″ and even though I struggle with food issues, in the last 5 years, I’ve only fluctuated by about 5 pounds, and then it comes off again. Ten pounds is a lot for a shorty like me.
The other day, I thought if things don’t turn around, I may need to go to the doctor, because maybe I have some gigantic tumor growing inside of me. That’s how unusual this is for me.
But the excuses came easily, and so I’m determined to just get back into my healthy routine and then everything will be all right.
Yesterday I did make it to the gym, and I mentioned that I cried on the treadmill while watching a moving episode of The Starter Wife.
Well, it happened again today, while I was listening to the Indigo Girls, Nomad Indians Saints.
Now, I’ve listened to this particular CD probably hundreds of times. (It’s not really “my” style of music, but it grew on me, because the lyrics are simply outstanding.) While the songs move me, I don’t generally cry. There I was, walking on the treadmill platform in front of the entire gym, fighting back involuntary, surprise tears, looking like Rudolph with my bright red nose.
And I just kept going. I didn’t really care.
Then, suddenly, it dawned on me. My body is talking. Why am I not listening?
Something big is going on with me right now.
The first track on the album is called Hammer and a Nail. I often used to play it to motivate me to do housecleaning or to keep me awake on a long drive. It’s an upbeat song, and it was perfect for my 40-minute walk warm-up today.
Today, I listened to the words with new ears.
I have mourned the end of my marriage for two years now. I have holed up in this new place which is virtually neighborless, and as often happens in divorce, my so-called “friends” have forsaken me, busy with their married lives, not thinking of inviting a lonely single mom to their events. Not that I’ve been too disappointed, mind you.
I chose to live off the proceeds from the sale of the house, and continue my commitment to be home with the kids before they were in school. This afforded me even more time to “think” and to heal. I guess I needed that.
Now it’s time to get out of bed. Now it’s time to greet the new day – with wild anticipation and optimism and a renewed energy.
I’m looking for full-time work in IT. And I’m excited about it. 🙂
This beautiful song was speaking for my mute body today.
I’m listening. I’m ready. Let’s go…
Clearing webs from the hovel
a blistered hand on the handle of a shovel
I’ve been digging too deep, I always do.
I see my face on the surface
I look a lot like narcissus
A dark abyss of an emptiness
Standing on the edge of a drowning blue.
I look behind my ears for the green
Even my sweat smells clean
Glare off the white hurts my eyes
Gotta get out of bed get a hammer and a nail
Learn how to use my hands, not just my head
I think myself into jail
Now I know a refuge never grows
From a chin in a hand in a thoughtful pose
Gotta tend the earth if you want a rose.
I had a lot of good intentions
Sit around for fifty years and then collect a pension,
Started seeing the road to hell and just where it starts.
But my life is more than a vision
The sweetest part is acting after making a decision
I started seeing the whole as a sum of its parts.
My life is part of the global life
I’d found myself becoming more immobile
When I’d think a little girl in the world can’t do anything.
A distant nation my community
A street person my responsibility
If I have a care in the world I have a gift to bring.
I do have a gift. I think I have many. It’s time to stop living in my hole and get out there and greet the world. It won’t be a fake smile; I won’t be forcing anything. I took my time. I loved myself. I got mad. I got sad. I let myself feel. I let myself heal and rest.
Now it’s time to move. Time to “do.” Time to grab a hammer and a nail.
What shall I build?