I've lit a fire in the wood stove. It feels colder than the 65 degrees it was supposed to get to today. I feel terrible. I'm fighting a headache and... the need for sugar.
At my doctor appointment this morning she schedules me for a stress/echo test. One where they do an echo cardiogram first, then have you get on a treadmill until you either collapse or exceed the time limit - for me it will be collapse, and then jump back on the table for a second echo. I've had an echo before because I have one of those hearts that likes to dance a jig occasionally, the problem is, it has no rhythm. The general consensus of the cardiologist has always been caffeine intake... as in, "keep drinking it, your heart doesn't like it when you stop." It's a prescription I am happy to oblige.
I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the thought of the impending tests and as I tell Dr. Ellen why, we laugh for a good 5 minutes. You see, they do an echo with you wearing only a gown and the thought of me running on a treadmill without the appropriate undergarments, well, that's just too much for me too contain... or rather, it will be too much for me to contain. Fortunately, she has the same sense of humor as me.
Arriving back home, I settle in with a glass of Pepsi and a bit of facebook time. Somehow I get hooked on a half hour video on pro-biotics and how there is too much sugar in our American diets. Not new news to me, nor a new diagnosis of all my stomach issues. I wonder when I will change my eating habits, really change for good. I want to change - today - I want to have arrived already with out all the work it takes to change.
The video makes me want to barf - thoughts of bad bacteria swimming around in my gut... I pour out my Pepsi and go take 2 pro-biotics... how long has it been since I last took them? Have they expired? Do the ones that don't have to be refrigerated really work? Mine are in the fridge and exceed all the requirements of the video, by almost double, I buy the good ones - they still only work if you take them. Should I take Motrin for my headache? Just how bad is that stuff for you anyway? My whole head hurts.
I go sweep the laundry room. Anything has to be better than living in my non-stop, ever talking head. I collect all the dust, dog hair, lint and leaves at the back door, flinging it wide to chuck out all the junk and wishing I could do the same with my mind. I am surprised by how warm it is out there, warmer than in here.
There is heat to the bright sun on this beautiful autumn day. I feel it on my cheeks. The fallen leaves, an airy afghan of gold blanketing the yard, are being baked under it. The sweet aroma of God's composting process rising to my nostrils. I breathe in deep and think of autumns past. A feeling of nostalgia I can not define, but know exists, comes over me. Not a singular moment in time but rather a lifetime of autumns wrapped up in this singular moment in time... I pause here and let my soul breathe it in, refusing to let my talking head reign.
I step around to the back garden and view my hostas. The "Empress", usually so grand and green in front of the fence, is now golden from frost and hangs her regal head. Bowing gracefully, in humble submission to the seasons of change. The pathway is strewn with the discards of fall and even though the process of seasonal change is well underway, I marvel at the memory of how lush my garden had grown this summer in spite me.
I long to take a walk, I need a walk - exercise - reflection. Too many years at a desk, too many miles in a car, they are killing me. But a walk means going past my mother's eye. She will see me go by - she will hope that I stop in. I don't want to stop in. I feel guilty that I don't want to stop in... that I never want to stop in anymore. I miss my mom, the woman that dementia has stolen. I need to be more like the Empress...
I shake the rug, lay it back on the laundry room floor and pull the door closed behind me. Trapped in my home, trapped in my guilt, trapped in my talking head. I sit by the wood stove to write, to get it all out, but now it has become too warm...
Today is not exceptional, it's just simply a normal Tuesday afternoon in my life. I think if most people knew the wrestling that goes on inside me, the struggles I have with who I am, they would not be so quick to say I have it all together, that my life is so wonderful. The funny thing is though, my life truly is so wonderful, in spite of me, just like my garden. Me, my life, my garden, perfectly imperfect and I'm okay with that. Maybe that is the secret to wonderful...