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I got fat
Oct 4th, 2009 by alexfaye

When I start to live in my head too much, and neglect my body because of the Dance of a Hundred Things to Do, my body slides down the hill FAST.  This is a surefire sign of aging:  take a walk, and every joint hurts:  toes, hips, shoulders, ankles.  Clothes feel tight.  Negotiating small spaces is awkward.  Simple everyday yoga poses are a challenge.

I think, somewhere Alex, there’s a woman your age training for a marathon, a triathalon; she’s swimming laps, she’s riding her bike.    Somewhere there’s a woman my age who is a competitive body builder.  She’s got her body fat percentage down low.  And although those women might not have — as Annie Lamott suggested once — rich inner lives, I’ll bet they are pretty grounded.  When you care for the body, the spirit and the mind calm down.

Anyway, I can’t write a blog post right now that is simply a repeat of the most boring litany in the world:  “I’m going to get myself back in shape.”  Ho hum.

I was talking in class about the urgent getting in the way of the important.  That’s a Steven Covey idea:  the urgent needs to be done now, but does nothing to advance the goals I have set for myself.  Writing, sitting zazen, stretching and strength training,  playing golf, gardening, taking long rambling walks…these activities have to supercede the Dance of a Hundred Things.  And yes, I know the trick of putting those things on the Dance Card, and marking them “A” for top priority.  So I will do that, but I always laugh a little in my head when I look down in my Franklin planner and see on the list, “Sit Zazen.”  It seems like a funny little zen joke.

Anyway, now it’s back to work.  First, I have to run out and buy cream for my coffee.  Very important.  And cook the chicken, and iron the blouse, and wash the dirty clothes, and make the Powerpoint, and send the email, and check my homework, and get myself ready for a busy day tomorrow.  Calling the city inspectors to come out and look at the sheeting on my roof so we can purchase roofing material, and get a roof on the house before the rain falls.  If it ever does.  We are in a drought, but still.  Why tempt fate?

Took out a loan so Maddy can finish her senior year.  We didn’t want to, but we had to.  I wonder where we will be next year, as she tries to enter the job market.  Chemists are eminently employable, but Maddy has something specific in mind (brewing), so we’ll see how it goes.  She has lived a charmed life thus far, and there’s no reason I can think of that this good luck and wind-at-her-back needs to change.

Here she is — cute as can be.  The truth about parenting is that it is the same as running a long race.  You look out at the tree in the distance and say, “I just want to get to that tree, and I’ll be OK.”  Then at the tree, you set a new goal, “I’ll just run to where that red truck is parked up ahead, and then I’ll let myself rest.”  So, I thought getting her through high school was the biggest challenge:  the challenge of the driver’s license, the parties, all of the trouble that can waylay a young person.  Then, the goal was just to get her settled at a good college.  But now, as she approaches graduation, I worry about her work life.  “Worry” is the wrong word — Maddy has proven herself to be a smart and resourceful person.  But I do want her to land somewhere where she will be able to use her skills & her education; where she will be appreciated and valued, and where her work will be interesting and engaging.  That she will be surrounded by people who “get” her.  What a luxurious thing to think about, though.  So many mothers must carry much deeper concerns for their children, and here I am hoping people “get” my daughter and that her work will be interesting.  I understand that I am blessed.  Nobody can love a child as completely as a mom, but of course, children don’t really get that; they are not supposed to, or they could never move out on their own.  I know I didn’t understand how hard my mother prayed for me.  Loving my daughter taught me to reconsider my own mother anew.  cutemaddy

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