Something Has To Give

It’s time to shake things up a bit around here.

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I struggle with mental illness, that I love gardening and have a fairly green thumb, that I fractured my patella and tibia last year and am still doing rehab for it, and that I rarely leave the house.

Lately I’m been thinking about my situation in life. When you look at it from a distance, life isn’t that great a lot of the time. I am powered by medications and my sun lamp. I don’t drive much because I get anxiety. I hardly get out. But – I do exercise at home, doing my physio exercises and riding my bike trainer. I take pictures around the property. And when my husband manages to extract me from the house for an outing, I take pictures then, too, and also interact with the public (eek).

One of the changes I’d already made was to start swimming again, but I ended up missing a few weeks due to the snowstorms we had and the fact that we didn’t really want to be on the road with a bunch of people with summer tires. And now with March break coming up, I’ll bet the pool will be full of kids.

Lately I’ve been making some other personal changes. I finally got a haircut (I don’t know about you, but I hate picking hairdressers). I bought a satchel bag and new wallet. I bought some trail runners that fit awesomely. I bought a new set of tights and a couple of new sweaters. I finally got my wedding ring resized so that I can get it over my knobbly knuckle again.

Some people may say I’m doing this because I’m on a “high.” And it’s good to interrogate these kinds of actions to determine if yes, that’s what they are. But I’ve thought it through and I don’t think this is part of the high. It’s the feeling that something’s got to change.

My days are so similar you’d never guess one from the next. I enjoy my morning writing practice, and I enjoy gardening. Gardening hasn’t started yet because of the snow, so I’ve been doing my morning writing and then working on other projects. I managed to finish a fabric art piece, though I’m not convinced the finish work was that great because my sewing machine keeps going on the fritz.

But I feel like something fundamental needs to change. Sure we talk about moving, and it may happen – you never know. But in the meantime we have to make a commitment here and now and make the most of it. If we change our mind in a year or two that’s fine. We’ll have had 7 years here by then – and we would have made the last 2 count.

So the big thing is that we’re aiming for is the September Lake-to-Lake Walk from Shawnigan Lake to Lake Cowichan, exactly one marathon distance apart. We won’t be running unless my knees miraculously heal and I’m able to run. But we will hopefully be walking – briskly and purposefully.

To that end, we need to plan out our training regime and pick some intermediate events before the big day so that we can practice shorter courses. This morning we finally got on the trails again after the snow and they’re passable, but still slippery, so I have to be careful not to wipe out and injure myself again. I’m itching for the paths to clear off more, as we have to keep up a basic level of activity, like 4 km three times a week, and then one long day a week – ~8 km or so. Then halfway through training we ramp up to 8 km three times a week and maybe 12 km for the long one. So the long walk is always on Sunday, while the short ones are on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This will have to be done in between book reviews and gardening and yardwork in general and looking after dogs and the house. For me these are not small tasks. I hope it doesn’t all begin to feel like too much.

But I feel like something’s got to give. I can’t keep living the way I’ve been living. I need to have a goal – and it might as well be a 42 km walk in my 42nd year. And I know how much difference it can make to your mental health if you’re able to get out and do something every day. This just formalizes it and gives us a structure to follow.

I’m also glad we’re doing this together, my husband and I. I feel like we each struggle with our own illnesses, and this will allow us to help each other out. Strangely enough, I also feel more connected now that I have my wedding ring on again.

I have a few more personal changes on my list that you’ll find out about shortly, but for now I think this is enough to keep us busy. As long as I remember that I can always take a day off if I’m not feeling well – which will be highly likely!

Bring on the marathon!

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11 thoughts on “Something Has To Give”

  1. You are doing well, even writing this blog is another task that you complete. I think the goal of the brisk walk later in the year is a great focus for you. It’s all in a days journey, so keep daily tasks realistic and remember don’t beat yourself up over daily tasks unable to be completed. We all have those!
    I have always enjoyed reading your blog and will continue to do so. All the best, until next time!

  2. It’s when you feel that itch — that something needs to change or there’s a niggle of dissatisfaction — it can go one of two ways (or maybe three – we could debate, maybe on a training walk sometime). There’s a too much overwhelm leave it as the status quo route, which usually leads to serious miserableness in my experience, and there’s the purposeful need to make changes and yes i am capable route. Now this latter can also go a couple of ways — be sensible and make some realistic changes with a common sense hat on, or wholesale drastic change where just about everything gets thrown out of the window and Big Changes Are Made (which is sort of where I am since last Thursday).
    SO, and I am rambling here because at 8:30pm it’s way past my bedtime apparently, well done for taking the solid purposeful changes route; big cheers for doing the sensible realistic route (cos what you’re saying sounds totally do-able); I’m with you too!

    • We should really get together some day. I think we’d have a lot to talk about! And yes I totally agree with your categorization of plnas into three . I’m hoping to take the “purposeful need to make changes and yes I am capable” route. In other words, as Kingsolver would say, “I can do hard things.” What’s your Big Change, BTW??

      • Resigned a part time position to concentrate more on freelance again. Seems a huge (financially precarious) step but I have one and new two potentials as new science writing clients and I’d like to give them my best shot. Not huge huge, but it did feel like I was throwing away security to step into the dark again.

    • A trip to Victoria is definitely on my list! I did a solo trip a few years ago and it was amazingly restorative 🙂 With having only the one part time position on the go now, it makes life a lot more portable – my writing assignments and I can travel! Would most definitely love to meet up!


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