I’m not in balance. I can’t get over my cold. Nothing major – nagging cough and lightheadedness. What is remarkable is how far my emotional state has been knocked off kilter by my malady. I’m cranky. I’m engaged in squabbles on Facebook that I’d normally avoid, knowing they are tremendous time-wasters. I’m even a little irked with my coffee shop.
My current crankiness is a reminder of the relationship between my mind and body. It also reminds me of the vicious circle of unhappiness I was trapped in during my dark ages. I led a sedentary existence for the most part. I was unhappy. Building new, healthy habits seemed beyond the pale. I didn’t understand how good I felt after walking. So the circle continued. Until it began morphing into a line. Straight at times, but mostly crooked.
The end of my dark ages was not binary. While the end of my marriage was a big moment, it was not an on-off switch. Hence my disdain for those who preach online that problem-solving is a series of steps.
I am sure there are people who benefit from “how to be happy in five steps” or whatever. Even if it just starts them thinking about abyss escape routes. In my case, however, figuring things out is complicated, taking work. And work. And…
It also takes patience. For me, change comes at a snail’s pace. Learning to accept that has been critical. Regardless, I’m not always patient. I still get frustrated. I sometimes wish I was just “done.” But there is no “done.” So I remind myself to find patience.
Complementing patience is recognizing the groundswell of progress. Not earthquakes, where landscapes transform instantly, not even tremors where I immediately know something is different. For me they’re tiny vibrations, easy to miss, but significant nonetheless. Theses are the signs of progress on my journey.
In one of my first posts I talked about my skepticism in my ability to change my world view if I can’t even break a habit as mundane as nail-biting. I bring it up because I’ve learned change is possible. Again, not easy, but I have changed.
Walking to my favorite writing spot today, even with my nagging cold, even feeling cranky, I reminded myself to walk straighter. I tend to hunch over when I walk. I read you should imagine a string attached to your chest is pulling you straight. Despite everything, I stayed mindful of one of my new healthy habits. Even off-balance, I no longer obsess on falling too far. For that, I am grateful.
Stay in touch. Connect.
P.S. This is a brilliant cinematic moment involving Henry (“Hank” to his friends, “Henry” to me) Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck from my favorite director, Preston Sturges. It is from Sturges’ 1940 screwball comedy, The Lady Eve. The unique cinematography, monologue and dialogue in this scene is classic Sturges. Anyway, enjoy and find this movie!