Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What I've Gathered Today

It continues to be a beautiful day here today although the light is less ethereal as the day goes on and has become more pragmatic. Can light be pragmatic? I think it can. It is doing its sunny job now, making the tomatoes come into their ripeness, providing the chickens with what they need on their feathers as they settle into their dirt baths and scratch about the yard.

I went to yoga and it was fine. I could tell it had been awhile since I've been and although that's mostly been MY fault, my yoga teacher has been out of commission a bit too, due to yet another injury. She is frailer than I am, my yoga teacher, although she is also strong in some ways. She seems to be one of those people who are prone to back problems and I can sympathize but never having been there myself, except for one tiny back-spasm incident which only lasted a few weeks, I can't really empathize. I think she lives in a lot of pain and I know that many people do and although I have just enough in my hips and knees to remind me of my age, I know it is not the same as chronic unremitting pain and I am so grateful that I do not have to live with that.

When I came home, I did go out and take a walk. It was lovely and I didn't die of the heat and while I was walking I was thinking about how I used to walk so very, very regularly and how one of the things which was a factor in the slow decrease I've had in the last year or so was, quite oddly, going to a counselor.
It was when I was trying to get myself back together after my bout of insanity two years ago (was it only two?) and on the advice of several people, I went to see this woman.
She was beautiful. Possibly older than me but completely and utterly beautiful for any age. She had the body a twenty-five year old would be proud to have. And you could tell that appearance was very important to her. Her clothes and shoes and make-up were all perfect and I feel quite sure she does not find clothes or shoes like that in Tallahassee. I can see trips to Atlanta or New York for shopping. And she obviously works out a lot.
So anyway, she asked me about my exercise habits and I told her that I walked for about forty-five minutes at least four times a week and went to yoga three times a week and that I did some weight things at home and crunches- regular stuff you do on your living room floor. She was impressed but said that studies showed that for the type of anxiety I had been experiencing, regular aerobic exercise, six days a week, lasting at least an hour and fifteen minutes was most effective.
And I tried. But somehow, that extra half hour, those extra two days a week just wore me out. And of course I didn't slow down any to make that extra half hour any easier. And I started dreading my walks instead of them just being a part of my day. And when I didn't have an hour and fifteen minutes to walk, I just didn't go instead of just walking for as long as I had the time for.
And I eventually quit going to the counselor and my walks got fewer and fewer as I felt more and more guilty.
Which I think is a good lesson to remember- we do what we can and if we enjoy what we do, or at least if what we do is workable for us, we'll keep doing it.
Making unreasonable goals and trying to keep them is self-defeating.

I am going to remember that now. And take my forty-five minute walks, or half-hour ones if that's all I can do. I walk VERY fast and I get every minute's worth out of what I do. I do not lollygag around, believe me.

So I came home from that walk and on my way I picked a magnolia and then went to the chicken coop and found those four nice eggs, one of them obviously from Daffodil because it is such a lovely color of blue and she is the only one who lays me blue eggs, and I put the magnolia in a blue vase and the eggs in a white bowl and there you are- those are the things I have gathered today, along with a sense of some order being restored in my life which is, after all, my own life and ultimately, I am the one who needs to set my own goals, no matter what studies may show.


  1. You did a lot today... Looked and played with the light! Showed us the light. Walked, talked, found wisdom, and blue eggs to sit next to the magnolia!
    What a day...
    I would call this a day with a star. A day to remember. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. I wish that I could go for a very fast walk with you, Ms. Moon.

    And why are some eggs blue? Do we know?

  3. Well that counselor really pissed me off saying that. Jesus.
    I don't believe her anyway. Who the hell does THAT?
    I think you were doing amazinly well, and she threw you right off.
    I am glad you took the right lesson away from it and are sharing it here. So true.
    Do what you can. Don't let other people set your goals and expectations.
    I walked today before work. I didn't go fast. But I got out there. Good for me.
    And good for you Ms Moon.

  4. I bet if you tried you could find a study that said exercise causes cancer. Well, maybe not, but studies and statistics can be found leaning in about any direction you want and each contradicts another.

  5. Oh for Pete's sake. Counselors are like have to find one that fits.

    My counselor gave me a Stephen King book and told me it was a true story.

    I stopped going after that.

  6. Photocat- It's a lovely day.

    Elizabeth- Different breeds lay different colors of eggs. Isn't that wonderful? They taste the same though. Maybe we'll walk on the beach some day.

    Bethany- Well. She is probably a good counselor. Just not for me. And good for you for walking this morning!

    Stephanie- I know. But I was rather desperate. Frankly, I don't think it did much for my anxiety and it surely did increase my grudge level.

    DTG- I saw plenty!

  7. Nancy C- WHICH Stephen King book? Dear God.

  8. Yes, so true about making unreasonable goals and how self-defeating that can be.

  9. Order and symmetry, two of the things I need and work for the hardest in my own life. I walk every day at lunch (when it isn't rainy), and I follow the same route, and I also have been walking in the mornings-I don't know about 75 minutes of aerobic exercise a day helping with anxiety, but for me, the routine and order and having that time to exercise and feel my legs move and simply let my mind float helps MY depression a lot. Becuase, like you said, I don't begrudge it, where i would if I was "supposed" to do something for that long, that jard. To hell with that, you know?

  10. Your picture of gathered objects and your description of them: "the magnolia in a blue vase and the eggs in a white bowl" brought me something simple and essential this morning.

    It reminded me of the William Carlos William poem:

    so much depends
    a red wheel
    glazed with rain
    beside the white

    So much depends on what Ms Moon has to say to us in the morning...

    Glad the light turned pragmatic and so did you.
    Glad you got your walk and yoga, too.

    Kisses... N2

  11. Nancy C that's the best comment ever.

    It's like a Goth country and western song.

  12. Nice gatherings.

    Yes, goals are personal, you are so right.

  13. You know who exercises that much? All my coworkers. Talk about feeling like a slack-ass...

  14. Bravo, Madame-in-the-pragmatic-light. I am loving the comments here, this afternoon.

    Counselors bring their own "stuff" to the session, regardless of appearances of perfectly put together outfits. We bring the ability to heal to the space. No one can do that but ourselves, and the Spirit that whispers in our ear.

    Your gathering is your solace and salvation.

  15. PS: Having just read the past few posts, I realize you are addressing a big-deal.

    Exercise. Ha! In hot, sweaty weather. Sure.

    Well. I just wanted to come back and say Bravo! You are doing "IT" and doing it well.

    I am with you.

  16. Syd- Isn't it amazing how often we are simply setting ourselves up to fail?

    Kori- Yep. Some of us need simple stability and routine for our peace of mind.

    Nancy C- Thank you for that gorgeous comment and the reminder of that elegant, perfect poem. It DOES make me think of so many things I am fortunate to have here in my life and the eyes to experience them with and the soul to appreciate them with.
    And you.

    Ms. Fleur- And you should know, you certified Life Coach, you!

    SJ- Tell them to kiss your slack ass.

    Swallowtail- You're right! And the stuff that counselor brought wasn't stuff I could relate to. Why didn't I listen to myself?
    And like I said- I hadn't quit exercising, I was just not doing it regularly which is only slightly better than not doing it at all.

  17. Oh momma I am always so proud of you. I know you can do it, and I hope I can too. I took a walk today too! We also went to Lake Hall and had a picnic and a swim. What a lovely day. Well I love you and will see you tommorow.

  18. Lily- Oh! That makes me so happy! We used to do the same thing when y'all were little. Go to Lake Hall and swim and have picnics. Did Owen love the water?
    I love you and can't wait to see you and that boy tomorrow.

  19. Lake Hall! That makes me think of that picture we have of mama in a brown bathing suit/leotard standing in Lake Hall with a naked Lily on your hip.

  20. That's odd that your yoga instructor has back problems. I had bad back problems and doing yoga straightened me out. I stopped yoga ages ago, but haven't had a back problem since.

    Your eggs are lovely.

  21. That exercise theory is bizarre to say the least.

    and I have counsellor issues. Years ago when we finally convinced my mother to go.. well, he messed her up more. I'm certain there are many wise and wonderful ones, but they are not all right by any means. And how do you sort it out. Especially when you know, you're not exactly coming into the situation whole as it were.


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