I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, May 3, 2020

First Sunday in May

Happy little sign
I've found a nice walk in my neighborhood that takes me down several streets I haven't visited much before. I saw this delightful little sign. Those last two lines, which are difficult to read, say "Save Farms – Build in Cities," and "Transit Access is Terrific." Their home is on a relatively busy street and has two city buses that come by often. The walk gives me just under 10,000 steps and has the advantage of being a loop, so I can see plenty of variety.

I didn't walk yesterday, not much anyway. Although it wasn't raining hard early, it was definitely damp. And then it got much more so, with almost a half-inch of rain total during the day. Today is supposed to be much the same, only cooler. So yesterday I didn't walk, but today if it's not pouring, I'll try to get out for a little exercise. Having walked three days in a row, I realize how much better I feel for it. My body is not used to all this inactivity, it seems.

Our governor has extended the stay-at-home order until the end of May, but he's allowing some construction projects to begin, and he will open up the state recreational areas tomorrow. Golf courses will open as well, but as with all other recreation activities, you are supposed to keep your golf partners (or hiking partners) limited to two. And we are all encouraged to wear a mask when outdoors in places where social distancing guidelines cannot be followed. 

It seems unlikely that we will be getting back to normal here in Washington State before the end of June, meaning coffee shops and restaurants providing inside seating. I saw a program yesterday that said restaurants will not survive without at least half of their capacity being available. I really feel for all those people who are suffering so badly by not being able to work and not receiving unemployment compensation. There are definitely advantages to being retired and living on Social Security and pensions. I was worried that our annuities would be hit hard, but we are losing less than I feared, meaning we will survive this pandemic in relatively good shape, while so many others are suffering badly.

My worst problem is coming from my inability to keep the pounds from piling on. I've gained around five pounds in two months, and every time I think I'll now be inspired to lose the weight, my resolve fades by late afternoon. Eating good food is so satisfying! Yesterday I selected a pair of pants to wear that have always needed a belt, but no longer. They stay up just fine. Until now, I've managed to keep off the extra fifteen pounds that I lost a decade ago. Every morning I step on the scales, hoping to see that I haven't gained any more. It does help me make better dining decisions during the day, remembering that number.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother, why it matters at all. I am otherwise healthy and relatively fit (not as fit as a month ago), and then I remember what a difference it makes on my knees, not having to carry around extra weight. Five pounds of extra load on my knees is multiplied by four when walking uphill. Since I haven't been exercising much, they feel pretty good. But twenty years ago I had a bad accident that caused me to lose an artery down my right leg and must keep exercising to maintain collateral circulation. The damage to my right side is the reason I should keep going as long as I can, and should keep my weight down as well. I am giving myself a pep talk here, just in case you didn't recognize what I'm doing.

I'm stuck here. What else to write about? I went over to a page of quotes looking for inspiration, but nothing is hitting that writing spot. I'm experiencing a real block! More information about my obsessions is not going to do it. What if I just point my mouse at the page and pick a quote, no matter whether it's good or not? Here goes:
If I get stuck, I look at a book that tells me how someone else did it. I turn the pages, and then I say, 'Oh, I forgot that bit,' then close the book and carry on. Finally, after you've figured out how to do it, you read how they did it and find out how dumb your solution is and how much more clever and efficient theirs is!—Richard P. Feynman
No, I didn't choose this one, it chose me. And the fact that it's about being stuck, well I find that fascinating. It reminds me that synchronicities really do occur, and that I will get the guidance I need by just opening myself up to random chance. If there is such a thing anyway, since this one came to me that way. I do believe in a universe that surrounds me with infinite possibilities. So there you go.

It is just enough for me to consider this post finished. Now it's time to climb out of bed and begin the rest of my day. Maybe it won't rain all day and I can get outdoors and get myself moving. Maybe I'll vegetate in my favorite chair and watch a movie. Or maybe I'll just put one foot in front of the other and see where I end up. Next week will be different, and hopefully I won't be moaning about anything but instead filled with love and joy. There is so much to be grateful for, and there's no need to bemoan my fate. You, I hope, will be in a better place that the one I started out in. And I hope that the coming week will bring you light and happiness. I wish that for myself, too. Until we meet again next week, be well and stay safe.


Linda Reeder said...

I got up this morning hurting and with the dark and drippy sky it's hard to not feel in a funk. But it's Sunday morning and Tom and I have instituted a new tradition, at least for while we are "stuck", of having something special for Sunday morning breakfast. Today it will be blueberry coffee cake, which we will make as soon as we get going. That won't help with the gaining weight issue, but it will be a pleasant way to mark the day and begin a new week. We may even take the left over cake to Jill and the kids so we don't eat it all.
Looking out my upstairs window, I see that it is raining again. That's good. We need the rain. By next Sunday, Mother's Day, it will be sunny and warm. We might even risk having a family day.
I hope you get your walk today. I hope I CAN walk today.

Rian said...

As long as we share what is going on in our lives - even though 'sheltering at home' gives us less fun events to talk about, blogging needs to continue. It not only pasts the time, but gives us some insight into what others are doing or feeling. This IMO helps us to feel less alone during this pandemic. The fact that we are all in this together is very real. How we each handle it may be different... and sharing how we do this may be helpful.
We don't usually eat a big breakfast around here... toast and coffee/tea, but this morning I made lost bread/french toast in the waffle iron. Saw this on TV and thought, "why not?" It works!

Anvilcloud said...

"Five pounds in two months."
I might have done that every two weeks.
I exaggerate a little, but really you're doing pretty well.
Have a good week.

Marie Smith said...

It sounds like the Covid blues to me. We have it too. Not that we ever ate out much but I am so tired of cooking and cleaning up, we both are. It would be nice to eat out somewhere, nothing special just a regular place we sometimes visit. oh well. Not yet!

Take care, Jan.

gigi-hawaii said...

That is the benefit of blogging. You get to read how other people function in similar circumstances. Great quote by that writer.

Trish MacGregor said...

Open to synchronicities...love it!

ApacheDug said...

I very much enjoyed that sign at the top of this week's post. I too live on a somewhat busy (but very pretty) street with public transit stops, one of them runs 24 hours a day. Sometimes I'll get up in the middle of the night, go to the kitchen to get a drink and outside my window, down below (I'm on the 4th floor) see a bus quietly rumbling by... I grew up in the country, but love living in the city now. Well, 10 minutes from it.

Thanks for this week's thoughts, Djan--always enjoy your quiet Sunday pieces.

Elephant's Child said...

I love that sign. I saw a similar one on a recent walk, and it lifted my spirits immediately. Mind you, my walk (through wind, drizzle and sleet) was no doubt an amble by your standards.
Of course you feel better when you exercise. Our bodies are made to be moved, and you usually pay more attention to its calls than most of us.
Stay well, stay safe - and keep walking.

Red said...

I get weighed once a year at my annual check up. This year going by fit of my clothes, I think I've gained.

Linda Myers said...

Millions and millions of us, sitting indoors, wishing it were otherwise.

Glenda Beall said...

I know you are not a happy camper being stuck inside. But be thankful you have your guy with you. I wish mine were still here. It would make life so much better if he was beside me, making me laugh and know I am loved. Facing this alone is bit more scary, but I work at finding things to do, teaching a free writing class and collecting money for the food pantry has been good for me. My 91 year old brother has been back in the hospital for the past week with pneumonia and so I spend much time worrying about him. I heard tonight that he was dismissed today and is home with one of his sons. So I will sleep better tonight.
The weather is wonderful this weekend in Western North Carolina and I plan to do some planting tomorrow.As my therapist tells me, Keep moving. Sounds like you have a good neighborhood to walk in so enjoy. Stay safe.

Far Side of Fifty said...

It was cold here today, we were outside for quite a while! Freezing again tonight. We just cannot see to warm up! So glad you found a walk near your home that you enjoy. I hope you have a good week. Cee Cee came home today we are ever so grateful that she is recovering. Poor Maddie was exhausted as only one parent was allowed in the hospital. So she got very little sleep. She is a good Mama:)

Rita said...

I know this staying at home is hard for you. Nice that you have some places to walk there, though. You'll feel better after a walk even in the rain. ;)

Dee said...

Dear DJan, as you say here, and as you have said often in past postings, "There is so much to be grateful for." Amen. Peace.

Galen Pearl said...

I was at my cabin this last weekend, with weather similar to yours. Saturday, I sat outside under the small covered part of my deck. I wrapped myself up in a blanket, held a cup of hot tea in my hands, and watched the rain in the forest. So beautiful. Interesting that that is the random quote you landed on. Synchronicity indeed!