Ken M. is a colleague in one of my writer’s courses, an excellent writer, a potter, a thoughtful man. He submitted an essay where he describes doing the sun salutation in the mornings as he gets up – a sort of quickie gesture to Yoga. But he does them in the dark….and he ended his essay with this very astonishing line. It struck me so hard I felt tears come into my eyes.
In trying to figure out the effect of this line, I am wandering through all the memories I have of “faking it til I make it” – doing those nods to my inner self before I start my day – how much of my life is a procession of gestures made before facing reality. Everything from reading my horoscope to checking my emails to signing up for writing courses to even my regular overcoming of my natural fear of new situations.
I think deep down, there’s a huge introvert in me, just waiting to claw its way out. Every time I do something new, go to a new place, meet a new person, I have a little curb to jump over to get there. Like my tiny puppy, Chutney, who takes running leaps at curbs so he can get over them (often crashing, poor wee bloke), I take running leaps at challenges, thinking to myself that if I don’t look behind me or slow down and only look at the objective, I can get there before I realize my fear. It works a lot of the time. Most of the time, no one notices my hops and stumbles.
But it’s exhausting. I don’t think it is immediately apparent to those about me how much effort this takes, especially with my newly damaged MS mind. I even tell myself I LIKE challenges – and I do – but the pacing is key.
Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit depleted. Maybe it’s walking the incontinent puppy 40 times a day. Maybe it’s the disturbed sleep from him whining for a dawn pee. Maybe it’s because my other exercise regime has fallen off and I am eating badly – it’s hard to plan food when at any moment a puppy may need to be taken down in the elevator and out of the apartment for his functioning. But I feel a bit like the man in “All that Jazz” – “It’s Showtime, folks!”
I want nothing more than to turn myself into a ball and sleep. But the world calls to me – there are things to do, books to read, people to meet, futures to plan. So I put my play face on and race toward the curb…