My first re-post, ever. Why?
Because I needed it, I went looking for it.
I guess because it’s kind of self-discouraging to talk yourself down from being excited about getting “up to 20 minutes,” 10 years after you were a 50-minute regular.
Upside – I’ve got a new 2020 playlist going, though. (a few links below.)
January 24, 2017: Another 30 seconds
The treadmill followed us to Adrian, where it sat in the den gathering dust.
Until late 2005, when it became clear Jeff would never be able to return to work. I think up until this time, he thought he’d be able to beat it.
Despite medications and injections, his blood sugar averaged 350. What we hoped was temporary neuropathy, turned into a permanent nightmare. Unhealable ulcers covered his legs, which were in danger. Poor circulation and deep wounds prompted one doctor to speculate on the future, citing potential, eventual amputation.
Jeff wasn’t depressed. I was terrified. Carrying 298.7 pounds on a 5’3” frame, I realized I was in no shape to help if it came to that. I wasn’t concentrating on taking baby steps. I didn’t have to. My body determined my pace.
It seems incredible to me now that one full minute was as far as I got the first day. Within two weeks though, I had achieved a regular, comfortable 3-minutes. I mean comfortable as in not gasping for breath, seeing little black spots or needing to chug a glass of orange juice to counteract my blood sugar drops from the exertion.
I’d been to my yearly physical, which I tried to avoid by only going every two or three years. I was declared obese, of course, and pre-diabetic which believe it or not was a shock to me. Wearing a size 28 should have been a clue, but that’s not how I saw myself, mostly because that’s not how Jeff saw me, either.
We developed an evening routine. I would come home from work, change my clothes and treadmill for 3 minutes, sweating horrifically. By the time I’d finished my shower, picked out my work clothes for the next day, Jeff would have dinner ready.
One evening, Jeff stuck his head through the kitchen pass-through. “How many minutes do you have left?” he asked.
“I only have 30 seconds,” I answered.
“Well,” Jeff said, “dinner’s not ready, yet. You can do an extra 30 seconds.”
I might have still had my crabby pants on from work, but I took umbrage. There I was sweating my brains out, seeing the light at the end of the torturous treadmill tunnel and he thinks I’ve got it in me to go another 30 seconds?
But, what I said, was, “Oh, really? Another 30 seconds? You get over here and do 30 seconds if you think it’s so easy!”
Of course, there were a few things wrong with my response. Jeff hadn’t actually implied I was slacking. He hadn’t said he thought it’d be easy. And it was a ridiculously inappropriate suggestion since his feet were continuously painful and he had a great deal of trouble walking.
But, Jeff just laughed. He found it endlessly amusing when I became flustered or got feisty. He wasn’t at all offended . And because that distinctive laugh was unavoidably contagious, I ended up laughing, too.
As Jeff wiped the doubled-over, guffawing tears from his eyes, I glanced down at LED readout.
“4 minutes!” I shouted in astonishment. “See?” Jeff said. “I knew you could do it.”
Enjoy this Week’s Songs for Soul Survivors: (aka playlisting, treadmill time.) @ Knabble-Podcast: Knabble-Pod
Quote for the Week:
Lucia & The Best Boys: Perfectly Untrue (2020)
Michigander: Let Down (2020)
Blue October: Oh My My (2020)
(backtracking to This is My Truth)
At 2:00 in the morning, I was annoyed to be so wide awake. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was just the long day we’d had Saturday. Maybe it was knowing Sunday would be busy with church and groceries, and maybe meeting that baby. Maybe it was me being selfish after a long week at work. I just wanted to get one good night’s sleep.
Once I’d done what I had to (the mask and the loo thing), I wandered back to the kitchen for a snack. I don’t recall what I was looking for, only that there was a minuscule amount left. My frustrated feelings admittedly moved to more along the lines of exasperation. Directly associated with this continual pet peeve: leaving 2 crackers, 1 cookie, 5 chips – or only the crumbly remnants of what might have been.
Unhappy, I turned about for the other side of the house, again. I figured as long as I was sort-of cognisantly sleepless, I might as well be productive. Jeff and Freddie and Sadie were all slumbering soundly, so I took advantage of the quiet. Parked in front of our home office computer, I tackled month-end book-keeping for September.
I made notes, reviewed cash-register close out receipts. I ticked-off sales, counting the number of salsa, hot sauce, snacks, candy, cookies, gift goods and beverages that had found their way off of our shelves. I ran comp numbers, created projections, brainstormed upcoming holiday and marketing scenarios by myself.
In the early morning hours of October 1st, I’d delightfully determined our September had continued our positive streak for the second month in a row. I, fully alone, full-on grinned at the spreadsheet, looking forward to sharing success and smiles with Jeff in the morning.
That was finished and nicely settled, but I wasn’t. I was on an accomplishment high.
To wind down I relaxed into a Scrabble game, battling it out with the computer-generated Maven. Winning a rare game against the programmed-to-win competitor, lead to another round.
When I was sleepy enough to try sleeping, again, I shut down the computer, packaging up tall of the papers and receipts.
By rote, I turned off the office light and turned the corner, fully self-expecting to return to my side of the bed.
Quote for the Week:
So, I got to thinking…
Shocking, I know.
I had already determined that I have been blogging “A Year of Memories,” for more than a year.
I was curious, though, to figure out exactly how long it’s taken me to get to the part that started it all; the reason.
Not counting previous mentions of memories in the multiple runs prior to “A Year,” I’ve discovered it’s been way longer than I thought.
Shocking, also: my first post under this categorical title, was published…
September 29, 2015. At 9:08 PM, to be exact.
I didn’t know I had so many stories to tell. Short ones, long ones.
Funny, sweet, philosophical, melancholic.
182, in my unofficial skim. Mathematically, a skosh over 3.5 years.
Unbelievably, I have so many more.
Believably, I’ve nicely managed to keep putting off the inevitable.
There are going to be tears. There will need to be hindsight – without self-blame.
There will be horrific truths and horrifically funny, sometimes inappropriate, recall.
There will also be love.
Between every word. Within every line.
After the laughing. After the crying.
Stick with me. Stick with us. Stick with it.
I promise: we’ll get back to laughing, again.
Quote for the Week:
I learned that runt meant Sadie was just behind the doggie curve… not destined to remain inherently mellow.
Miss Fred learned she could hide under the wooden rocking chair, shoot her left paw out and slap Sadie’s face as our tireless pup ran by in pursuit of her red ball.
We doggedly tried to get that on video tape, sure we could with $10,000 on America’s Funniest Videos. Back then video meant a large clunky machine with a blinding light near the lens. It didn’t help that it needed to be retrieved from the office closet, either. We left it out on the dining room table for a very long time. Freddie never cooperated.
Jeff learned something, too. “Hmm,” he said self-quizzically one day, after Sadie got into what Jeff humorously named the “no-bake doggie buffet.” She’d root around in Fred’s box and stealthily eat the crunch-coated brown stuff. The thing is she wasn’t as stealth as she thought, but by the time we saw the cat litter impacted in her nostrils, the deed had already been done. “Ya know,” he said thoughtfully. “I don’t think I’d ever heard you yell – before we got a dog.”
At about 6 months old Sadie had appropriately doubled her width, but something wasn’t quite right.
As she grew, her legs grew to twice the expected height. She wasn’t quite sure what to do with her long limbs, either. Instead of a low-to-the-ground JR scoot, Sadie pranced around like Bambi.
I said to Jeff, “I don’t think she’s normal.” Jeff glanced over at me and asked, “What do you mean?”
“I mean… her legs, and her tail…” I pointed to where Sadie stood smiling. “She shouldn’t be that tall. She’s like a Jack Russell on stilts! And her tail? Is it supposed to be that long….?”
Jeff tilted his head to that doggie-don’t-understand angle. After a beat, he peered over his glasses at me. “I told ya she looked different and probably wouldn’t get adopted…”
I tilted my head to an unnatural angle even for a dog and said, “What?”
“Yeah,” he said shrugging his shoulders. “She didn’t look like the other ones…. and her tail didn’t get docked because she was too tiny and weak.”
I struggled with this news. “She was weak?” I asked. “Sickly?” I asked. “We got a defective dog?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Jeff said eyeballing me cautiously. He gnawed on his bottom lip, took a big breath and sighed. Looking at the floor, he pressed his lips together like he was trying to come up with the just right thing to say. Nodding once to himself, he looked up and continued on patiently, “That’s what runt means.…”
Quote for the Week:
Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:
The First: Dictionary
Word of The: Day