Did you see that video with the little boy trying to get a cupcake from his mother that went around a few weeks ago? Linda, listen, honey....You're not listening to me...
What does it take sometimes to realize that you aren't listening? That things aren't going the way they should? And is it that you aren't listening or that you aren't paying attention? Of course this is a navel gazer...but you knew that already didn't you?
What does it take to make you change? To move you from the spot you are on? Recently I watched a friend let go of something she had been holding on to so tightly she had missed the point where she didn't want it anymore. Once she let go, decided to move on, the relief was palpable. It's a big change happening in her life, but it's one she needed to make. To let go and move on.
Another friend of mine had a week of hits. Literally murder and mayhem. Reminders that life is short and holding on to the past does you no good. Because change is going to come. He didn't realize that he had been holding open a door to his past until the building burned down.
What does it take to get your attention? Sometimes all you need is a couple weeks of really terrible sleep followed by a solid 8 hours of great sleep. Then the head clears and you realize, oh holy shit do I need to make some changes.
I've let my life slide in to a holding pattern. I was kidding myself for awhile that it was nothing to worry about. But then after the rock bottom moodiness that hits with exhaustion followed by the bright eyed optimism that comes from a full night's sleep as well as a healthy dose of cleaning fumes for good measure I had to own up to it. I'm in a rut. And if I don't break out now it's just going to get worse.
I can track it, and so can you because you've been paying attention to the blogs. When my knees started giving me enough problems that I took a week off of working out before we went to Hawaii to make sure I had enough juice in them for everything we were going to do that should have been the biggest warning. Okay, no actually the biggest warning should have been when I could listen to them talk to me going up and down the stairs. Or wait, maybe when they swelled up in Chicago. Any of those would have been good warnings. But they weren't.
What happened is that I started to make changes but not the right ones. And not even ones I was super aware of. I spent less and less time on the stairs. I live in a three story house so this isn't as easy as you would think. Basically I'd pick a floor for the day and stay there instead of basement for a workout, main floor for food and writing, upstairs for laundry and cleaning, it was...well...main floor for sitting on the couch. Or upstairs with a book while I did laundry. And the basement pretty much got taken out of the equation.
Which means the workouts stopped. Which is a bad idea. Because I didn't just stop doing the stuff that was hurting my knee I stopped doing everything. I haven't done a chin up since we left for Hawaii. Not going to make the June deadline that way am I?
And when I stop working out it affects my sleep. Working out doesn't make me sleep like a normal person, nothing does, but it does help. Quite a bit actually. So when I stop working out I stop sleeping so I am tired so I don't want to workout so I don't sleep so I'm tired...
And when I'm tired I sit. And do nothing. Which lends itself to more sitting and doing nothing. And at first you kid yourself and say, "Oh this is temporary, tomorrow I will get right back on it." and you might. I was averaging one productive day a week there. One. Out of seven. And that might be being generous.
But once you are starting in a rut it's hard to bounce out of it, you know?
So I've started the bounce. For one I have been to the doctors to get the knees worked on and started PT. Of course these things didn't make me feel better this week. In fact they made everything much worse. Going through the tests and the exams and having them poked and prodded made them hurt. A lot. Enough that I got zero sleep. And snapped at a stranger in a coffee shop. (okay, he totally deserved it, but still, not really okay to do) But even though this week they didn't help the situation I know that they will in the long run.
And I read this blog today which helped reinforce that getting back in the swing of working out will not only help protect my knees in the long run but will bounce me out of the rut in the short run.
So that's a good start.
Then I needed to think about the rest of it. Because it's not just the workouts. The workouts help me feel better and more in control for sure, but then what? What is the rest of the puzzle?
Earlier this week while I was writing my prompt story for Wednesday I kept getting stuck. I would write and then erase. And write and erase. I joked with Dana that I just can't write ahead. If it wasn't Wednesday it wasn't happening. But it was more than that. I knew what I wanted the story to say, I knew where I wanted it to go but I kept talking myself out of it. "unrealistic. wouldn't happen" But She (she never got a name, it was an actual choice, cause she was invisible, you see) kept telling me, "this is my story, this is what happened, tell it" so I did. And then I heard from not one, not two but three different people that they had gone through similar things. Just because her story wasn't mine, doesn't mean it wasn't a solid voice. Yes, exaggerated, but solid.
So what does that mean for the rut? Well, the writing needs to be free, dig? Okay, sorry, the hippy chick popped out there for a second. What I mean is I'm starting to get uptight about the writing, not good enough, not a strong voice, not valid. And I need to let that go and just write again. If a story doesn't work, it doesn't work, but that doesn't mean writing it was a mistake. It just means my head is clearer for other things.
And then to add to the mix of popping out of the rut I need to do new things. So we are picking back up the new thing weekends. Some of those were a bust, and some were pretty cool. But they were all something. And right now something is what I am looking for.
Because I've been spinning my wheels and if I don't stop I'm going to dig in too deep to move. And that's just not okay. And the universe is talking to me. Screamed at me today in fact. And I don't like to be screamed at. So...so...so....
So April is going to be the MONTH OF ACHIEVEMENT! Sorry, it needed a title. Basically I'm going to shock myself out of the holding pattern. Time to do new things and old things and basically just things. The things I like to do, the things I need to do and the new things we are going to check out. Add in twice weekly PT session, hopefully a deep run in to hockey playoffs and then leaving at the end of the month for C's college graduation and I should be out of the rut and on a new path by May.
And what does that mean? Oh you know it! Blogs. Lots and lots of blogs! I am going to be writing about what I'm doing, what I'm not and why. I have three fiction stories that should hit next week, one from the prompt and two that have been bouncing around for awhile. And more navel gazing. Because you know I love the way it looks...I should probably get it pierced....though adding something shiny to the mix and I might never get anything else done...and we don't want that do we?
Oh no we don't. Okay, I'm listening...Now can I have a cupcake?