Sheer Will Power (or Stupidity)

This past weekend was quite the challenge. While my body finally started to feel a little better, my lungs are not quite cooperating. Looks like bronchitis to me, but I am in denial about that right now, except for the mornings and late evenings, when the proof is very clear, in all its yellow gory glory.

I pushed through Saturday with D and a lot of errands we needed to get done through force of will and a lot of coffee. We bagged up the recycling and drove that down to Strongsville to dump it. We went to Target and bought his Dad a Christmas present. We went out to the Westlake library and got several movies for both of us, and a few Level 1 readers for him, as he is avidly attacking those now and no longer wants to be read to. He had a meltdown in the library as I picked the movies and didn’t let him pick like I usually do. He ends up picking really stupid, worthless, and sometimes pointlessly aggressive crap like transformers or something where people are fighting all the time, and I grow weary of it. I told him it was pig movie day, and got Babe, which I have never seen, and a relatively recent live action remake of Charlotte’s Web. I tried reading him the book a few times a bit ago when he still tolerated listening to stories, but he wouldn’t have it. It was too boring and there were no pictures. He was WHINING and WHINING in the library about the choice of movies and I just ignored him and continued through the check out line. I got several for me too, just plucked things I saw here and there that I kept meaning to watch but never had the chance to – Hunger Games, Django Unchained, The Queen and Don Juan DeMarco. I also insisted we go home and get a nap, as I was so, so beat by that point and he was really annoyed with that and insisted he wasn’t tired. But snuggling under the blanket with me eventually caused him to succumb, and we got about an hour of much-needed sleep.

I made us both some popcorn for the movie and let him have a lot more of his Halloween candy than I usually do. We sat on the floor trying the regular popcorn (with butter) and the “fancy” popcorn (butter, powdered rosemary, parmesan) to see which was better, and he spontaneously offered to share his M&Ms and Milk Duds with me. He was loving Charlotte’s Web, and observed the girl that plays Fran has “hair like Sylvia,” the girl he likes in school. I said, “You like the girls with the yellow hair, don’t you, D?” and he nodded. Oy. It was a moment of whine-free bliss there on the floor in front of the TV, and he casually threw his arm around my neck and gave me a hug, and I felt really ok, really really ok, like I haven’t in a long time. Then a miracle happened when it was time to go to bed – without me asking he picked up the popcorn bowl and took it out to the kitchen. THAT ONLY TOOK FIVE YEARS! Ha. I praised him and kissed his cheek. I really hope he doesn’t get this cruddy cold. It’s had me knocked down for a week now.

Sunday morning I made a lovely breakfast of oatmeal with various stir-ins: diced apples, cinnamon, honey or maple syrup, dried cranberries, raisins, chopped walnuts. I cooked some sausage and toasted him an English muffin as well. I told him we were splitting the add-ins and he immediately started whining about not being allowed to have all the cranberries. So badly that I excused him from the table and told him there were a lot of kids around the world with no breakfast at all this morning, and he should be more grateful for what he has. I said when he was ready to be thankful for the food in front of him, he could ask to return. Two steps forward, one step back. He finally came back in and breakfast continued uneventfully.

After I dropped him off, I went and got a much-needed haircut. The hairstylist said with the cut, my highlights stand out more. HA HA HA I can’t afford highlights, my hair just does that. She said she was jealous. Nobody’s jealous of much of anything about me these days, so I took it. Then went to Ulta to try to find something to cover up all the gross flaws in my aging face – the deep, dark pockets under my eyes, the red chin, etc. I spent too much money but I never spend money on myself like that. Then to the metro parks to try to run. My lungs seem ok during the day so I thought it was worth a shot and had brought running clothes with me. I forgot my iPod, which normally makes running really tedious for me, but it really wasn’t. I have never run when it’s that cold out before – I’ve always taken my running indoors if I continued it at all through the winter, to treadmill land at the gym. But since I signed up for the Turkey Trot next week, I needed to see what it would be like – how many layers are right. How much is enough but not too much.

Nobody was out. It was just me and the path and the woods, the deer and the birds and the squirrels. I took shorter, slower strides in case the wetness on the path was actually ice, and tried to take it easy. I was cold the whole time, but after about a mile and a half, I warmed up to where I wouldn’t have wanted to be any warmer or colder, so perhaps that’s the steady state. Running in gloves and a hat was new and took some getting used to. I hadn’t even gone two miles when my L foot felt like it was cramping. I tried to run through it but it got really bad so I stopped and adjusted my laces so the shoe was way looser on my foot. It helped some, but not that much. By the time my app told me I had run four miles, it was really hurting. I decided to pick up the pace. I was a total of 6 miles to get back to the car and I knew once I stopped running, the adrenaline would quit and then I’d be limping, or worse, so I pushed through it. The last two miles were actually really easy moving a bit faster, and I didn’t feel the pain in my foot as much. When I finally heard the app tell me I had run 6 miles, farther than I have ever run in my 45 years of life, I put my arms in the air like I had just won a race, and came to a stop. Honestly it was nothing but will power that got me through it, and I may be very sorry for the effort, since I’ve paid to attend a 3-hour dance workshop this Saturday and since the race is next Thursday. We’ll see if I am able to recover enough to attend either/both.

The run was for a friend of mine in a FB group who is undergoing chemo with his 2nd cancer fight, so I posted my ugly, sweaty, red-faced mug to the group and then limped back to the car, sweaty and exhilarated. By the time I got home, even with the heat of the car, I was shaking. I cranked up the heat to a million degrees and got into an Epsom salts bath. Then, I did absolutely nothing. I drank a cup of echinacea tea and watched the end of the Hunger Games and the end of Django, which I had started last month but never had the chance to finish. I did a shot of NyQuil and went right to sleep.

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