Days 4-7 of 365: Midlife Health Reboot

 

Ravioli with beets at Mother in Sacramento.

For four days in a row I got some exercise. You know, because every person on earth says that good health means daily exercise. Ever since breaking my stupid-ass hip this has become a nightmare for my body. I’m feeling bitter right now because it felt good to get moving. I love walking. I love being active. And after four days of being active (and taking ibuprofin before-hand as directed by my various docs) my back is out. My experience for the last 14 years is that I get punished over and over and over again with awful pain of one kind or another every time I exercise. My back has been especially effected since the arthritis in my left knee got bad. The surgeon who I originally consulted with said that increased back problems are common with arthritis in hips and knees because you compensate for the pain and throw yourself out of alignment.

You know what’s tedious and boring? This topic. But it’s germane to my goals.

I refuse to regret walking over Tower Bridge on my brief stay in Sacramento.

What I’m going to have to do is focus on doing strengthening exercises every day for my knees, my back, and my hip. I will take a short walk tomorrow with a friend and not push it.

I’d like to go on record as being so fucking depressed by the state of my body I feel so angry that I tripped and fell 14 years ago because the impact on my health and my life has been shockingly huge.

Watching TV now requires glasses. This is me last night trying to ignore the back pain.

Anger noted and logged. What I know is that this year is going to take a lot of work and that doesn’t mean pushing myself all the time – it means PACING myself. Just as with my mental health, it’s something you work on every day and working on it a little bit every day is how you keep the progress coming. There will be bursts of inspiration and pushing beyond limits, of course. But one key is going to be to ignore most advice from others because while meaning well – most people don’t know all the details that matter because they aren’t my doctors or me.

I still need to work on my wise mind statements. I had to miss the last day of my DBT class due to my back. I think I’ll check out some DBT apps tomorrow and see if any of them are intuitive to me.

For things that bring me pleasure I submit trying new restaurants in new places and this weekend I got my chicks! They get big so fast that I got them Saturday and already they’re developing tail feathers. I’ve missed having chickens so I’m excited to finally be getting a new flock!

This is Lima (as in: Peru). She’s a Speckled Sussex and is 5 days old today.

Having Chickens brings me a great deal of joy. I love the noises they make, I love holding them and feeling their silky feathers, I love watching them take dust baths and strut around looking for tasty scraps. I love it when they follow me around the garden and I love the fresh eggs. Hanging out with chickens was one of the happiest parts of my childhood.

I have to go ice my back again and take more Ibuprofin so I’m logging off for tonight.

Always Listening to the Birds

In case I’ve never said so, I love crows.  I love crows, chickens, pigeons, mockingbirds (I had the joy of listening to one every day at the first house I ever owned), mourning doves, and seagulls.  I love the noises birds make.  Yes, all bird noises are enjoyable to me.  For most of my life I haven’t thought of myself as a bird loving person.  Ornithology is not a hobby.  I watch birds, but I don’t WATCH them, if you know what I mean.  I listen to them but I don’t purposely go places to listen to them.  Still, when I look back on my life, it is plain that I have always had a great affinity for birds.

I spent more time with my chickens than any normal kid should have.  I used to spend hours in the half of the chicken shed fitted with a really scary dusty (probably mite filled) armchair.  I would take my books in there and read even when it was hot and stuffy, so I could hear the chickens making noise.  I also spent a lot of time catching them (except for Eggbert the enormous rooster) and carried them around the yard with me.

I used to carry on quiet conversations with San Francisco pigeons.  When they look at me I know they really SEE me and we share something between us, like greetings and curiosity and appreciation for what lurks in the city gutters.  Other people call them flying rats and disease vectors, but I think they’re beautiful and funny.   I recently found out what services they’ve provided humankind in times of war, so now I think they are also brave and have admirable perseverance.  I really want to start a pigeon post but have to find someone to be on the other end of it first.

Though I haven’t had a special love of geese, since moving to Oregon and living directly under the migratory flight path I have come to adore the noisy cloud of squawking as they pass over my house in the fall and the spring.  I love seeing them spread out above me in such happy chattery groups.  I’d like to think of myself as more of a pretty dove type person, or perhaps a shiny black inventive crow, but the truth is, if I was a bird I’d probably be a goose.  Or a mockingbird.  (Geese have a strong reputation for being mean, obtrusive, loud, spitting, aggressive, and hungry.  Mockingbirds are constantly trying on different sounds and songs and they can’t help themselves- they do this all day and night which has made them a pest in most people’s eyes.  Uncanny resemblance to me?  Sadly, I can see it.)

I don’t know that much about birds but I know that life would be bleak without them.

I saw (and attempted to photograph) two talking crows up at Timberline Lodge.  One had a nut-like something in his mouth.  Who knows, maybe it was a cocktail wiener?  They were so large standing on top of the six foot bank of dirty snow chatting with each other (the one with the nut trying to talk without losing his prize) that Max and I had to stop and discuss how cool we thought crows were.  We watched them chat until one this one flew off and I was ridiculously happy to have caught him mid-wing.

My son is not very empathetic to humans, something that makes it difficult to navigate human relationships.  However, his empathy, enjoyment, and love of insects and animals is strong and ever expanding.  While he doesn’t like the call of the mourning doves he forgives them their intrusive noise.  He loves the noises of the frogs in our yard and when he catches one his delight is like a glow through his skin.  When he brought Pete the injured baby snake home his care for him and gentle treatment were the sweetest thing in the world.

I think how a person relates to and treats animals and insects (both wild and domesticated) says a lot more about their spirits and the state of their soul than how they treat other humans.  Though I will always work on fostering in Max a greater empathy and patience for people, I know that he has a good spirit because he still misses our hens and broke up with a friend once for kicking a dead bird on the road.