This new year has come with an intense push on my part to better my physical condition. I have jumped up and down 40 pounds as if I were getting paid to run back and forth and somewhere near that amount of gain in the last weeks of nursing school the jump up stayed up. With starting the new career I felt it an ideal time to simply start a new way of living - one that includes regular doses of vegetables and fruit, one that includes both cardiovascular conditioning and strength training. And one that includes opening myself up to new friendships. I have been fairly consistent in this goal, though admit to struggling with the lack of perceptible change in my physique given how much I have been doing. I track everything I eat on MyFitnessPal.com. I attend cardio at least four times a week, strength training at least three. I am overweight and over 40 and thus my body hurts. A lot. Most of the time. So doing stuff like this and not seeing the results I am craving as quickly as I would like to see them is frustrating to say the least. Yet with each "down" episode of frustration I rally and dig in my heels for still more effort. It is the tactic of "if I beat it hard enough it will yield to my desires" (referring to my out-of-shape body).
In the last 48 hours I have gone to the gym and lifted weights with Joe, then did a several mile hike at the local nature reserve, finished that day off with an hour of Zumba and 22 Burpees, then awoke this morning for a half hour of Pilates and another hour of Zumba followed by some playful relay races in which my portion was to army crawl from one end of the studio to the other. Not pretty in more ways that one. I am physically exhausted.
I am just not in a good place lately. I do not feel balanced and am having to work very hard to remind myself of my blessings. The new job is going to take time. Lots of time from what I am told. So is the physical fitness/weight loss/strength thing I have going on. I am sliding very swiftly into thoughts of Joseph, into flashbacks of the year and a half of his illness. I am mourning, deeply, tearfully, all over the place. I am not sure why now or what is triggering me so much. I again come back to the theory that I finally have a bit of time for it - something I purposefully avoided after he died. Grief hurts. And it is a pain without respite. Once it takes hold there is very little you can do to alleviate the pain other than lay down, pray to God you fall asleep and pray even harder that when you wake up something will have interrupted the pattern enough to reset the bar and try again. The further away from Joseph's death I get, the less I feel entitled to these little spells...these "grief attacks". Yet they are near me and with me, as of late almost constantly. I am dissolving into tears around corners from people, in the car, in bed at night after the lights are off, in the hurry from here to there when I can keep my head low and my face turned away. Sometimes, like tonight, I am desperate for some relief from the isolation and emptiness. It makes the world seem so dark; my place in the world hopelessly small; my intentions woefully inept. There is just this tinge of sorrow all around me, some of it Joseph, some of it other things, all of it things I can't do anything about it. When I step back and look at my life and what I am doing objectively, I see someone who has every reason in the world to feel optimistic about the future. And I do. I'm just so sad within that optimism once in a while and today has been one of those days. I just miss him. I think my physical exhaustion makes it more difficult to control and contain the emotional. Someone pass the Kleenex. I am missing my oldest baby boy.
Someone told me in the past week that if she were to become ill, she'd want me to be her nurse. I love touching that sentiment in my mind, replaying it when I feel low. I doubt the person who said it had any idea it would mean so much to me. But it does. What a great compliment to recieve. A burst of energy, strength and determination into my day.