...begins with 30 minutes of gimpy steps. Today is National Start! Walking Day, and - while I may be hobbling this first day (and possibly the next few) - I'll be out there. My mother, father, brother and sister all had heart problems before they died, and a day doesn't go by when I don't think of my nephew's dark humor at his mother's December funeral, asking who was planning on dying next year.
My frends know, I have had some major physical setbacks in the past couple of years. (Lord knows, there's nothing like crushed vertebrae and bulging discs to make life more interesting.) And, I can assure you, the physical setbacks come with their own painful set of mental setbacks. It's depressing as hell - nothing you would wish upon yourself. On Hitler? Sure. On yourself? No. Never. But, there isn't any single way you can stop someone else from hitting you with their car (unless you never leave home.) However, you can help yourself move forward. I see this as a time of renewal for me.
A lot of stuff has happened since December: death, illness, separation, frustration. And now I'm trying to detoxify myself. I cut my hair, cleared all my old, forgotten possessions out of the building storage room, ended some relationships... and I try to remember to breathe deeply. Hell, I even listen to the sound of the ocean at work when things get me riled.
And today I walk.
I know I have more than a few friends who also find themselves in transition right now - loss of jobs, changes in relationships, family illness. Very sincerely, I think the best advice I can offer to everyone is to take a moment (or two or three) to do some mental spring cleaning. Take stock of what you have, what you value, what you need, and what you need to shed from your life.
Don't just declutter your home. Declutter your mind. Let go of toxic ideas. End toxic relationships, even it if is a painful process. Move on. Heck - go talk to a therapist. Let it all go and just live your own life! Do it as best you can, taking care of yourself and doing well by others.
That's advice I'm not only giving to myself, but I'm offering up to the people I've released from my life in recent months, too. It was hard to part ways with a sister, with a friend, but I am healthier for it. I know they are still out here, reading my blog. To them I say: you need to let me go, just as I have let you go. You will be healthier for it. Move on. Seek new people who understand and support your world view, and who can offer you the friendship you need.
Live your own life.
And please, let me go.
Let it all go.
Surround yourself with supportive people.
Life is too short to be weighed down by people who don't want you to succeed. Life is too short in general.
Today, I walk. I have new-ish sneakers and my last couple of post-accident Vicodin tablets set aside, just in case.
Here goes nuthin'...
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