I’ve been trying to drop some weight lately, and it’s not going well. It never goes well. I am not a glutton and I have plenty of self-discipline, but as my dad once said, I also have a metabolism suited to weathering an ice age. “Just wait 12,000 years, Grace. Everybody’s going wish they had your metabolism.”
And we all know I don’t deal with summer’s heat and bugs. I probably have the semi-annual version of seasonal affective disorder, but when the winter doldrums hit, I can just turn on my happy lights. There is no turning the summer sun down, no telling the dawn birdies to please save it for another couple hours.
So there I am, taking my grumpacious self out for a walk to get the old step count up, when I see my neighbor sitting on his porch. We’ve shared a property boundary for maybe twenty years, but we’re both quiet, keep-to-ourselves people, so I don’t really know this guy well. I know he has kidney disease, though, despite leading a very temperate and responsible life.
My neighbor was happy to report that his veins pass muster in terms of suitability for dialysis, but he was frustrated that Johns Hopkins can’t evaluate him for the transplant lists for another six months. He’s getting on as many intake schedules as he can, and hoping somebody can “work him in soon.”
Then I go to the therapeutic riding barn, where one of the lessons I assist with is for a young man who has cerebral palsy and scoliosis, both of which are likely to progress. I don’t know how he has the courage to get on a horse, much less how he stays in the saddle. But he does–every week.
My poet friend can’t walk without a cane because she has rheumatoid arthritis. When the weather, sunspots, medicine shortages, or stress cause her condition to flare, she can barely walk at all.
So yes, I’m frustrated with my inability to move the number on the scale, but… I can walk, for pity’s sake. I can stand up straight. I’m not hoping for good luck in the in-take appointment scheduling lottery, just so I can win a place on the lists of people hoping a miracle might come along and save their lives.
I believe that preaching, “Count your blessings” to somebody who is gloomy and frustrated is unkind an unproductive, but I also know that genuine gratitude can help me re-set my outlook. So this is me, going out for another walk, minus the weight of (most of) my grumpiness.
Have you ever been handed a much needed re-set? Ever encountered a situation that changed your frame of reference when you felt stuck?
(And PS, Miss Dashing is already available in print!)