Last week I wrote about how a trip to southern Utah gave Lord Julian’s work in progress a boost, but since I’ve come home, I’ve seen a few other boosts as well. First, and maybe most significantly, I’m sleeping better.
Why? Because to get to the site of my family reunion (Capitol Reef environs), I had to go very short of sleep one night, and then less than a week later, I took a red-eye home, so no sleep that night, which I did not enjoy (see restless leg syndrome at 38,000 feet). I napped upon landing, but not for long, and now, a week later, my sleep cycle still seems to be enjoying a benefit. I’m sleeping well, not just thrashing around in bed while it’s dark outside.
And when I sleep well, everything goes better.
Another boost came from being at high altitudes (7000+ feet above sea level, which is high for me). I got good doses of Vitamin D without sunburning, and I probably made some extra red blood cells frolicking around up there in the thin air.
I got to trail ride with my daughter, something she set up for us that we haven’t done together for… twenty years? That did my heart more good than even abundant red blood cells. At one point, I got pretty rattled in the saddle. Because the horse ahead of us stopped, my mount had to halt at an awkward angle on a steep, narrow trail into a ravine. But I do know how to ride, the horse knew how to navigate the trail if I’d just leave him in peace, and we managed. Phew! and also, in a modest way, “We did it!”
Because I needed a pet sitter to look after the beasts while I traveled, I simplified my cat-care routine. Stripped it right down to bare necessities (well, the cats’ idea of bare necessities). Now, my pensioners do not expect private gourmet dining on separate plates in the kitchen, while the rank and file scarf the usual rations outdoors. I also cleaned out my fridge, because the pet sitter would be rummaging around in there, and … really, it needed doing.
I weathered the pandemic pretty easily, from what I gather, and that makes sense. I thrive on large amounts of solitude, I’m pretty self-entertaining, and I have a voracious reading habit. Then too, I was working from home before it was popular–I was one of the lucky ones. Nonetheless, all that hermiting caused my courage for adventures to atrophy, and what courage I do have went to dealing with long haul COVID, economic uncertainty, and the stresses we all put up with for some very challenging years.
I’m reminded though, that adventures can bring happy surprises–good sleep is a very happy surprise–and that the courage well can be replenished in manageable doses, if I can just lure myself, even by baby steps–out of my comfy-productive ruts.
When was the last time you had to draw on a little extra courage? I’m still giving away ARCs of Worth More Than Rubies, though the ebook is also available from the web store, and the print version can be purchased from Amazon.