Not Exactly The Summer Of Love
(This is an ongoing story. If you want to start at the beginning, click here.)
Several things started to happen last summer and, over time, I came to believe that they were all related.
For one, my foot started to hurt. A lot. It hurt too much to play tennis and some days it hurt too much to walk. By this point, I had had about four sessions with AE and had seen nothing but positive results, but the pain in my foot seemed related to the work she was doing on me and it scared me.
When I say, “it hurt too much to walk,” I mean two things. Some days I couldn’t put weight on it – as in, “Honey, can you pull the crutches out of the closet for me?” Other days, I could get around the house and function in my daily life, but I couldn’t take my Daily Walk, which is the 3-mile, head-clearing constitutional that I take every day that I don’t play tennis. My Daily Walk serves many functions: it’s my main means of socializing – I make walking dates, not lunch dates; it’s my main means of exercise – it helps me keep the pounds from creeping on; and it’s my Prozac (I don’t think that needs any explanation).
The other thing that happened is I started chanting more. The Friday chanting group began to go to in the spring invited me to their Wednesday night meetings. I also started making time to chant at home on my own – for 2 minutes or 5 minutes in the morning – and I began to hear the rhythm of the chanting it in my head throughout the day. It seeped into me and calmed me down in a quiet, natural way. Something about chanting made me miss walking less. It helped me endure not playing tennis.
Another thing that happened was I stopped writing. I continued writing for work but I stopped blogging and stopped writing creatively (which, translated, means: I stopped writing about me). This didn’t feel like Writer’s Block. I just completely lost interest in it.
Like tennis and walking, writing grounds me. I know it may seem like I do it for an audience, but, really, I do it for me. I become different person when I write: more compassionate, less judgmental. It makes living in the world an all around easier experience for me. Through writing, I come to understand things – about tennis, about mothering, about relationships – it’s literally how I process the events in my life. Stepping away from it left a big hole – or, at least I expected it to.
In fact, I felt no hole from moving away from tennis or writing – two activities that seemed unthinkable for me to be without. I missed walking – a lot – but I tried to socialize with my friends over coffee or lunch instead.
By the end of the summer, I was able to more work because I spent no time playing tennis. I was able to learn how to chant better because I stopped rushing out of chanting sessions to meet someone for a walk. And, oddly (for me) I didn’t feel the least bit bad about myself for letting go of my writing.
These were all very big changes for me, but as changes go, not inherently bad.
But, after a while it caught up with me. Foot pain. No endorphins. Lonely days. Too-tight jeans. No creative output.
I became a little depressed.