Day 22. Stop, or Else …

I should have reconsidered my plan to follow-up 6 nights camping at Burning Man with two long days of driving. Last night I woke up twice in the night thinking the place was filling up with dust. An inch or more of the flaky grey coating on everything gave the room the look of something out of a horror movie, until I turned on the lights and saw there was no dust at all.

The second time it happened I knew I needed a little more decompression time.

Luckily, we are staying for three nights at this pretty Airbnb in Trinidad Colorado where we have our own 2nd floor apartment and garden below. The mountain view is more lush than Nevada, although I’m not sure what isn’t. We are not going anywhere today; relatives will come to see us.

But I wake up with no appetite for visiting or making food, and decide that doing qigong out in the garden will make a world of difference. Qigong is a form of moving meditation that involves breathing and simple exercises designed to improve ones personal energy flow. I’m sure mine could use some improving.

Only I forget to take my shoes down with me, and the garden is filled with small sharp rocks. I don’t want to go back up and get them, so I walk along the flagstone lining the little pond, trying to get over to the concrete patio.

It seems a simple thing, but one of the flagstone is unattached. It topples right off when I step on it and, although the fall is only a foot or two, I land hard.

My right toe has been sliced open and is bleeding pretty good, and my left knee throbs and is swelling fast.

“What the hell is the matter with me?” I mutter at myself.

Then I know. I’m exhausted, mentally and physically. I’ve failed to stop and rest, like I should have, which has just become rule of the road #22 and maybe should have been rule #1.

My body and mind have conspired together to get me to do something stupid so that I will ….. just ….. stop.

“Okay, I’ve stopped,” I yell in irritation, wrapping a tissue from my pocket around my toe. Soon I’ll be bandaging it up, and sitting with my other leg elevated under an ice pack.

Aren’t we humans funny creatures? We go and go and often don’t bother to stop and listen to our own needs.

Aren’t we humans lucky creatures? We’re made to find a way to take care of ourselves. Sometimes we do it the easy way. Other times, we need to make a mistake.

If you’d like to read a short blurb from each day of my journey, check out
Day 1. The Journey of 6000 miles
Day 2. Rules of the Road
Day 3. Just Don’t
Day 4. Bloom Here.
Day 5. Yes Aretha. Respect.
Day 6. No Trucks. Just Corn.
Day 7. Cry
Day 8. There’s No Place Like Home
Day 9. It’s Okay to Ask a Human for Help
Day 10. Always Bring an Onion
Day 11. Gimme Three Steps Towards Nevada
Day 12. I Want to Scream.
Day 13. Dusty Virgin
Day 14: Magical ride
Day 15. As Nice as I Want to Be
Day 16. What Rules? What Road?
Day 17. If you get interrupted by a parade …
Day 18. I, Human
Day 19. A Border Crossing
Day 20. Someone to Help Me Get Home
Day 21. Time flies like an arrow and ….
Day 22. Stop, or Else …
Day 23. What’s Your Reality?
Day 24. If it seems ridiculous …
Day 25. Backing Up
Day 26. To Stop a Hurricane
Day 27. Lights Along My Path
Day 28. Grateful

How full is too full?

There are some truisms that people don’t question. Eat your vegetables. Drink plenty of fluids. Embrace change. Don’t procrastinate. Come on, we all know we need to get off the couch and seize the day, preferably while well hydrated.

Dalai 7So about six months ago, I got fired up about going after something I wanted. It happens once in awhile. The person I share my life with bought into my idea, and that could have been the first problem. You see, what I wanted was complicated and expensive and going to take a real lot of effort. Sort of like the time that I decided what I wanted most in life was to sail around the world. Only that time, my partner had the good sense to suggest a long soak in the tub and big glass of wine instead.

This time, however, he got caught up in the moment too. In some ways he and I are very different, and that is good. We do share certain traits, though, and one of them is stubbornness. This time around our persistence worked to keep as going as we got further and further into what we had started. Our days became tiring. Our bank account got drained. His hobbies fell by wayside and I had to leave my writing and blogging and even my online games. We lost track of our favorite shows. It was a sad state of affairs.

And now, about six months after we started, we are nearly done. We haven’t built a cathedral or composed a symphony, but we have taken an older and not particularly well-kept home filled with junk and we’ve cleaned it, sorted it, fixed it and nearly sold it. We’ve bought our freedom, in a sense, by getting up off the couch and going through closets and giving things away, and by fixing things we didn’t even realize were broken. I learned to caulk. He got over his fear of plumbing. We’ve had some fun and laughed at ourselves and then again we’ve gone to bed a lot with backaches, barely speaking to each other.

I wonder if one can make their days too full? We might have. Tonight I’m going to forgo the water and the vegetables,  and take a long soak in the tub and drink a big glass of wine instead. I’ll figure it out there.

For more about facing the results of seizing the day, see my post “Happy Yet?