Happily, the end of the world has not yet arrived, and we’re all here to begin the long awaited Age of Aquarius, which some say begins this year. It is meant to be a time of spiritual growth for society, and to me, it does feel like the dawn of a new age. I’d like to think so.
I’m thinking about change and balance myself, and a few things have come together to insist that I begin to consider exactly what I want each day to contain, how I want to live, what changes I’d like to make. In October and November, I was pulling my usual deadline marathon, finishing the new book, Flavor of a Blue Moon, which will be out in early 2014. (Sorry, I know that will be a disappointment to some of you, but the truth is, it just took more time to research and write than some other books. I think you’re going to fall in love with Lavender and Ginny and all the adventures they have. In the meantime, I promise to have some novellas up this year, just for you.)
Back to the deadline marathon. It was exhausting. Way more exhausting than it ever has been. By the time I emailed it to my editor and agent, I felt like a zombie, and looked like one, too: my eyes were bloodshot constantly, and my skin was the color of wax, to compliment the smeared-cinders look of the circles under my eyes. The last week of the deadline, I realized that I had a sinus infection and dashed over to the local urgent care to get some antibiotics.
There I discovered that one reason I felt so crappy was that my blood pressure, which I’d been trying to control with diet and exercise, had gone way too high, and my heart was murmuring and all sorts of alarms went off and I was hustled to this doctor and that and had tests and Serious Conversations and–well, the bottom line is, I’m pretty much okay. Have to drop another 30 pounds (even more would be better, but I’m sticking with that goal for the moment). They gave me some pills that dropped the BP–and I just want to say, wow. I tend to resist western medicine for more holistic, nutrition-based methods, but I could not believe how much better I felt in two days. They say blood pressure is a silent killer, but I could feel it over my forehead and this weird tingle all over my face and neck. Now I know what that means. Ah!
My trainer, the dear Tabor, and I worked out a more vigorous exercise plan, and I devoted myself to it. In a month, I’ve added a bunch of muscle and dropped some pounds, and the BP is under control.
But I’m also on a writing haitus because I was so exhausted. I love my work, and this process has worked very, very well for me for more than twenty years, but clearly, I can’t keep doing it this way. I need to work more sanely, with very short marathons, if any. I MUST take the time every week to exercise a lot–what seemed to work in December was three strength training sessions, five cardio (some treadmill and some Zumba) and a yoga class. Oh, and dog walks most mornings, 40-50 minutes. A lot, but I like it.
The other stark reality in my life is that I have to have my right knee replaced this spring. Another western medicine solution, but you guys know I’m a devoted hiker, and when I went to Ithaca, I had a very bad hike. I’ve tried exercise and diet and supplements and massage, but the bottom line is the knee is wrecked and impossible to fix any other way, and I just don’t see the point of limited activity and pain if there’s a way around it. My other goal with Tabor and exercise is to strengthen everything else about the leg and knee supports so that the recovery is as strong and fast as possible.
Long story short: everything in my body needs balance and less weight. To do good work, I need a healthy body. To get that healthier body, I have to drop some weight and change the deadline mania.
To that end, I’m dedicating the fresh new season to positive health. Focusing on positive, healthy changes–lots of fresh healthy food, lots of vigorous exercise and fresh air, lots of good sleep and work in balanced, measured amounts. I love work, work every day, and I have many more stories to write, plus a little granddaughter who will appreciate having Nana as healthy as possible. I need to make a few more changes, but most of those will be in progress, and some will have to wait until I get back from New Zealand. What things will have to be jettisoned? What things can remain? What needs to be simplified?
So, I’ll be blogging about this some. I am not as frank as some writers find it possible to be–my friend Krissie has chronicled a challenging year at Reinventing Fabulous–so some of my stuff stays mine, but I will talk about positive changes and progress here as I go. My true goal is to create more balance and thus more joy in my life. Maybe that journey will be helpful to some of you.
Meanwhile, we leave for New Zealand in four days. There, I’ll rest and read and fill the well and get lots of fresh air. Between then and now is Christmas Eve and Christmas day, and all the joys contained therein. My baby girl’s first Christmas is arrived and I intend to enjoy every single second of it. My son is home, resting from his vigorous days at the Supreme Court. I’m immersing in the pleasure of this time. (Including the kitten who will miss me a lot, even if she won’t say so.)
Wednesday, I will finish the lists for the house sitters who will come and live with my critters and take care of the plants and the house. Wednesday, I’ll finish packing. While in NZ, I’ll be mulling over my goals and dreams for the year, how to be balanced and sane, to better serve both my work and my body. Stay tuned.
Do you feel the energy from the Age of Aquarius arriving in your life? What does that feel like to you?