“take care of yourself”

30Nov09

I lay awake in the middle of the night because I haven’t been disciplined about taking hormones.  When they seep regularly into my system, I sleep all night without waking.  When I’ve neglected my doses, I wake up burning hot, cast off the covers and toss and turn.  I pay the next day in alertness, energy, and capability.

I am guilty of  “sin as refusal to grow”, as described by Ochs and Olitzky in Jewish Spiritual Guidance. They say we must grow, and it requires effort, change, and acceptance of possible discomfort on our part.  The sin is to stay asleep, to refuse the call, and not open to the beloved.  The real sin could be of growing weary, wishing we could “just stay put”.

I am not guilty of this sin at large – I do diligently try to stay present, connected, and listening.  However, an interpretation of this sin could be laziness. I get lazy.  I’m aware I’m lazy.  I know there will be consequences, but I stay lazy.  Unfortunately, a single contagious laziness begets many.  I don’t go out and exercise in the gorgeous weather, because it is easier to sit in front of the computer.  My hand gets sore from the keyboard, especially when I slip into game after game of mind-numbing-habit-forming-life-stealing solitaire.  Lost in the stupor of laziness, I don’t eat well.  A box of Junior Mints suffices as a mid-morning snack.  Popcorn serves as dinner.  I am too lazy to take the good, real, nutritiously balanced food out of the refrigerator and cook it – too indolent to grab a handful of nuts and fruit for that snack.  I am not taking care of myself.  The contagion covers me like spider webs on patio furniture in winter.

So, in the middle of the night, I was gently reminded to take care of myself.   I did.  I took the meds I needed to take this morning.  I did my contemplative practice before reading the juicy Sunday New York Times.  I lugged the rowing scull off its rack and stroked on perfectly flat blue water, slicing through golden reflections of autumn birch trees cast by long sparkling rays of citrine sunlight.  Creatures were celebrating with me.  A puppy sat on a back deck, not even turning his head as I slipped by – too intoxicated by the dazzling warmth to lift a whisker.  Two pelicans shared Chevy’s rooftop with shrieking gulls.  They must have been so torpidly full of fish they merely tuned out their noisy neighbors.  Rowing backwards, I heard voices.  When I reached my turnaround point, there were two kayakers, spread-eagled over their craft, sunbathing.  It is almost December.

Returning to my dock, Labrador  Lucy awaited me, delirious that I had disconnected from the computer.  She joyously swam after the ball, thrilled at my attention and at playing one of her favorite games.  Little kitty, Rita,  hid and sought, stalking me while I waited for Lucy to return with the ball.

Yes, taking care of myself by hanging out in the sanctuary of nature with her creatures was exactly the right advice.  I must remember it for tomorrow, and ward off that oozing slime of laziness.

Ginney

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