Thursday, August 19, 2010

When Normal Comes Calling (or yelling)

No sooner had I emailed my friend Shari on Tuesday, telling her I was going to lay down for awhile because the goldenrod had bloomed and I had an allergy headache, that I developed a sudden craving for salad. And on that salad I wanted a cucumber. Sadly all that was left of the cucumber in the crisper was a little stub.

What to do, what to do. My head needed a lie-down, but I really wanted a cucumber on my salad. So I put off my nap and drove to our local farm market to buy a cucumber.

One hour AND…one cucumber, three nectarines, a melon, five heads of garlic, six sweet onions, two pints of green beans, one pint of blueberries, one large zucchini, two red peppers, and 10…yes 10!...pounds of Roma tomatoes later, I was in the middle of making five batches of roasted tomato sauce.

No nap for Lynn. But at least in between roasting batches of tomatoes, I ate a salad with a bunch of cucumber chunks on top and my headache disappeared.

Lately I’ve had this never-before craving to move. It’s like a food craving, the kind in which you want a sweet/sour/salty/mint ice cream/Little Debbie/Texas toast (or cucumber) fix so badly that you’re salivating and will drive 20 miles in rush-hour traffic and stand in the check-out line for an hour just to get it. Only instead of a food fix, I want a movement fix. Something – anything! – more than what I’ve done the last 8 weeks: “Watch out!”, “Don’t fall!”, sit-down showers, and living out of a laundry basket because of stair avoidance.

It started as a whisper last week – “Come on, do a little more. It’s OK.” This week my body is like a coach screaming at an umpire just before he’s thrown out of the game.

“Get up! Move around! Do something!!”

To clarify, I’ve not been sitting around for 8 weeks. I go to PT three times a week and I do my exercises at home. It’s hard work. The voice I heard this week is my Normal calling me, and it told me it’s tired of being stymied.

And so I moved the way it challenged me to.

Along with the spaghetti sauce, I organized the move that brought my gym and office upstairs and my bedroom downstairs. While Larry (with the help of our next-door neighbor) was the muscle, I did my fair share of lifting, moving, bending, stretching, reaching…everything my body was craving. By the end of the day, my office and gym were set up, the grandkids’ toys were in their new home, and most of my clothes were in my “new” room. My knee felt like it was being strangled with bare hands, but that’s why God made ice and heating pads, right? 

We went from this:

To this:

Today’s desire to move kicked in when my new lazy Susans arrived. (By the way, who is Susan and why is she lazy?) I also bought 16 glass spice bottles and filled all of them with my spice mixtures and other herbs I'd stored in Ziploc bags.
We all live within a me-specific Normal. But stuff comes up. We get distracted and busy and we stray from our normal. We have surgery or develop a disease that causes us to change what normal is. However normal changes, both our body and mind have to agree on what to do and how to move in order to feel normal again. This week, my body spoke the loudest. My head took into consideration what it said (despite the screaming) and agreed (or in some cases, simply acquiesced). I pushed myself just a little bit more and the reward is that I’m a little bit better and a little closer to normal. The bonus is the emotional satisfaction. I have a new work space, a new bedroom, a TON of yummy spaghetti sauce in the freezer, and an organized spice cupboard. Each feels good, like home.

So does my body. It’s my home. And I like it, despite (and sometimes because of) its flaws and outbursts.

7 comments:

Jane said...

I love it that you have cravings for food like salads and cucumbers. I'm still in the "craving chocolate" stage, but it's getting easier. I no longer send my husband out for ice cream, chocolate, or cola at midnight.

You're so organized, Lynn, and it's wonderful that you are now able to do things that make you feel more like yourself. For me, there is nothing like organizing my environment to make me feel like I have a handle on life again. Since I'm working on losing weight and making changes in what I eat, simplifying and organizing might be a good thing!

emmabovary said...

Oh, I am SO glad to read this. I shattered my ankle and had surgery on Bastille Day (plates, rods, screws and guywire now support it) and have been in a wheelchair ever since. My cast comes off in a week, and then I start 6 weeks of daily physical therapy in a special center.

My normal has completely changed...from where I live (my flat is not wheelchair-accessible) to how I parent (the children are with their dad currently) to, well...you know. I'm off work, immobilized and just waiting for my old normal to be reestablished.

Just to read that you are walking and shopping gives me hope!

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

Jane, I found that the more weight I lost, the more organized my life got in general. I am less inclined to fill my life with "stuff" now because the stuff before was just my way of hiding the truth of my weight. I'm glad to hear you're finding this same thing is true for you, too!

Emma, oh my goodness! What an ordeal you're going through! Please let me know how you're doing after the cast comes off. Yes, things will get back to normal, but in the meantime, all my best to you as you work within this new normal you're in.

Vee said...

You did great. You listened to your body and it is working for you. And you have yummy spaghetti sauce to boot! Hmmm... cucumber. Sounds good. Vee at http://veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

Lori said...

Yay for normal!! Has it really been 8 weeks since your surgery??

Mary said...

I really like the lazy susan idea for your seasonings....I'm going to give that a try!

debby said...

I need me some lazy susans and some empty spice bottles. What a great idea.

And I agree. It is so interesting that you can change your life all around and then normal does come calling. I think that's why most of us (or at least me) go through that period of worrying that 'it is all going to disappear' and we will regain our weight.

Recently my 'normal' of quilting came screaming, and I have been doing a lot more quilting (and a little less blogging, I'm afraid.)