Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Plan B

I can honestly say it has happened. I hit bottom, and thankfully I am floating back to the top. I had a rough weekend, the wheels didn't turn, they tried but all that was there was build-up, rust and lack of energy to do anything about it. Life is full of these ups and downs and when your down, sometimes it is hard to remember how and why you got here in the first place. The golden lesson: always have a “plan B” in your back pocket.

This particular downer happened three weeks ago to the day but has been brewing for a couple months prior to the surgery. I was basically stopped still in my footsteps, my steps at the time were joyful, full of life, light, nimble, loved to bounce and bumble on a dance floor here and there. I have been forced to stop. HAULT. ALTO. First there were jitters, what am I going to do, like a wine-o in search of there next drink. Activity was my escape, I would much rather go on a run, walk, bike ride, practice yoga than sit and watch TV. Prior to the surgery, I was so preoccupied with the looming procedure that decreased activity didn't get to me; I thought I would be right back on my feet in a few weeks post surgery. The surgery hit me like a ton of bricks. I was struck down and began the slow recovery process accompanied by my man at my side each step of the way.

The first couple of weeks are a fog to me now, lost in the fog of trauma my body was trying to recover from and the haze left by painkillers. I know I was a pill though, my mind body and soul was (and still is) in shock. The buzz of the holidays came and went, I was grateful to have my family around; a little doting by family never hurt a girl. At the end of the day when the dust settled, people were gone, the phone stopped ringing and John was asleep, I was left wondering what was happening to me, my life as I knew and what to do with myself now. I had no plan, no backup. My life was going pretty good, I love all my hobbies and can’t wait to get back to them but until then I must find something to do, something I care about.

What came next I could have never predicted and would never have liked to experience. I would like to put the blame of my behavior to the anastia wearing off, the pain killers leaving my body... any excuse to pretend that this was not me acting like this, but it was. I had anger, frustration and sadness pulsing through me, in every cell. Splat! CRASH! It happened, John is still here, he weathered the storm thank my lucky stars. Like I said, I don't know where this came from exactly but I want it to leave!!! GO!

I did something that I do very seldom, I called my mom looking for comfort, and sometimes we get what we are looking for, it just takes time. In all this ruckus I found clarity. It took nearly six weeks in the making, basically weaning my body from the endorphins that it yearned for, I slowed down. I was (who am I kidding, I still am) forced to get back to my roots and try and capture the life before climbing, running and biking. WHO THE HELL AM I?????? Ahhhhh... I tried to keep myself busy with little projects here and there, nothing engaged me, I couldn't find any desire and I couldn't step outside for a few hours and escape.

Lost, until now. I book came in the mail the other day, "A Homemade Life" by Molly Wizenberg. I haven't put it down since I got it, I even plunked down in my favorite bar and read it, like talking to a life long friend, I was in great company. I have followed Molly's blog, Orangette some time, gleaning ideas and engulfed in her writing, it is so easy and friendly. First, her stories of food in this book made my mouth water and I began to dream of food. This hasn't happened in a long time. I want baguettes, I want to tear them apart and eat with a perfect little salad or dip in a warm bowl of soup. She made me remember that I absolutely love crusty artesian bread. The stories of food go on, dreamy stories of wedges of cheese, desserts, family and friends. This was just what I was looking for, this book was music to my soul, the kind that make you feel all soft inside, breathless and in awe of the beauty of life and how simple happiness is.

I have to let go of the death grip that I have on some parts of my life. Nobody wants to be friends with a crazy, and I feel as if a cloud has been lifted from my halo, I can breathe just a bit easier. I had a baguette, cheese and a perfect martini last night for dinner and I was completely satisfied and happy. I enjoyed my latte this morning with real milk, milk out of a glass jar that came from a local farm. I was happy drinking it. I was satisfied, no regrets. I had cornbread and black-eyed peas for dinner and.... well you get the idea. This may seem simple but it has taken me a long time to dig myself into this hole, I am ready to come out. HELLO!

Back to the second reason why I love this book, she writes of her father who has passed away. She chronicles the experiences in the kitchen with him and the rest her family, friends and husband. As soon as I got into a few chapters, I was greeted by warm thoughts of my grandma, my dad's mother, one of the most amazing people ever to grace my life. I couldn't sleep, the stories, memories and recipes of my grandma twirled through my brain like a slide show that has been gathering dust for years. Suddenly I felt drawn to my laptop and the words, ideas and thoughts poured out like never before. I want to write. I can say in confidently and with ease. I am going to write. I have no idea where it is going to take me, but we are not supposed to know these things. I need a commitment because this healing process is going to be long and I must pour all the energy that I exerted to my outdoor hobbies into something productive and fun or else the other side is going to take over.

I have found my plan B and learned a valuable lesson… never put all your eggs in one basket, you might drop your basket off a cliff and be left empty handed.

I have a book to finish!


  1. The Climbing Life

    Alpinist Magazine

    email katieDOTrDOTivesATgmailDOTcom

    shes the senior editor and takes submissions.



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