Sunday, January 27, 2013
I've got a blog assignment: How will your life change when you reach your fitness/weight goal? How will you feel?
I don't have one precise goal: there is not magic number; no dress size; no goal beyond feeling better. I have 11 prescription medications; I was insidiously marching to my death and not doing anything to stop the speed. The doctors told me that I was killing myself and I remained passively acquiescent.
I was simply waiting for that day when a little blood clot might break free and kill me or the day when my heart would stop beating. But now I do have a goal: each day that I can get up, perambulate, remain continent, enjoy a good book, earn what I laughingly call a paycheck--well, it's gravy. Everyday that I enjoy my life and do not long for death: more gravy. If I reach a goal, I will probably continue to have more. Reaching goals is sometimes better than being there. The process is more intriguing than the accomplishment.
Poet (and short-story author) Raymond Carver expressed my feelings well. Just substitute "binging" for "drinking" and you've got a poem that applies to me:
No other word will do. For that's what it was.Gravy.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving, and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years
ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?
After that it was all gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head. "Don't weep for me,"
he said to his friends. "I'm a lucky man.
I've had ten years longer than I or anyone
expected. Pure Gravy. And don't forget it."