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8 More Reasons February is Better Than January

Thursday, February 20, 2014

This week has had lots of early morning (think crack-0-dawn) starts that kept me away from the computer during my regular blogging time - and then - it was a little hard to come up with 8 more things that were better about February. Till yesterday when I had one of those fabulous exercise induced epiphanies and knew I had rounded the depression corner onto joy street.

And just how many of you ever read Joy Street, by Frances Parkinson Keyes? It's the sort of novel you'd find at your grandmother's house when you were a girl visiting during the summer and slip on up to the bedroom you were using, the one your daddy used to sleep in with his big brother, to lie on the bed and escape between its covers.

La - I am thinking the library needs to do a Featured Author corner and push her. We still have my favorites of hers on the shelves ... all except Steamboat Gothic, with its cracked binding ... it's on the "Can't Part With It" shelf in my office.

Okay - back to February - which, in spite of all it's difficulties, is better than January. Why? Just let me tell you.

Reason 13

Baby Puppy Juno has stopped scratching on the door - which makes us feel less besieged and assures the safety of the very expensive new front door we will be putting in come springtime

Reason 14

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And the annual valentine poem from Himself ...

Reason 15

Still so darned glad there is a Himself still alive to write me a valentine poem - (Just thought of that one. Never ever ever forget to say "Thank You, God" for that one)

Reason 16

Finally was able to hire the new employee at work (the terrible shiftless employee was fired in January - which merely added to the gloom of that month) so the workload has lessened on us all. Everyone is happier.

Reason 17

A day of blue skies and 60 degree weather flashing across our lives, allowing us to walk about town in shirtsleeves, smiling at people we passed, feeling the promise of daffodils and lilacs and soft fluttery new baby leaves on the trees. Not here yet - but coming.

Reason 18

30+ minutes on the stationary bike before work yesterday - 38 to be precise - but long before reaching the half way point of my workout I realized that this high intensity routine that makes me breathe hard and sweat a lot is an essential part of my life. No. It is an ESSENTIAL part of my life. It's what makes it possible for me to stay on an even keel - to look at life as full of possibilities instead of crowded by threats. The long quiet slow hikes across country are also valuable for me - a hike through White Oak Swamp can also ease my soul - but not in the same way this intense, hard, but brief, physical effort does. One is like a good night's sleep - the other is more of a brisk shower. And I absolutely need both.

And I just had the sudden memory of my crazy father - the world's most difficult and challenging (and wonderful and horrible and magnificent) dad. He really was a terror till he retired, bought 3 horses and rode like Gerald O'Hara for the next 20 years. All those years he worked in his desk job he was an unpredictable misery to us all. Once he could burn off hundreds of calories by pushing his body hard and fast he became so much happier, so much more fun, so much more the man he wanted to be.

So obviously the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. For the past 18 months or so I've had the best weekly routine - with 4 days of hard sweat at the gym, usually all in a row. There would follow 3 days of continued activity - but more of the long slow ramble across country type, or the day of puttery window shopping in the city. That combo of hard fast and furious followed by nice 'n' easy ambling, week after week, made life so sweet - and helped me keep my weight in check. The events of December, January and even early February seemed to prevent me from getting the workouts I need so badly. But ... is that true? Did they really? Sometimes, to be sure. But other times I just yielded to an old routine.

Time to rethink things. I've always looked at weekend days as belonging to home and family and in particular, to Himself, who can be a little clingy - especially if he's just had a heart attack. And I don't mind staying home on the weekend and giving someone extra attention. But not at the cost of my own happiness - that important deep inner core of joy that makes giving to others a pleasure - not a burden. It looks to me like going to the gym is as important to my health as taking lipator. And if I can't get to the gym during the week - I am going to have to renegotiate the weekends.

Happily, I can. Himself wants me to be happy and healthy too.

So. So far, of all the Reasons February is Better than January - learning how vital my hard driving workouts are for my deep inner joy is surely the best of all.

Off to the gym for me. Yippeee!
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