Freedom

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My socks hug my feet as I fold my pant cuffs around my calf and slide my foot into my boot. Every muscle in my legs and hips is pulling. I struggle to lean forward. It is a shame that one needs to exercise to ease this tightness and yet exercising is such a deterrent when I am in so much pain.

Boots are on. Now my snow shoes. Tightening the back of the snow shoes is the most challenging part. The bend is deeper.

As I zip up my winter jacket it pulls tight around the belly. Will I need a new jacket next year? Will I loose weight and be okay? The ski-pants are also too small. I can not do up the top two snaps. Should I look for a larger size on sale this spring? Will I be smaller next year?

All set.

I open the  door and the cool winter air welcomes me first. It is a perfect day. Just cold enough just to be winter. The brightness of snow and sun blinds me. This yard will look and feel so differently in a couple of months. It is amazing really how I can adapt to the space, forgetting about summer completely in this snow, and in summer forgetting the snow.

Snow-shoeing is one of my favourite things to do in winter. I don’t make it out as much anymore since my last little one was born, almost four years ago. My snow shoes have a maximum weight of 170 pounds. That weight seemed so far off to me at the time of purchase. I never thought I would ever be this weight unless I was pregnant. Now I am 175 (ish) pounds.

It is amazing at how often I think of the thinner-version of myself. Like an old friend or family member who has passed away. Sometimes I think I will never see her again. Other times I know I will once I have more freedom in my day.  The weight will just fall off. Will it though? Will it?

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When I am happy I don’t think about food so much. Or at all. For me to be happy I need to do what I want to do. Freedom is really what I want. Today going for two show-shoe walks with my mutt Laisey was something I wanted to feel free to do. With kids on an acreage, far away from anyone else, it seems hard to get outside. Most of my household is gone for about 12 hours a day.

The snow comes down here on the Saskatchewan prairies as I write this. With the struggle physically and the lack of opportunity, I hope tomorrow I will have the freedom to choose to snowshoe again.

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Happy Birthday

It is dark. My eyes have no need to open yet but I know it is dark. I hear Craig’s light breathing. He is still in bed so it is before 6:30 a.m. Today is my birthday. I don’t want to be aware today. I want to keep myself separate from the day. I will acknowledge happy birthday greetings but I don’t want it to stop me. Today feels like a day that could stop me. Cake and happy birthday songs seem like a halt in my energy. I need to keep moving. This is a strange thing to say because I don’t feel I have being physically moving very much at all. Some part of me must be, because I feel I don’t want to stop.

My cell phone is resting beneath my shoulders, tucked between my mattress and the frame of the bed. I reach for it and check messages. A few happy birthday greetings already via Facebook and some private messages.

The temperature, minus 22 degrees Celsius. I seem happy to see 22° on the 22nd of February. I feel it’s a good omen for all these twos on my 42nd birthday.

I feel the need to get up. I roll over. My shoulder and lower back and neck resisting the movement. I push myself up, my body pinches and a quick flash of pain spans my body. I walk to the door, feeling for the softness of my pale pink housecoat I wrap it around me and feel an instant soft warmth.

Quietly I open the door and slip out into the Hall closing the door behind me. The bathroom with the scale is just the next door down but as I slowly walk there my thighs rub against each other and I am caught off guard by how uncomfortable it is. They are rubbing into each other so deeply. What pain. I must walk with my legs apart. This is new. They have been rubbing together for a long time causing me to wear pants all the time but this is worse.  This is much worse.

Today I’m going to weigh myself. It feels like a beginning. A begining where I try to care. Where I try to take action on my life. I want to know how I’m beginning this year. I go pee and pull out the scale.

Weight is 172lbs.

Waist is 39 in.

Hips are 41 in.

Chest is 37 in.

While I measure my head is still seeing the number 172. I’m a 172 lbs! I can’t believe it. I never thought I would ever be this heavy unless I was pregnant.

Today’s the day I begin my journey. I need to get healthy again. I need to find my strength. I am so internally lazy that I don’t even care about my weight or pick up a pen laying on the floor. I ignore it all.  Today is the day. It is time to take control of my life. Kettlebells and yoga. Here I come. I miss thin me. I miss the me that could move and not be in pain. I miss the me that coloured on my father’s bald head. I miss the me that was spontaneous, fashionable, fun. It is time for me to find these versions of me and bring them back.

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” – Kurt Cobain

I need to celebrate who I am. I came to this version of me for a reason but it is now time to go home. This is my journey home. What lays unconscious in my mind is that I have been gone from home for a long time, almost three years. Some things may be different.

Returning

I bought a new note book for my writing last night. Now that I sit and face the empty page with pen in hand I feel anxious. I feel as though it is an old love standing before me, presenting himself in such a way that I know the next steps are for us to bare our souls to each other and I am nervous.  It is been such a long time since we express ourselves that way to each other. What if I’m different than before? What if I’m no longer very good at it?  Despite my feelings I take a step forward.  Standing chest to chest, my love reaches out its hand and I clasp it. Here we go.

Once, just after Craig and I were married, he left me for six and a half weeks for Euruope.  I think it was Italy.  It was for work.  If he was gone for seven weeks his employer would pay for me to go with him.  Alas, we were just a few days short of that opportunity.  When he came home I made strange.  All he wanted to do was be close to me while I tried to ensure he was still the same man and I was still the same woman.  This is how I feel with my writing.  I gotta test the waters a bit. Craig was patient and kind.  He was gentle and soft yet left a lot of hints that he was ready whenever I was.  Finally I just had to jump in.

Returning to the pen and paper feels much like that first time Craig and I were together after being apart for almost two months.  It is a bit like falling in love all over again.  I must work on not wavering and getting distracted.

Recently I suffered from a sore back that came out of no where.   I was up most of the night taking drugs (ibuprofen) and distracting myself by watching Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man 2. Then I heard the voice in my head tell me that I wasn’t tending to my back.  Distracting myself from the pain prohibited me from realizing if it needed anything.  Perhaps it needed to shift positions, or to get up and walk around, or maybe it needed an ice pack.

I turned off the laptop and laid there imagining breathing in good and bringing the good air right to that sore spot on my lower back. Then I would breathe out the pain. I learned this type of meditation from Pema Chodron in her book “Start Where You Are”. I ended up falling asleep for three hours. So thank you Pema.

When I start to feel afraid of the pen and paper and the need to run away sweeps over me I will sit. I will soothe it like a lover caressing my hair and back. I will bare my soul and fall in love all over again.  I hope it will whisper sweet nothings in my ear.