So much for the end of year resolution about not driving so much. Here’s to the new year of procrastination.

I haven’t written, and maybe the reasons don’t matter, but I’ll tell you anyway. I’ve been on the go, constantly. And this makes me not so interested in being with my computer in my free time, but rather, the people I’ve traveled to see. The other primary reason is pain. Driving so much has flared up an old injury that locks up the right side of my body. Sitting for prolonged periods also aggravates, hence no writing. And pain makes me feel depressed. Shorter winter days, depression, pain= NO WRITING. Silly, as it’s a good outlet. But still I’ve had little patience.

I detest writing about pain. I always feel like a whiner, a complainer.  But I also feel it’s important to share the things that help me get through the pain.  I’m fortunate enough to have a hot springs linked to an Olympic-plus size pool about a half hour drive away. Swimming relaxes me and supports my muscles. I went yesterday and felt splendid, just splendid.

Now I now those of you in colder climates (especially right now) are probably cursing me. I too, lived in a cold climate. And I got a membership at the community center which had an indoor pool. I know I need to swim. I know water is life to me. And I know I feel better after I do it. The hot springs pool isn’t necessarily a paradise, but it works. And the water is a workout for the soul as well.

I also started pilates physical therapy today. My therapist, upon realizing the extent of my injuries,”Yah, have you ever FOUND your core? I mean, REALLY?” Apparently not. Or it’s been sleeping and I forgot to wake it up. Or something like that. Anyway my core now demands attention. To be loved, coddled and nurtured. We all want it, right? Which means doing a series of low key exercises. My therapist frowns a little. “I hope you won’t get too bored.”  Nope, if it gets me back into the condition to do the things I love, like hiking and outrigger canoeing, I am so game. So very game.

Plus focusing on the center of my body, and how its connected to the other parts of my body, actually forces my crazy mind to stop racing all the time. I used to be pretty good at meditation. Now meditation requires focus, and if I’m focusing on just moving my leg, just INCHES off the floor, but doing it correctly, I know I’ll be set for tougher challenges later on.

It may also be relevant to mention that I moved and started a new job. I’m not working as a ranger anymore. My new job is just 15 miles down the road and it’s at the Lone Pine Film History Museum. Now that is a fascinating place. And if you ever visit there, stop by and say hello. Normally I wouldn’t mention where I work, but if you’re into film at all, and particularly western film, or even stuff like Tremors and Django Unchained, you will appreciate this place. That’s all the detail I’ll go into right now. I’ll force you to google it for yourself and plan a visit.

Ah, so, the process. The process of emerging from pain into a new year. The beauty of the open skies of this place. The wonderment of transitioning into a position I never imagined doing, but will slow me down while I heal my body and my mind.  I’m ready, world. But I still may need the occasional ibuprofen. And massage. And maybe another trip to the chiropractor. And physical therapy for the rest of my life, but that can include stretching underneath a sweeping expanse of sky, which I hope always to have the option of doing.

Be kind to yourself, and good to yourself. It catches up with you otherwise. Hugs from the field.


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