Monday, June 25, 2007

At The Beginning (Again)

A confluence of events: I just paid off all of my non-mortgage debt AND I just went the Y for the first time in (ouch) five months. It might even be six, I don't feel like remembering.

Redemption; a clean slate; renaissance... that's what it feels like, these two milestones. By refinancing my house I was able to get rid of considerable credit card debt. Most of it accrued during the "dark period", the years right after 9/11, coincidentally the years of divorce and recovery. I also paid off the second mortgage on my marital residence, which I have doggedly been paying down as part of our settlement agreement. A tremendous burden has been lifted - poof, gone!

After working through the depression for the last few years (better living through chemistry plus time plus good shrinkage) I finally feel "worthy" enough to take better care of my body. This involves cutting down on the emotional food intake and mixing in some activities that my habit has been to avoid. This is rather odd, as I like to exercise - I like how it feels, the sense of accomplishment it gives me almost every session AND I always feel better generally when I do it regularly. It even makes playing music easier. So why stop? Masochism and death wish are a bit too over-wrought for this syndrome. Call it inertia; poor habits ingrained from my youth, lack of self-respect. That gets to it without getting heavily psychological.

So I get to give it a go once again. I'm clean financially, though still nursing a larger than I would like monthly nut. And I feel inspired to have another joust with the obesity beast as well. There are certain things that I would like to continue (or even start) to be able to do, physically. If I stay the sedentary course in very short order I won't be able to do them. It is within my power to do something about it so I don't have to be a victim. New dictum: Lose it to use it.

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.
~ Mary Oliver ~