Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pushing out the circle

I seem to be writing about anxiety a lot in the last few days but that’s because I’ve felt its looming presence in my life. One of the things I learned years ago is that you can draw the circle tighter about you or you can gradually push that circle wider. Today was a widen the circle day, but it wasn’t easy.

The second Tuesday of every month I meet a wonderful group of book ladies for breakfast at the nearby Old Neighborhood Grill. This morning I woke in high anxiety over the thought of going to the Grill alone—having Amy F. as a “travel companion” has spoiled me—and weakened me. I know today was like other days in my past—do it today or you may never do it again.

Often when I wake with disquieting thoughts I find it helpful to turn on the TV while I brush my teeth, wash my hair, and get ready for the day. The news takes me out of myself in a good way, and that’s what I did today. Then I set out for the Grill, so late that a friend called and asked if she could get me. By then I was determined.

Parked in the farthest handicapped spot and had a moment of heightened anxiety—couldn’t let go of the pole that held the handicapped sign. And then I took a step and I was off and fine.  It was what I’ve always said—if you could turn your mind off and just act. Enjoyed breakfast and fellowship, and when we were ready to leave my good friend stayed close by ready to offer an arm if I needed it but let me do on my own what I could.

Tuesday nights Jacob and I often meet neighbors at the Grill. He’s had so much baseball lately that he hasn’t been able to go, but we went tonight. For a lot of complicated reasons we walked down the driveway to the garage instead of my usual route out the back door. I haven’t been down that driveway since I fell a year ago, but a nine-year-old hand in mine is a great comfort. Fun dinner, and then Jacob elected to walk home with Mary Dulle. Perfect timing—I parked the car in the garage and was halfway to the gate when they came along. So for me, it was a day of pushing back boundaries.

It was also, as many days will be, a day of business, and I don’t mean writing. Lewis came by and we figured out some insurance paperwork; the bank sent me a list of things they needed, and I spent a good bit of time compiling them; the floor company came to begin work and will be here for two days. I see light at the end of that tunnel, but we still have no building permit for the remodeling. I see all this taking up a lot of time in the future.

But it was a good day, one of accomplishment, and I’m upbeat tonight. Oh—with the gout menu eliminating many favorites—meatloaf (beef), pork cutlet (fried), I had a turkey burger for supper. Good but not something I’d want every week. Deluged today with gout advice—ordered tart cherry pills and will eat more citrus (can’t stand grapefruit). Ate tuna but with a guilty conscience. Someone said some things are triggers for one person but not another, so now I’m trying to think what unusual I might have eaten. Someone said asparagus--tell me it’s not so!

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