Saturday, August 22, 2009

Out of the Blues and into the Pink


Yesterday I woke up in the foulest of moods. Maybe it was because my hip was stiff and a little achy. Maybe it was because I was reliving events of a year ago that left me profoundly sad for a while. Whatever the cause, those around me wisely kept their distance.

As I came out of the allergist’s K Street office, I watched a black man in a wheel chair being loaded into a van for transport. He was smiling and chatting with the van operator. I felt guilty for my funk over my hip, realizing I can walk unassisted and even drive myself around.

After lunch I did my PT exercises in earnest, stretching to my limits. Then I trudged downstairs and got on the elliptical machine, something I should be doing regularly but had not happened lately. As I clocked up the minutes, I began to sweat profusely and realized how out of shape I was.

After exercising I made myself some green tea and added a spoonful of honey before pouring it over ice. As I sipped my tea, I realized my heart had stopped racing and my hip had stopped hurting.

We decided to go to services at TM last night, as the beautiful new rabbi Esther was officiating (and we hadn’t been in weeks). I traded in my sneakers for my new black Mary Janes that make me feel dressed up. As I sang those familiar songs and listened to her profound thoughts on this week’s Torah portion, I realized I was suddenly at peace with the world, with those around me, and with myself.

I came hope to make a rather late, but delicious, dinner of garlicky chicken wings, fennel and fresh figs with Balsamic vinegar, and my husband’s superb mashed baby potatoes.

Then we capped off the evening with a family viewing of The Dreamer, a sappy movie about a horse that comes back from a serious injury to race and win again, thereby saving a family as well.

I went to bed in a totally different frame of mind than the one I had had upon awakening. Happiness is such a delicious feeling after a bout with more negative feelings. I wondered if it was the exercise, the honey, the Shabbat service, the tastes of good food, the movie with a happy ending, or some combination of those that had dismissed my blues and left me in the pink of life once again.

8 Comments:

Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

I really understand.

I was in such a terror about my in-laws coming, I sank into a deep and profound funk. I was paralyzed. Now that they are here, it is so much easier to deal with...

Little things are making me joyous again. I practically giddy over the fact that 7-11 makes a sugar free slurpee. I missed slurpees so much when I had to really cut back on my sugar intake. For some reason now, being able to eat that slurpee goodness just puts a childlike joy in my heart. Go figure!

2:03 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kelly -- It feels great to turn that corner, doesn't it? You never know what's going to do it. If all it takes is a Slurpee, I say get your sugar-free fix anytime!

2:31 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'm sure it was a combination of everything. I'm glad you transcended your funk! (For me, exercise is always the key!)

4:48 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

Have you noticed in the 6th paragraph how you typed "I came hope"? Please don't change it, it's quite perfect.
Thanks for sharing how choosing can make a difference.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- As much as I really don't like exercise while I'm doing it, it does have a good effect on me too.

Ulysses -- I hate typos. It will take a lot of restraint for me not to fix this one! The funny thing is I have read this over several times and missed it every time. And P is nowhere near M on the keyboard...

7:07 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

I saw the ho"p"e too and thought, what a Freudian slip that was! This from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression-and-exercise/MH00043

"Some evidence suggests that exercise raises the levels of certain mood-enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain. ... It also increases body temperature, which may have calming effects. ..."

5:23 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- I have come to enjoy doing yoga, which can be pretty demanding, but I'm still working on trying to enjoy some of the other forms of exercise that I know are good for me.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

What a great realization, slipping out of a funk! I've been working on that.

8:39 AM  

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