Sunday, August 30, 2015

Learnings from Our Nation's Capital


It's been a busy couple of weeks! I can report that Li'l Martini loves his new big-boy room (I only call it that in my mind) and he laughed hard over one of my innovations: I found a secret poem that he'd written about me tucked amongst his papers, so I framed it and put it on his dresser. I assured him that it didn't have to stay there, but he hasn't moved it yet.

In said poem, he compares me to a sweet-smelling Chuck Norris (I am just that tough and fierce). It's pretty awesome.

Then it was time to ready the fam for a five-day D.C. visit — me, Husband, two less-than-enthusiastic teens, and my 73-year-old mom, who called me several days before flying out and asked, "Now, do I have wheelchairs arranged at all the airports?" This was disturbing on so many levels:
  • We were about to take a walking-intensive trip together
  • She can walk — she belongs to a gym, for God's sake! Why is she determined to be more disabled than she actually is? 
  • How is this my responsibility??? She doesn't love doing things on the computer, but she can certainly call an airline.
Anyway. It gave me serious pause, and I was 80 percent dreading this trip. (D.C. is such an awesome town, and we were staying in a hotel with a pool and a hot tub and air conditioning and lots of nearby great restaurants — I knew there would be at least a 20 percent sliver of happiness available, and I was determined to grab it!)

Also, please note that never once did I use the word vacation to refer to this event. I would have to be the Person In Charge. It would be in no way a vacation.

But I am so relieved and happy to announce that the trip was a huge success, everyone had a great time, we saw so much cool stuff, and Mom did a TON of walking, getting stronger every day. I will report in more detail once I have all our pictures (Mom's are the old-fashioned kind, on real film, so once they're developed I will have to scan them) and have written up my travel diary notes.

Ironically, the hotel amenities I was looking forward to were more or less a bust: The a.c. was lovely in the common room but less robust in the bedrooms, and the hot tub was out of service for our entire visit. C'est la vie! We were perfectly comfy, and I still had fun. (Wine helped.)

But on another note: The entire trip was such a wake-up call for me. Watching how my mom struggled to get around (and indeed, noting how tired I got as well, despite my supportive and comfy walking shoes) was a come-to-Jesus moment. I am not as strong as I used to be, and I have much less endurance. Some of this is due to age, I'm sure, but much of it is due to neglect. Like Mom, I got stronger over this trip, and I am determined to keep up my momentum. I am too young to be this old!!!!

STRENGTH. That is my new watchword. Every single day, I will do something to make myself stronger, even if I only have time for a little something. But I am determined.

By the way: All this walking resulted in no weight loss whatsoever. I think restaurant food and daily wine consumption with Mom were an effective counterbalance. Disappointing!!!

Today I am doing my chores (I missed Chore Day, due to an all-day retreat at my church) and writing up retreat notes, but I will get a good workout in there as well: biking and weight-lifting and knee PT and core work.

STRENGTH. You will hear this from me a lot from now on!

— Lady C, Samson-in-training

p.s. My "Year of Yes" has gotten off to a rollicking start: Not two hours after posting this proclamation, I got invited to a birthday party for one of my church's quirkiest birds. But I'm available . . . what can I do. "Yes!" I typed, cursing myself. It will be interesting — but I can't even con Kind Tina into going with me, and she is the kindest person in the world, so that should give you an idea of how odd a duck we're talking about here.