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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Facing Fear

Last year at this time we were living on a channel that led to a small lake. The kids really got into ice skating, and we all got skates. We thought, "What a great idea, this will be a great activity."

It was a great activity, for everyone...but me. I have a slightly irrational fear of falling. Heights can scare me, but typically only on a human-made structure. A trail on the side of a cliff doesn't seem to bother me as much as a suspension bridge. Water scares me. I can swim, but I don't very often, and when I do it is usually in a pool. I really thought ice skating would be something I could work my way into enjoying. I mean it looks so fun!

Last year I put my skates on at least a dozen times. I would sit on the dock. I would sometimes scoot onto the ice for a moment in a totally awkward squatting position and then frantically get back off. We started going to a skating rink, thinking, it was because I was worried about the ice breaking. Nope. No deal. I sat. I would set my skate on the ice and immediately stop myself and then go sit back down.

I watched people on their skates. I watched my children skate with glee all over the rink. I could not figure out why I was so paralyzed and why I could not will myself to just do it. So what if I fall. Why was it such a big deal?

We went to the rink today. I said I would try...again. They knew that meant I might not get on the ice. I moved a "walker" style support close to me so I wouldn't have to walk over and get it once my skates were on.

Was I actually going to try today?

I put my skates on, and my heart started racing.

Someone walked by and took my walker thingy! Oh no!

My son went and got me a new one.

I sat.


Then I stood up, just one foot and gripped that red piece of plastic walker like my life depended on it.

I barely moved at first. It was an inch at a time. Then a little more.
I was halfway around.
My husband said, "Okay, 3 times around and then you can take a break."
WHAT! NO, I have to go back now!
Then I said to myself, "What the heck am I doing? I have had these skates for over a year now, and this is the first time I'm actually using them. I better do three laps."
So I did.
I thought every muscle in my body might burst into flames. Especially the arches in my feet. I could feel all the tension with each move.
Slowly, and for a moment here or there, it felt a little effortless. My hands never left the walker.
I watched many people fall.
I watched moms with their toddlers struggling to make it around.
I watched teens holding hands.
I watched a hot shot hockey player nearly take out five people.
And then I was done.

A total of seven laps with three breaks in between. I was exhausted but elated. I had finally done it, and I lived to tell the story.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Relentless Frenzy

What's this? Wait, this is familiar. It's been a while, but I remember this. I hate this, but I can handle this. I'll just sit for a minute, and it will pass.

Five minutes go by...

It's still here. Hmmm, okay. I'll go hide behind my desk and try to relax, try to will it away.

Ten minutes pass...

People are noticing. I can't hide it, and I see the worry in their eyes. I've done this before. I'll be okay. I can't seem to shake it though.

Thirty minutes pass...

I listen.
"What does he think?"
"We should call someone. This isn't right."

I hear the walkies, the conversation.
"The ambulance is here."
I've lost. I couldn't will it away. I wonder what it could be? Is it really something I can't understand?

Bumpy roads
No lights
No siren

--"Hello Mrs. Hubbard, let's go over your information. Have you had any other symptoms? When did this start?" Etc. Etc. Etc.

Hours pass...

--"Everything came back okay. If you are feeling better, you can go home."


That was my afternoon yesterday. A jarring and startling pain that caught me off guard. A spasm that I've had on many occasions, but it's been so long since I've felt pain like that.
A reminder.
Yet, everything is fine now.
A fluke?
I don't know.
Better safe than sorry but frustrating none the less. A reminder that sometimes we don't know what is happening to us. Sometimes we are reminded of those who care about us, for us.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Dreaming of Questions

I wonder, if beings are capsules, what do they epitomize? I have experienced many bits of life, and many bits of life await.
If our dreams are representations of our experiences, how is it we can experience, in a dream, bits of life which we have not encountered? Chased by a bear. Falling from a height. Flying from a string.
I suppose all such experiences are a culmination of our sensations. I mean really, what is a dream but a representation of just that, sensation.
Intense fear. Immense love. Gusts of joy. Fleets of sadness.
A dream is the encapsulation of all these. Bits of life squeezed into a moment.
Acute ideals swept into our sleep. Realizations of wishes wanted and just out of our grasp.
I wonder, what dreams have I yet to meet? Are we dreaming enough? Have I let my mind wander to the risks outside of my grasp?
We say, "Dream BIG!"
But, a big dream rarely comes to be without little dreams along the way.
Have a sweet little dream. Let it grow.