Saturday, April 18, 2015

A big bag of Butterfingers

This morning I was in for a treat...all of my yoga students had other plans, so I planned to sleep in, then sit on the back porch with a cup of chai and edit my novel.  Alas, my cats had other ideas.  As the sun is rising higher every morning, Jhoti thinks I should rise and shine with the dawn and feed her a healthy breakfast.  Still, it's a good excuse to get up and go.  And I find I can get a lot done before noon these days. 
But my plans quickly changed this morning when I opened the sun porch and realized that a truly gorgeous morning was on the way.  So I threw in a load of laundry, then threw on some workout clothes and took my bike for its first ride of the season.  I've not been on the bike trail since last September and paced myself, thinking I'd hit the wall by the time I got to Holland-Sylvania Road.  But no.  When I crossed over the railroad tracks, I felt a surge of adrenalin and made it to Wildwood park in record time...and had enough energy to take a short hike, too.  An hour later I was back home to shower and get ready for a busy afternoon.  
This unusual Saturday morning has been a blessing in more ways than one.  I've been surprised a lot in the past two weeks, and many of my life's experiences have kept me curious and wondering what's next...which is just where I need to be.  My feet are on the ground, but my axis is somewhat off center, but so is the earth's and without that slight tilt, there'd be no change of seasons.

 For some reason, all of this has me thinking back to a weekend many years ago when Butterfinger candy bars were my constant companion as I powered my way through a flurry of activity.  While teaching a Saturday morning advanced yoga class, I suddenly had a low blood sugar and needed to excuse myself to rush downstairs and grab whatever was at hand to keep me from passing out.  On the counter was a bag of miniature Butterfingers, so I quickly grabbed one and made my way through the rest of the session. 
After class, a cloudy morning broke into a lovely day, so I thought, What the heck and cut the grass, washed the car, weeded the gardens, painted a few bookshelves, cleaned out the garage and the gutters, while simultaneously doing several loads of laundry.  In the evening, I came inside and cleaned the house from top to bottom, and by the time my head hit the pillow after midnight, I realized I had been working straight through for over fourteen hours. 
Where did I get the energy for all of this mayhem?  I'm sorry to say that all I ate that day were Butterfingers.  For breakfast.  For lunch.   For a snack here and there...and even for dinner...until the bag was empty.  Butterfingers and bottles of water kept my blood sugar soaring and my adrenalin pumping.
But not for long. 
The next morning I woke up with a stomach ache.  My joints hurt.  My head was pounding.  I could barely get out of bed.  I figured it was because of all the work I had done the previous day, but I soon realized that even though at the time I was a vegetarian and Butterfingers fell into the "no meat" category, to eat the entire bag was like eating a bag of sugar and trans fat.  And I paid for it for days.

Nowadays I don't work like that anymore.  Some people say it's my age, but I say it's because I'm more sane.  I know my limits.  I live a more balanced life.  I eat well and try to sleep on a semi-regular schedule, although as warmer weather plans to stick around for a while, that will change, too.  My yoga classes keep me focused and strong.  Hiking helps build my endurance.  Now that I'm back to biking, I find that because of all the healthy changes I've made in the past year, I don't have to start where I left off in September. 
I can just be where I am right now and keep moving forward.
I cannot imagine eating a bag of candy now, but at the time, I sure enjoyed it...and got a lot of stuff done.  Still, time and awareness have taught me that I can enjoy both work and play if I take the time to make healthier choices.  Sure, I grab the opportunity to work in the yard when the weather's nice.  Just yesterday I spent the better part of the afternoon setting up my swing and organizing the garage.  But then I poured myself a tall glass of limeade, grabbed my manuscript and sat outside in the sun, editing for the better part of the evening. And that's not work at all.
As twilight fell, I was in heaven while cardinals in the cherry blossom chirped to each other and kids in the neighborhood laughed and played.  I sat in my swing, admiring the garden beds that are now chock full of new growth.  In moments like this, it's not hard to know that no amount of candy can be as sweet as living in the present moment with grace and loving my life just as it is.
Tilted axis and all...it's still a fabulous ride.