Monday morning coming down
By Rose Simpson
The bad guys are winning again.
I thought about this over the weekend, as I laid on the couch and watched painful hockey and good HBO. I was depressed again.
I felt like Sydney Crosby was in my head, taking slap shots over and over. I couldn’t even face the grocery store. Best I could do was brave the deck but only for a couple of hours, eyes covered in movie star sunglasses. I wanted to shave my head. I wanted to be free of panic. I wanted a double but settled for a couple of beers instead.
I don’t get depressed in the same way as many people. My depression comes out as heart-pounding, head swimming anxiety, something that can stop me from leading a normal life for days, even a month. It didn’t help that this was tax weekend and I was trying unsuccessfully to balance the books.
Now that we’ve finally gotten back on track financially, we are having to pay some back taxes. I can hardly believe that I’m poor but I still owe taxes, but there you go. It’s what happens when the main bread winner is working two jobs to make ends meet. At least we can split Scott’s pension, so that’s something.
My weight has started to balloon again, too. I’ve kept it down over the winter for the first time in maybe eight years, but the combination of plantar fasciitis which makes my foot swell every time I walk, and potatoes has done me in. I tipped the scale today at two hundred and seventeen pounds. Ugh.
So I trundled out of bed and went for the first walk of the season, got halfway down Smyth Road before my foot started to wake up. It will be a couple of hours and I won’t be able to walk. But who cares?
It was a beautiful morning and I wasn’t going to let my foot and my head best me again.
The walk I take is part city streets and part forest. I walk past the churches and schools and through the General Campus of the Ottawa Hospital, past all the smoking patients attached to IVs, past the Rehab Centre where I’m generally greeted by a small group of wheelchair bound unfortunates who, incredibly, are all smoking.
I’m not a smoker and I have to admit that I feel a bit superior. Maybe if you didn’t smoke, you wouldn’t be here. Then I think about all my friends who have died in recent years, not from smoking, but from inactivity, drinking, triple cream cheese and marbled steak. Or just from life.
The walk reminds me that I could be here one day, so I pick up the pace.
Just past the daycare, I feel my head swooning. Stay strong, I remind myself. You have a good heart, good lungs and you aren’t that badly out of shape. Too much good blood flexing your the brain. Hasn’t felt healthy blood pumping for a while.
What saves me on this day, as always, is Neil Young singing about prairie winds and the last time he saw Elvis. And August Rush brings me home past the Jewish Chapel. Joe’s blue car isn’t here today, which means it will be quiet. No grieving families to make the dogs bark.
I round the bend, and hop up the step, then open the door. I am rewarded for my good work by three lapping tongues and wagging tails, all there to greet me. Ming does a “wooh, wooh” and high fives me, doggy style.
Well done, maw.
It’s a pretty good life after all.
Makes me feel better about tackling the chores of the day, like this blog and those damned taxes again.
Hmmm, nearly lunch and the sun is shining. Taxes can wait until tomorrow.
Rose: one. Bad guys: zero. Just for today.