Reach For It: Reflecting on STRETCH

I have one of *those* coughs.
The ones where it rises deep from your lungs, wet and sore.
Born of an illness that isn’t quite enough to lay you out (I had that last week) but pervasive.

Funny that Steph’s post talks about missing yoga and missing the act of stretching. Because I’ve been feeling the same way.

School let out at the end of April; I moved and simultaneously caught two back-to-back sickness. Then a work trip to the midwest. And back home to nest.

My intention (holla to last week’s VOW) was to unpack the way I typically do — in mass and in one fell swoop. But one of *those* viruses (and another person) have a way of preventing you from automatically switching to your default; you need to adjust. You need flexibility.

So my dresser remains bare, drawers yet to be unpacked, our second room still a mess of piles and boxes. It’s driving me crazy. But I’ve been forcing my body time to heal. Time to get warmed up and out of this cold. Because there is no actual rush to get it done, just a self-imposed deadline to feel bad about failing to meet.

And that isn’t good for my mental plasticity.

I had also intended to embark back to a better exercise plan upon returning from St Louis. That didn’t happen either and the emotional kickback begat of unyielding structure has been biting at my heels.

Steph and I once discussed the challenge in loving your body when you’re not able to move it. Heart disease, a severed ICD lead, and literal micro-shocks to my system have left me too nervous to work out in the way I used to. To move and push and run. I can’t, won’t, and shouldn’t do it — but the rigidity of high standards still plays tricks on my mental ought-tos: I ought to be thinner — like I used to be. I ought to be eating 90% produce — like I used to. I ought to be spending every evening trying to get back to where I used to be.

These assumptions are like the kitchen cabinets I recently filled. While I calculated the best place to put what where, I looked at all the high shelves. I can’t put anything up there, I’ll never be able to get to it. Even on tip-toes, even STRETCHING as long as I could, it was inaccessible without a footstool.

But rather than live with the things I need always slightly out of reach, I instead just moved the whole goddamn shelf down.

To my level.
Where I am.
As I am.  And am likely to remain.

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