The Upside of Limitations in Everyday Ramblings

  • July 13, 2020, 2:15 p.m.
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  • Public

A house with at least 3 apartments built in 1909 that grabs the attention when one walks by.

I haven’t been motivated to write much here lately because, (stating the obvious), life in vulnerable person lockdown has a kind of sameness to it and everything sort of runs together.

But my interior life is vital and alive. :)

I walked with Charity last Thursday and we had fun, walking up into a neighborhood I don’t know all that much, but she lived in for a number of years and therefore has all sorts of insights about. That is where this picture is from. Mrs. Sherlock and I had walked a part of it in March literally the day before lockdown and I took a picture of the same place from the other direction so clearly there is a story here that needs to be told.

Even a made up one.

We went to the big public rose garden that I haven’t been to all year. We hiked a back way and I am going to take Most Honorable that way this next Friday when he (pulls himself away from his all-consuming reorganization of their garage and) comes up for a hike.

Mrs. Sherlock and Frieda and I went on a different urban hike on Saturday, not quite as ambitious, but through downtown where we continue to have demonstrations every night against police use of force and racism. She was the only person in the Starbucks across from our main police station getting us iced green tea with her mask on. Everything is boarded up and bleak looking but we had a good time.

Kes and Most Honorable came up with fresh cherries on Friday for a visit in the park. I ordered a couple of sizes of lingerie bags to wash my masks in and was sharing the bigger one with Kes for her knitting projects.

It has been two and a half weeks since I stopped taking the statins all together and at first I was waking up with my back in such bad shape it was difficult to stand up straight and walk in the mornings, but I am (with a series of exercises and a little traction in bed and time) getting to the point where I am almost not having to deal with this whole thing. It is manageable.

Oh, the joys and challenges of an aging body! It becomes rather consuming. And like a middle-aged person recovering from an injury I am learning to accept that I have limitations but that I also need to consistently push myself a little to maintain strength and flexibility. I am not in my 80’s yet!

Of course, I am also not in my 40’s and this push-up prep challenge I am doing is about a third beyond my present ability. I have been talking to Kes about how as we get on a little, we tend to not try things that we cannot do.

I can do the flexibility drills, no problem, I can even do the strength drills, mostly, though they are much harder; what I can’t do are these explosive drills. Anything that involves jumping or hopping or moving fast.

Back well over three decades ago, when I stopped smoking, I used to say to people, it may look like I am sitting here not doing anything but what I am actually doing is not smoking. All the effort is going there.

Something similar is going on here as Mrs. Sherlock astutely tells me, it may look like I am riding out lockdown quietly but what I am really doing is learning how to be retired and enjoy life to the fullest extent I can within the limitations that are present.

As I have often heard from folks wiser than me, limitations can make freedom richer as they narrow our focus and gives us something to bump up against. That as humans, certainly as creative humans, constraints give us a framework to make patterns out of formless chaos and bring out the best in us based on our adaptive biology.

We may rail against them, chafe at the edges, push and whine and gripe and generally make ourselves miserable, or we can construct an emotional landscape that supports us where we are and challenges us to keep looking around corners for a slightly better way to be and accomplish things.

If you need me, that’s what I’ll be doing this next little while under a pile of warm gray cats that would really really really like this elimination diet to end and meat to return to their world.

Last updated July 13, 2020

IpsoFacto July 13, 2020

Well, you certainly made up for your lack of entries with this one. It’s just jampacked full of things for me to reread, digest and savor. So lovely, as always to share your thoughts and insights. Stay safe. Stay well.

Marg July 14, 2020

Yep I’ve been looking round a lot of corners lately - and I like Mrs. Sherlock’s take on getting through lockdown :)

Jinn August 02, 2020

I love these older buildings too . I want to buy one but I wonder now if that will ever happen. We seem so rooted here I wonder about moving. Of course no one ever knows where their life will go , this pandemic brought that home quickly .

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