Friday, 13 March 2009
Silver Linings and Kindred Spirits
The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.
E.E. Cummings, poet (1894-1962)
For the first time in ages I've been able to get back to writing my novel. It's been a strange start to the year, not helped by weeks and weeks of utter exhaustion following my gum infection and having a tooth out. Then I lost two close friends.
For someone who has always had boundless energy, not having any at all is a very spooky experience. Suddenly walking Mollie in the morning was a major undertaking. I had to drag myself up and down the beach for 20 minutes, each step feeling as if I was trying to finish the marathon. And at the end of it I had to go home and collapse.
I saw my GP in the end who smiled when I told him what had happened and said, “No wonder you're tired. You've had the equivalent of being hit by a building. But do a little exercise, or you'll seize up. But do 50% of what you normally do. Don't push yourself.”
So I'm learning to listen to my body. I've had to, so I constantly check myself. Am I getting tired? OK, sit down. Relax. And then this novel idea – I could enjoy myself! Read (if I could stay awake long enough), watch TV. Do normal things that usually I'm too hyper to enjoy.
And you know what? Not only have I read more than I have for months, but I've realised that the time I have had to work has been incredibly productive. I've written more articles in the past few weeks than I ever had. True, I haven't had any time to write either of my books, but you can't do everything, and I realised that it doesn't matter. Without your health you're nothing.
It's also made me appreciate my husband a lot more. Made me stop and enjoy things that I'm normally too busy to take note of. A silent hug. A shared giggle. A robin singing in the garden. A woodpecker hard at work on the trunk of a tree, his red and green colours mesmerising in the morning gloom. Mollie's intent joy digging a hole on the beach.
And finally, I'm getting some energy back. Not much, but every day brings a tiny improvement, like the first signs of spring. And as if to reward me for my unaccustomed patience, I've even met a kindred spirit – as Anne of Green Gables would say. And we all know how important kindred spirits are....