Living in the southeast during the summer months does not afford a person many opportunities to sit outside without becoming completely soaked in sweat. People who venture outside during the summer down here are either doing so because their job requires them to, or because they are swimming in a pool or other location where bodies are submersed in water for leisure. While it is not yet summer according to the official meterological calendar, I’m on summer break, so it’s summer. And today was day 2 of a very mild weather pattern. Yesterday temperatures were hardly in the 80s and the humid was incredibly low. I spent the day in the air conditioned apartment wishing that I felt like going running so I would have a chance to go outside. Today, I decided I wasn’t going to let another opportunity pass. The temperatures are supposed to get ridiculously close to 100 degrees this weekend, so it was now or never for the next three or four months until it turns cool again for another season change.
So I made a quick trip to our camping equipment stash at my mother-in-law’s house and picked up the camping chair that my husband and I tend to fight over. He seems to always forget that he was the one who bought this delightful chair with the footrest for me on our first Christmas together, so by that memory alone, the chair is mine. But I digress. Upon returning home, I went out the back door of our apartment, the one that we never use because it’s also the perfect place to stash the kitty litter box. I took one of my knitting projects, a book that I’m reading, my phone for a gratuitious selfie of sorts, and a large cup of ice water, and I sat down…with my feet up…in the shade. There was a breeze blowing ever so slightly and it was absolutely glorious.
This simple act reminded me of what summer break is all about. Relaxing in whatever way possible. For a brief moment, I was even rethinking the structure I have been trying to establish for myself by way of the six rules I laid out. The truth is, I have not been very successful with those rules. And every night that I go to bed and have a few minutes before my medication kicks in to think about the day, I feel incredibly guilty about not going running or not getting on the elliptical. I always vow that I’m for sure going to get started tomorrow. I’m going running TOMORROW! But then tomorrow comes and I…just don’t want to, so I don’t. Outside on the patio, I felt so great just being out there and feeling comfortable that I really wanted to not beat myself up so much over this exercise issue. Being so down on myself for NOT doing something can’t possibly be helping the situation. Yet, I know that I can’t give up on at least trying. I remember how good it felt when I was successful the last time and started losing weight for the first time ever in my life. And I know what’s at stake now. Becoming a mother is the most important reason for doing this. I’m about to have another birthday, which means time is still moving forward and running out at break-neck speed. Even as I reflect on this, I feel the anxiety rising in my stomach, which is completely contrary to how I felt this afternoon. I had felt peace and all around satisfaction with simply being outside with my feet up. I recommend it for anybody. The world will not stop in that moment, the cars will still drive past as people are coming and going in and out of the apartment complex, but there will be peace.