It’s My Heart Beating

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You wouldn’t know by looking at me,

but I’m sick.

Not in THIS moment. Right this moment I am eating a delicious bowl of rice in preparation for a workout. 3 months ago, however, I was writhing on the floor, every molecule on fire. 18 months before that, I was fighting for my life. Specifically not to take it into my own hands and end it. Pain. Pain. Pain. Depression.

Anxiety.

Delirium.

More Pain.

This was my world. My tiny, little, needle-sharp world.

Most days I would lurk near the kitchen window, look out, wonder what all the healthy people were going to do with their day. I became very angry with and resentful of healthy people, convinced that none of them were grateful enough for their lives. Today they would complain and grumble, spend hours worrying about things that didn’t matter, miss a thousand moments hand-stitched just for them.

During these horrific months that were just like geodes – bleak and hopeless on the outside, impossibly beautiful on the inside – I determined that being healthy is its own kind of affliction; blindness and apathy and joy atrophy.

Still. I envied them. Healthy people. Sometimes I would imagine trading places, dream about how I would spend their 24 hour day sooo differently.

I told the Lord, in one of my many pleas, bargains and wrathful monologues, that if He were ever to make me well enough again to leave the house, I would never take a minute of my life for granted.

Honestly, I’ve not been a perfect steward of the life He gave back to me. But I AM changed. I’m better. I think maybe sometimes God has to make you sick so He can make you better.

And fuller. And braver. And softer.

This life is gorgeous and brutal and fleeting. It’s NOT to be wasted. Not a smile, sparrow, or a sunset of it.

It’s ALL for ME and YOU. There’s a buffet of magic right outside your door. I swear it. I’m looking at it. It’s looking at ME. Reminding me I have eyes and ears, legs and feet, a tongue to taste, and lips with which I can kiss the love of my life.

I have no greater gifts than these.

I own nothing more precious than Right Now.

It’s just a business card, says the photo. “No. No, it’s so much more than that . . . it’s my heart beating.”

Kid President

It’s a slow day. I’m not so much writing as I am looking at the clock above my document and wondering if it might be in everyone’s best interest if I close down for the day. Perhaps it’s the weather. Perhaps it’s the hairy black spider I found on my husband’s side of the bed this morning; the little beast scared me half to death before I’d even a chance to sit down for a proper pee. Probably, though, it’s just the weather. I am sensitive like this. I look out my window and see a nimbus laden sky talking some big talk but has yet to deliver. I hope for rain. We had a bit last night, and when I woke up everything was wet and rinsed and even the lawn sparkled in its own way, an aristocratic ambivalence.

The weekend should be lovely. My husband runs his third marathon this year on Sunday. I am astoundingly proud of him. Me, I will avoid running at all cost; even running behind, if I can. It takes a certain sort of masochistic lunacy, albeit a determined lunacy, to tell yourself “Okay, body, we’re going to do this now. Yep, 26.2 miles. Okay, here goes” and then choose not to veer off the path when no one’s looking. I would cheat. I would hail a cab or find the short cut or . . . you know, I probably just wouldn’t sign up in the first place. I love exercising. I go to the gym almost every day, and I find my serenity is waiting for me the moment I slip those earbuds in and wrap my fingers around the cold metal barbell. I go away. I go in. And I go out. But wherever I go, I am always better for having went. I am a happier woman, a better wife, and a funnier friend when I’ve had my daily allotment of endorphins. But there’s this thing. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe other people feel this way. Sometimes I will remember that I am a modest woman and no, you probably won’t ever see me wearing a shirt that bears my midriff or a skirt any higher than the middle of my thighs. So why, I ask myself, why do I push myself to such extremes. And I do – push myself to extremes. I work out like Mozart plays piano. Dun dun dun dun. Dun-dun-dun-DUNNNNN. What I’m saying is, I put much effort into keeping my shape firm and lean, and really the only person seeing it is me. There’s my husband of course, and yes he appreciates it all, but he is not a vain main, you see, and I am not lying when I say that truly he would still think me beautiful even if I had mashed-potato butt. No, really, he would. Scout’s honor. (Not an actual scout, however I abide by the code. Live long and prosper.) So, no, my career isn’t contingent on the number on my tailbone. It’s a 9, just in case you were curious. (I carry my weight below my bum, like little airplane pillows for it to rest on.) ANYWAY, exercise is good, but I could probably scale back some and it would be all right.

Oh dear  . . .

How did we get here? Truly I don’t know. I only meant to say hello, then suddenly my fingers were running amuck. I do actually have something very cool to share with you. Have you met Kid President? Oh, he’s very possibly the most precious boy I’ve never met. And smart. And a great dancer. You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

Enjoy the video, then pass it on to everyone you know. It will make them smile knowing there are people like this in our world.

Happy Weekend, Friends!