It has been one hell of a week! You know how 2020 feels like it’s been about ten years long? That was this week for me. Each day was a week of its own. Sheesh. I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail here because most of the stuff happening involved other people, but in the general: four different people in my extended family suffered from major health problems this week, some of which are ongoing and may cause longterm problems. It’s really hard to be away from people re: the pandemic when stuff like this strikes. I can help out my immediate living-at-home family, but I’m out of luck when it comes to anyone else! I can’t even go and see them during their recoveries. I miss seeing my extended family so much.
The one health issue we had this week that was in the immediate at-home family was at least a planned one. Laurence had his wisdom teeth out on Friday morning. His bottom two had grown in this summer but were too cramped, and the top two were impacted. Morrigan had this surgery last year, so we knew a bit of what to expect, but these two kids were like night and day when it came to their reactions. Laurence was overly dazed post-surgery, not awake at all for at least an hour and not really awake for about three hours. His bottom lip stayed numb for almost 24 hours, making us worry that he was the one-in-a-million patients that get nerve damage. He never had much pain, though, and never required any pain meds beyond OTC stuff. Today, he’s still got a bit of pain and he’s still eating softer foods, but for being only two days post-op, he’s doing really well.
So yeah, there was a ton of stress this week, and other than Laurence’s situation, nothing to do but worry. So I drank way too much coffee, and spent a lot of time walking or running in circles around my house. Literally. I walked, ran, or hiked – not in my house of course – a total of 17 miles this week. The last four of those miles were yesterday morning at (somewhat) nearby Hill Country State Natural Area with five other women from the leadership of my hiking group. We hiked our 4+ miles and climbed up about a 400 foot elevation, all in the misting, foggy morning. It was exactly what I needed. Time, wide open space, a challenging climb, and a circle of support. We did yoga poses on the top of the mountain, made up songs about how often we slipped and skidded on rocks, and took pictures in fields of flowers. One of the ladies found a toad on the trail, and not only did I get an awesome photo, I got to pet his cute little back too! On our way out of the park, we ran into a dozen or more riders on horseback, and then we stopped to have lunch in a little sandwich shop about ten miles away. (Notably, this was my first indoor-restaurant experience since March 13th!)
It was an incredibly tiring day, especially given how early that we all had to get up in order to make the 1.5 hour drive out. I’ll admit that when I was driving in the dark with my terrible night vision, and it was rainy, and the roads were unfamiliar, and then construction began…I definitely regretted my choices in life. But I kept going. I knew that after I arrived and found my group, after I’d gotten past that agoraphobic portion of the trip, I would be okay. No, not just okay – happy. Because these women and these group hikes bring out the happy in me. No matter what’s going on in my life or how tough things are, they help me release all that stress into the wilderness and come back to the present. For the first time in so many years, I have my real smile back.
At one point on the trail (above), as the mist was rising and we could see a bit more of the mountains surrounding us, we stopped walking and held still and silent. For a few moments, there was no sound at all. Have you ever heard true silence? It’s an incredible experience that I really can’t put into words. Like everything else from yesterday’s adventure, it was beautiful.
PS – Happy 20th birthday to my oldest child, Morrigan. Because he’s off at college and not here to give me feedback on what he would want, it feels a bit intrusive to write an entire post on the subject. But I couldn’t let the day go by without at least wishing him happy birthday here on the blog!