One week with the shingles and I’ve still been getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night. I am supposed to be relieving stress, resting and recovering. But I find myself with so much energy when I place my head on my pillow at night, or when I wake up to pee at 4 or 5 in the morning; at least I know I’m well hydrated. I needed to do some kind of exercise to burn off my excess energy. I went from a fast daddy lifestyle trying to do all the daily grind while trying to get fit and chasing my dream, to becoming a couch bum.
I am not supposed to expose my shingles to the sun, so Alan and I took a walk to get some exercise just when the sun had hidden low enough in the sky. I expected to be bed/couch ridden through my whole quarantine so I didn’t bring any exercise clothes. I just wore some surf shorts that I packed in case it got warm. We ran through South Pasadena, which is partly wooded; I considered myself running, Alan looked like he was jogging. The jog actually reminded me of where we used to live in Beverly Hills just after Trystan was born. We were house sitting for Shelly’s boss while she was overseas shooting The Life of Pi. The house was a beautiful rustic cottage in the middle of Beverly Glen Blvd surrounded by foliage. This area of South Pasadena is kind of like that, except less expensive and less of a canyon road. There were a lot of old houses and a jogging trail that went by the golf course, under the highway and through some greenery.
It wasn’t even a mile before my lungs started hurting, and I remembered how my nurse friend, Jenn had mentioned I could have lesions in my lungs and since it was a wet environment, I wouldn’t be able to feel them. Stride, stride, inhale, stride, stride exhale… my lungs were opening up and filling with air, and I don’t know what that pain is but I have to take this exercise a notch down. I’ve been athletic my whole life, from extra curricular activities in high school, to crew (rowing) in college, to competitive dancing which did into my 30’s when my body started complaining. I saw dancing as fun, and never saw it as a sport until I got injured and I showed my physical therapist what I was doing. She said I was pounding my body more than some of the athletes that she was maintaining, but by then I didn’t see myself as an athlete so I never stretched or warmed up. We just hit the dance floor full bore. So here I am now, almost 38 with plantar fasciitis, tight muscles, shingles and burning lungs trying to keep up with Alan who is older, heavier and healthier than me.
Our 2 mile jog turned into a 4 mile walk. My mind was full trying to think of something spiritual or inspiring to blog for a Sunday. Alan and I walked up the steps to his second story apartment. “That was a pretty good walk,” said Alan, “almost four miles.”
“Nice! So let’s eat dinner then, I’ll show you how to use Microsoft Project.” I got in the shower and started the water, “It’s really easy to use because you input information the way that you would…” I realized that I was alone in the bathroom talking to myself. That may sound weird to any normal person, sure, and that was the moment that I realized how beautiful my normal was. I realized that on a normal late workday, Shelly would get home from work just when I am finishing my normal day and we would spend our last hours of the day getting ready for bed together. I’d finish cooking dinner when she’d get home and then we’d eat together. Normally I’d eat with the kids beforehand and just sit with her and chat. We’d talk about our day and about everything else while washing dishes, wiping the table down, gathering bedclothes, using the toilet, brushing our teeth, and yes, taking a shower. At that moment I missed Shelly. At this moment, I miss her even more.
I have been making the most out of my time away from Shelly: working on my prioritization skills, and doing some behavioral modification so that when we’re together she will get a better man than when I left.
It had been a week since Andy left Woody at the toy shop for the old man to fix his torn arm. “Andy’s getting in the car to pick up Woody!!!” Buzz yelled from the window sill. All the other toys cheered, “Woody’s coming back!!! Woody’s coming back.” They waited patiently. They had all missed Woody so much since he had been away on the mend. But as much as they missed him, little did they know that he missed them one hundred times more and can’t wait to go back home.