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(c) Christiana Lambert 2010

(c) Christiana Lambert 2010

When I accidentally left my timing watch in a workout room at the local recreation center, I didn’t expect it to disappear completely. No one ever admitted to finding it so I was just out of luck for keeping track of my slow return to jogging/running.

The funny thing is I couldn’t get any of my other watches to keep time either. I’d been wearing an old windup watch of my mother’s for dressing up, but one day it just stopped working. Then the “cheap” timing watch I bought before vacation seemed to last only for vacation and not much beyond. Excuse me if I didn’t find it so cheap if it was only going to last a couple weeks. Although I could still use it for timing, the watch didn’t keep accurate time, re-setting the time with each minor bump. Finally I had to resort to finding a battery for another one of my mother’s watches.

What was the metaphor going on about time in my life??!! Don’t worry about time? Buy another watch? Out of time? Yikes.

About the same time I got my mother’s battery-operated watch to run, Sherman got me a Polar FT7 watch. But before I could learn how to use it, I got sick. At that point I didn’t really care to think about how much time was slipping away—not as if I could do anything about it anyway.

Now the heart rate monitor and I have a love/hate relationship going. Why does it keep nagging me to slow down? Unless I’m in yoga and then my heart rate slows down so much I wonder if the watch is working. Hmm . . .

I’ve decided it’s a fine line between letting myself relax and going all crazy about the data. A person like me could spend so much time analyzing the data that she never got out of her chair! That sounds like a bad use of time to me.

Sometimes I think a better experiment would be to wear it all day and watch what makes my heart rate go up and what drops it to that really nice, low resting rate in the low to mid-60s that it has. What I’ve seen so far makes me think I have more control over my physiological responses to external stressors than I’ve recognized.

And that is a whole different lesson about how I spend my time. Does that mean an instrument dedicated to Chronos can help me find more time for Kairos? Now that’s a thought way past time to ponder.

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(c) 2012 Sherman Lambert

(c) 2012 Sherman Lambert

I am an orphan these days, or so it seems. The two-year-anniversary of my mother’s passing happened this past Sunday. Two years since I didn’t have to worry about her and almost eleven (!) since I could stop worrying about my father. Sometimes all that hardly seems possible until I realize how long I’ve been missing their whole selves: who they were before their illnesses.

Two years is a significant step in the grieving process—I can feel how meeting that milestone is adding a bit of spring to my own steps. More and more my dreams of my mother show her as she was most of my days, not just in those dark final years. She is round-bodied and intelligently goofy, not shrunken and utterly lost. And, this is the most significant thing: she smiles and laughs with her whole body.

On one hand I feel that freedom that comes with time passing. On the other hand, I know that losing our elders is not over in this house. My husband was with me every step of the way with my parents—he shared my grief for my parents and, yet, still has to walk that walk with his own parents. Not only does he have to experience his own loss but he also knows too much about the path.

Even in days when there are no big losses, the little losses loom large. The constant worry will eat you alive if you let it do so. There is no easy way to watch your parents decline. Oh my gosh—thanks to having watched my parents decline, there is truly no easy way to watch anyone’s parents decline—or any random person you meet on the street, for that matter.

After you have learned that sometimes there are worse things than death, you know that there is a season for fighting every ailment and a season for making sure any battle pursued is in your loved ones’ best interests.

Yet, who can say for someone else when that time is? Who can say when it is time to go “gentle into that good night” but God?

Instead you pray for no protracted suffering and no lose-lose decisions and that, just as in the lyrics to John Ylvisaker’s “Borning Cry”, that “when the evening gently closes in” for them it will be as simple as “shut(ting) (their) weary eyes” and waking to wholeness.

I may be an orphan, but my husband is not. And so we pray . . .

(c) 2012 Sherman Lambert

(c) 2012 Sherman Lambert

Yes, it’s finally coming back. When you first fall ill, you’re sick enough to think it’s a great idea, say, to watch the entire Season 2 of Downton Abbey in one day—interspersed with naps, of course. But after you lose several days to doing nothing, you want to catch up.

However, the truth is after you’ve been really sick, then comes the time when you’re just tired. And, if you’re smart, you’ll listen to your body and rest when you body say, “Rest!”

Talk about dull and unproductive! And when you are productive, it’s because you only have the energy to do the dull things you must do.

Well, two weeks after my flu/cold, I finally regained some energy. Who knows if I am pushing it too hard or if I really am that much better? I’ve hardly coughed at all since Monday and that is a big improvement. Plus, maybe losing five pounds from not wanting to eat turned out to be helpful after all. (Don’t worry, I have plenty to spare . . .)

Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t have my Tuesday noon Pilates class—it’s been cancelled permanently due to low numbers. As much as I know I need the class or something similar to keep my lower back behaving, I didn’t miss it yesterday. I might not have been doing planks, but I was going up and down the stairs, putting away things that have been homeless for too long. I also undid the dogs’ winter-weather handiwork by mopping the floor. Finally I got around to putting the new rugs on the bedroom floor—but not until I cleaned the floor first. It’s rare when I find the energy to do domestic tasks so I pushed myself as hard as I could—I’ll leave out the rest of what I did. No, not exciting to do but exciting to have done!

Then today I woke up really craving some ZUMBA dancing, even though I’d be going to yoga later. If I’d known we’d be doing vinyasa yoga, maybe I would have waited, but probably not. I just wanted to move once I saw the beginnings of this glorious day. And then after working out inside, how could I resist the Colorado blue skies and warm temperatures that returned today? Yes, I went for my first run since the day before I came down with the flu. Was it easy? No, but it was just the sort of day that not only makes me want to run, but also has the kindest weather conditions for my conditioning.

So after all that, do I still have energy? Yes and no. Truth is sometimes dealing with frustration kills my energy more than movement. Let’s just say that online job application I worked on made me want to scream—the system really didn’t want to send me my password again and it really doesn’t want to make it easy to input a résumé (yeah, sure all the formatting disappears but will the system allow you just to send your nicely-formatted résumé? Not a chance!)

Boy, have I missed my energy, whether I wanted to use it for fun activities or just to get me through necessary—or even frustrating—activities. I bet I sleep well tonight—which will build more energy, right? Welcome back, Energy! See you tomorrow . . . when you and I work together, the sky is wide open.

(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

If there are no do-overs, then we’ll just have to choose a new date to celebrate the new year in our house. This holiday season seems to have been one of many viruses for many people I know. Our family made it through Christmas well, for which we are truly grateful; however, we can’t say the same about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Sherman started out feeling not-so-hot on New Year’s Eve and Jackson and I followed a day later. Christiana was out of town until the 2nd but she didn’t really stand a chance coming back to our house of germs—she followed with the illness a couple days later.

Been since never that Sherman missed so much work and a long time since I was so completely knocked out with an illness. To say our new year has been quiet is an understatement—unless you want to say we rang in the year with coughing.

Library books, movies, and a lot of sleeping—these are not the tools of resolutions but of resting enough to get to those resolutions.

Yes, the champagne is still in the refrigerator—we’ll get to it though. We still believe in the promise of 2013, even if we pretty much missed out on 2013’s first week. I resolve to begin celebrating just as soon as I don’t think a daily nap or two is a requirement.

Here’s to a happy and healthy new year—soon! Cheers!

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(c) 2009, Christiana Lambert