Sunday, April 2, 2023

I was going to plant lettuce yesterday

but it was too windy. It was too windy for a lot of things. Instead, I went to the grocery store. I was thinking about storms breaking out across the country and school shootings and a person who shall not be named getting indicted and who knows how that will end up, whatever kind of carnage this might unleash. 

I was standing in line to pick up a prescription at the grocery store pharmacy, and the line wasn't moving. I did one of the calming-breathing exercises my therapist taught me. The calming-breathing exercise was not really doing it for me. The line was not budging. The song "Under My Umbrella" by Rihanna came on and I found myself swaying to the music. 

When she says, You can stand under my umbrella ella ella, ay ay ay, I starting singing the song under my breath, laughing a little too, because it just seemed odd to me that this song was playing as the grocery store background music. I remember when this song came out, and my son, who was in middle school, used to sing the AY AY AY part at the top of his lungs. 

That was sixteen years ago. Now, I am feeling old and one of my loved ones is having surgery this week, and the truth is there is no space left in my head for storms or school shootings or indictments. 

Time for more calming-breathing exercises. Or maybe time to try something else? Last week when I told my therapist I was a little anxious, she said I might try "leaning into the anxiety" instead of struggling to squelch it. Take a brisk walk, she suggested. Or dance to loud music. 

The theory is that if your heart rate's already up, just go with it. I went with it in the line at the grocery store pharmacy. I went with it later when I was standing in line at the garden center, buying my lettuce seeds. When I got home, I braved the weather and took the dog for a walk. 

The wind blasted us, and for a few minutes, we were pelted with hard icy drops of rain. I had my earbuds in, the umbrella song on repeat. The dog and I walked briskly, and then we ran. 

No comments:

Post a Comment