My memory is like Swiss cheese: solid in some places and nothing but air in others.
Thursday I needed to call the guy who services Paula for me. (She needs new tires. Can you believe she's already four years old?) I just picked up the phone and dialed the number from memory. I call the auto shop two or three times a year, but I remember the number. That's the solid.
The air is so much bigger, though. Yesterday I started the day on the treadmill. After several days of watching TV while I dragged my sorry butt along a path to nowhere, watching the seconds crawl by and feeling like the allotted time would never end, I dreaded more of the same. For some reason, I pulled out my iPod.
How could I have forgotten? How could I lose track of how much I love to pound along to the rhythm of my favorite songs? In my early 40s, I ran every morning, just me and Jimmy Buffet. Same tape every day. Same corner, singing, Yes, I am a pirate, 200 years too late. The canons don't thunder, there's nothing to plunder... Same joy rising as the world twirled by, and I got stronger and thinner. Every morning, I shouted over Jimmy's "I'm an over-40 victim of fate, arriving too late" with defiance -- "I'm no kinda victim of fate, never too late...NEVER TOO LATE."
Yesterday, it was the sound track from the Country Strong movie. I'm country strong, hard to break. Like the ground I grew up on.... and Even on my weakest day, I get a little bit stronger and After all these years of running round, flying high and falling down, well the time has come at last to rest my heart and ease my past.
Singing and pounding down the miles, joy rising with every step, I felt stronger and happier and more alive than I have in many months. How can I let inertia take over when that feeling is possible every day? Why can I remember rarely used phone numbers and forget that I actually like to exercise once I get going? How can I forget that feeling?
Crazy, but I stayed so long I was five minutes late to Paula's appointment. She really needs new tires. We've got so much adventure ahead.