Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.


Lessons in Limitations, or What I Learned From Wet Birks

So, yesterday just at quitting time, the skies in Chicago opened up and poured down rain for the evening. My cursory check of the forecast in the morning had not revealed any chance of rain, so I was unprepared - no umbrella, and my customary Birkenstocks instead of a sensible, closed shoe.

There are few things in life I dislike more, in terms of physical comfort, than walking in wet sandals. I'm klutzy on dry ground with bare feet, let alone wet pavement in soggy flip flops...and I have a long history of skinned knees and bruised shins and scraped hands to prove it. So, as a rule, when it's raining, I like a nice closed shoe that keeps my foot dry and offers a little more stability than a wide-open sandal that doesn't even buckle on.

But yesterday I pretty much had no choice. Walking, in the rain, in wide-open sandals.

I was a little prepared for how slippery the whole affair would become, so I went very, very slowly. In fact, I went so slowly, I found the whole thing sort of meditative. I had time to consider what this experience might have to teach me.
It was frustrating, because moving slowly meant I was getting rained on pretty fiercely, and that's no fun. But, I mused as I plodded sloshily along, better wet clothes and hair than a slip and fall and scrape or bruise or crack or wound.

And, yeah, that's kind of a good metaphor for me right now. I get frustrated with myself and how I work since Nervously Breaking Down last year, but the reality I'm faced with is that the pace of my life before that was toxic for me, and I can't expect to go back to that toxic pace and those toxic habits without expecting that I'll also go back to having panic attacks every day and un-fun bouts of depression. I am frustrated that I still have limited energy for my social life, that work takes so much out of me (and must, what with the whole need for a paycheck and all), that music is next on the list and takes its pound of flesh, that my commitments to re-connecting with my family in the hinterland and to my closest friends here in Chicago is next on the list, and then whatever's leftover is for everything else I care about in my whole freakin' life.

But, the fact is that I have limited time and energy, and running myself ragged or trying to squish a bazillion things into every minute will not somehow give me more time or energy. I can either plod along slowly and carefully, and get where I want eventually, if a little wet...or I can push-push-push and hurry and wind up slipping and falling and hurting.

Not much of a choice, when you really look at it.

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