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January 4, 2016: Off Center

Administrativa is my own word for the minutia that one must tend to in order to maintain some semblance of forward motion. I abhor it because my thinking is that life is too short to deal. And, mine is getting even shorter – I now have a sense of my own mortality. The number of years left to live exceeds the number of years already lived.

A teacher of mine, Donald Murray, for many years he had a column in the Boston Globe entitled “Over Sixty.” And he had an Over Sixty bumper sticker. I often read what he wrote, and like others, I charted his descent into old age. First his wife, Minnie Mae, died, and then he died. It really wasn’t all that many years. Such observations get one to thinking hard about things like administrativa, and just how meaningless it is. I say if you are going to do something, do something great, dang it. Life is just too short otherwise.

But today, after reading some last night about procrastination, I decided to bite the bullet and take care of some pressing but seemingly inconsequential things. I emailed friends about my future lesson plans, contacted the Anatomy and Physiology professor about taking A and P II, tried to find out if the Lemay kids

need a writing coach, got a hold of Michelle and passed on information about tomorrow’s Feldenkrais class, and attempted to find out if there is an Alexander technique class in our area. At this point in time, nothing on any of the above fronts has been resolved. Very unsatisfying. But I gave myself a pat on the back for going straight down my list and boom, boom, boom, attempting to deal.

Doing this early in the morning, actually mid-morning in these parts, was a bad thing to do because this threw me off center. It was like being at the edge of a centrifuge – into the air I went, arms and legs flailing. I attempted to maintain my mental equilibrium by doing some awareness work/stretching. This affirmed what I knew to be true – that I really was off kilter. I was able to coordinate my moves and breathing, though somewhat limitedly. A victory of sorts.

Pete headed out as I was finishing up; I soon joined him. He’d saddled up Tinni. We’d planned on going for a ride/walk with me walking Hrimmi and the dogs and Pete riding Tinni and ponying Raudi. Everything was just fine for about five minutes. I found myself struggling to hang onto the dogs and horse. My struggles were compounded by the fact that I had loose gloves and three lead lines and a crop. Treats for all animals were also in the wrong pockets. Something had to give and that something was Rainbow’s leash. She who did not feel comfortable being in the vicinity of Hrimmi ran to large metal gate, leaped toward it, hit it hard, then stumbled out the smaller metal gate. I grabbed her. Seconds later, she got away again. “Grab her,” Pete said. I did exactly as he told me to do. I dropped Ryder and Hrimmi’s lines and followed the old dog down-road. I grabbed her leash when she stopped to sniff a snowbank. Dog and I then returned to where all the animals and Pete were waiting. Thank dog for small favors - Ryder had sat down when I took off and all the while did not move.

It was a reasonably good hike. A bicyclist came up on us as we were heading for home. As was the new plan, I got a hold of Ryder and the bicyclist continued on. It is a lot easier to work with her when the cyclists stop – this is at least what I told Pete.

The whole way, Hrimmi was nibbly – it was hard getting her to stand. I again dropped the lead at the upper trailhead. Rainbow and Ryder both took off, but Ryder immediately came back to me.

I figured that Rainbow would head for home because this is what she always does. She instead decided to go on a jaunt of her own making. Just like the old days, I thought. Rainbow used to do this when she was younger. Then she had no excuse. Now she’s older and she does have an excuse. Pete took off and got Rainbow who he later said was up at a neighbor’s place. In the meantime, I did some agility with Raudi, who was very cooperative.

Pete returned some time later. I apologized for being so impatient. And that was what it was pure and unmitigated impatience. Rainbow knew what she wanted, which was to get away from me and Hrimmi.

Okay. So we then came up with a new plan. We are going to continue to walk Hrimmi when we go on outings. I’m also going to continue to run with her. And we’ll continue to take the other horses out with her. As for the dogs, they will get their own separate outings.

I have been reading Frank Portnoy’s book Wait, which is about the importance of delay – that is taking the time to think things out, subconsciously and consciously, before taking action. I could easily have “delayed” and put off the administrativa until later in the day. I instead took it on early. That just threw a wrench into the wrong toolbox. Next time, not perhaps but for sure. Mornings right now, while it’s dark, need to be spent doing the body awareness work and getting the horses out.

I want to be a more patient and contemplative person. Writing about today and acknowledging that I was very impatient is for sure a step in the right direction.

5. 1/5/16: Feldenkrais Lesson #4 and Introduction to Internal Martial Arts

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