Wednesday, January 7, 2014
Today I am grateful for a comfortable chair. As I get to a more “seasoned” time in my life, I find that I am more and more conscious of being comfortable when I want and need to rest. But there is a danger in all of that comfort. A big danger and I am aware of it every day of my life.
Sitting and resting, especially since the double knee replacement I had a few years ago, has become a necessary part of my day. Sometimes I don’t have to be all that comfortable. I just need to take a load off for a few minutes, or even seconds and then I can plunge ahead again.
When my sister and I walked our hoofies off in New York, we found that a couple of minutes on a bench helped our feet, knees, backs and attitudes a great deal. There is something special about being carefree enough to take the time to just sit and look. At anything. At nothing. At everything.
When my husband and I were in Philadelphia for the New Year’s Day Mummer’s Parade we walked miles and miles. A hundred. At least. Honest. And we stood watching and observing for literally 6 hours. My back was ready to crumble and my legs felt like Greek columns heading for ruin. But we still had to wend our way blocks and blocks to a subway to catch a train to get to our car to get home. Yikes! A few blocks into the trek, as the frozen blood started to course into our veins I said, “I can’t keep going right now. I have to sit a few minutes.” So I did. On a concrete step. It felt fantastic and I don’t even care what brands of beer I might have been sitting in! Less than two minutes later, I was ready to move on and didn’t need to sit again until we boarded the train. That seat felt really good.
My long-winded point is that while I love sitting in a comfortable chair, I don’t want that same chair to be the boss of me. I want to be the boss of it. . .and me! From my favorite chair at home I can watch TV, listen to music, watch the birds, read and write. I can hold court like the queen from my chair.
Those things are all fantastic, but there is so very much out in the world I still want to see, experience, taste and enjoy away from my comfortable chair. Would I even care about TV if it was all I did? No way. Isn’t music better listened to with someone? I think so. What point would there be to watching birds if I never filled the bird feeder? None. I’m about to dive into another Ken Follett novel and my favorite chair, along with my faux chiminea/candle/fireplace and the cold, windy temperatures outside make it the perfect spot. For a while. Not for every minute of every day, or even every day at all. Just for some precious, well-earned times.
I know people who are twenty years older than me. . .and I’m old. . .who are active and vibrant and a blast to be around because of it. I’m sure there are also people out there much younger than me who decided years ago, maybe even before they actually retired, that every spare minute would be spent from their comfortable perch, remote in hand. Why, I wonder? What makes us all so different? Motivation? Lack of encouragement? Fear? Pig-headed-stubbornness? I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for you. I barely have one for me some days.
Since I’ve been foisting my comments out there into the world each day for over a year now, I frequently get asked, “Where do you come up with your ideas?” I’ll tell you. It’s not very complicated. I get up out of my chair. Read that sentence again. I – get – up – out – of – my – chair! Even if my knees hurt, or my back aches, or I’m sad, or I’m tired, or a little puny from a cold or flu, or if I’m blue because of the world situation, or just plain lazy and don’t want too, I get up. . .and often out! Is it easy? Hell no! Sometimes I have to force myself and “we”, myself and I, have terrible arguments. But ultimately I win and leave the comfortable chair and I thank God I can. Many people can’t. Not anymore. That day might come for me, too, but I’m not going to it permanently without a kicking and screaming fight.
If I didn’t get up and out I would have nothing to write about. I’d be boring. No one would want to hear a word I said because most of life happens out there! I am grateful to sit and rest in a comfortable chair. . .sometimes. . .but if I want to be an alive, worthwhile and interesting person. . .for myself. . . as much as for anyone else. . .I need to get out of it. I need to embrace the world! I can’t let that chair, seductive as it is, be the boss of me. What about you?