This is such a lovely sight to be met by when I walk out of the bedroom in the morning when it’s still dark:
I really don’t want to take it down, but we’re well into 2020 now with Christmas well and truly behind us. There’s just something so warm and cosy about Christmas lights and seeing our lovely tree first thing in the morning when it’s still dark and it lends a warm glow to the house fills me with peace. I get all jingle-bellsy, snowy, starry, sledgeridey, candlelighty and cinnamony inside walking into the living room when the tree is there. Well, we’re past the darkest time of the year so I guess it’s time to make room for longer, lighter days again.
It’s study on the schedule for Anna today. Exam on Tuesday. And today is run day. My last few runs have been really hard work – sometimes I feel strong and like I could go on and on, other times it’s a hard slog and everything feels out of synch. It’s been the “other times” sort of runs lately. For a while there was a real difference depending on what time of day I’d head out – I really want to be the first-thing-in-the-morning runner, but that seems to be when my energy stores are at their lowest ebb. Mornings are my favourite time of day, I’ve always been an early riser and love the quiet just before the world comes to life. It’s a lovely time of day to run for that reason too when it’s just me and newspaper deliveries along the high street, but it’s rarely worked for me. I seem to have much more strength in the evenings, quite late too – my best, longest and fastest runs tend to be the ones I head out on around 7pm.
As for today, I guess I’ll go whenever I get that urge and my legs feel just like Ida sang about in her summer song: full of running. I don’t think there are many Swedes reading this blog so you may not know who Ida is. She is the rascal Emil’s little sister, in the story by Astrid Lindgren, the Swedish children’s book author who also gave us Pippi Longstocking. Ida sings about how she’s bringing about summer – she makes the flowers bloom, she makes the fields green, the children are filled with summer and their legs are filled with a jittery energy and wanting to run. Perhaps quite fitting that this popped into my head just as I’m making my peace with getting rid of the Christmas tree – time now to look forward to lighter days eventually morphing into summer. Hoping my legs will be full of the urge to run today.
I guess in a way, all of the above – whether it’s feeling all sledgeridey or with legs wanting to run – points to feeling everything fully. Yep. That’s sobriety for you. I was normally a pretty happy bunny even back when I drank (although you could argue I was just very skilled at pushing all negative emotions back and down), but I suppose the main difference is I can just stay in those moments now – act on them and participate, as opposed to just noting a happy little feeling as I gazed out through the bars of the cage of my addiction. I’d often dream of running but of course as I sank deeper and deeper into a sea of Sauvignon Blanc, this was one of the first things I lost in the wreckage. I mean, imagine being able to head out for an hour-long run in the park the day after guzzling three bottles of wine and smoking two packets of cigarettes – not gonna happen, is it? So running, something I adore and a hugely important aspect of my happiness, was something of a distant dream back then. Bleurgh – I sure don’t miss those days.
I’m not going anywhere with this but even when I sit here and like now, just let whatever is floating around in my head spill out over the keyboard, it all just shows me over and over again how my life is what it is now for one reason only: I’m sober. I love it. I love being free. Need to collect a parcel later – and I can! I will! I’ll just head out and walk there, it’s just around the corner. So simple, no? Yet this would be precisely the sort of thing that would present an absolute ordeal when I was drinking. In fact, I’d struggle to, at least until I’d begun drinking again because I’d be too weak and shaky to trust my legs to carry me there and back and too worried that I’d collapse in the street. Yuk! What a sorry existence that was. It honestly makes me shudder.
And instead I sit here now with legs that often feel full of a jittery urge to run, just like Ida sang in the song that encapsulates my childhood summers.
Thank God for today. I’m so grateful I get to have this life.
Today I’m not going to drink.