Just Do It

My husband noticed it first, because of the way his seat was facing.  As we sat in the Subway downtown, eating our sandwiches for dinner before we went to a film screening, he saw something incongruous.  A cane, leaning against the line of sturdy, red bikeshare bikes.  We both got to wondering, how had it been left there?  Did a person who needs a cane to walk, check out his borrowed bike and forget to pick up his cane as he pedaled off?

I compared the image to myself at that moment.  I have not been feeling well- my month of terrible tree allergies means I am in week three of interrupted sleep, wheezy breath, miserable red eyes, drippy nose, red chapped lips, skin thin and tender.  But instead of calling it a day after work and going home to relax, I am hopping the subway to take in a cultural event downtown.  And I have been going out after work many of these evenings, tossing my wads of soggy tissue into every trash can I pass by.

Because at some point years ago I figured out that I am not happier coddling myself and focusing on how I feel and when is it going to get better.  So I do as much as I can and distract and enjoy myself.

When I was a young mother I had a problem resenting many little things.  As a result, dirty dishes lingered, and other piddling things didn’t get taken care of.  I guess I was waiting for someone else to do it.  I struggled with my feelings of being put-upon, of my husband and I balancing all our myriad responsibilities, and of living with the tension of letting things become issues that shouldn’t.  During this time I came upon a photograph of a para-olympian.  It was a young, blond, Amazon of a woman with smiling face, swinging ponytail, mammoth thighs, and two titanium prostheses, who excelled in running.  Her artificial legs looked like a gazelle’s, slender and curving backwards counter to the curve of a human leg.  In the photo she stands there being interviewed by the track, glowing with power and pleasure.  I tore out that photo and wrote the old Nike motto in black marker on the bottom, “Just Do It.”

I taped that photo on the inside of my clothes closet door so I would see it every day, beginning and end.  It helped me.  It’s a good way to go.


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