Friday, August 12, 2011

What to do?

I wish I had all the answers. When someone calls and asks my advice, I listen and most often I try to give some perspective that they may have overlooked. But it is getting harder and harder.

In both my professional and personal life I find myself surrounded with problems of others. Inevitably these problems make their way into my life. Houses aren't selling, I am paying for the advertising anyway. I listen to my clients frustration with the market and feel equally if not more frustrated as they do. Buyers I've worked with keep waiting for the "perfect" house. Perfect equates to close to town on the flat with a view and a garden but without garden work, no work in the house either, but please can I have that for the price of a 1 bedroom condo?! Frustrated...

Personally, there are people who are going through life threatening illness, deaths, losing jobs and houses, shaky marriages, children at risk and personal doubts. The other night I was exhausted, truly exhausted and honestly a little depressed. I looked at Glenn and said, no wonder I am so depressed look at all the sadness and stress that is surrounding me these days. I almost feel as though I am some sort of stress magnate.

When I feel like this the natural inclination is to hole up and just be depressed. But that is exactly the wrong thing to do. When you are overwhelmed with life the best thing to do is to claim your own.

You know how when you are in an airplane and the stewardess/steward tells the passengers, if you have a child, put the oxygen mask on you first and then the child? You cannot help others if you put yourself at risk. You can't help someone out of depression when you are depressed. You cannot give hope when you feel hopeless.

So yesterday, according to my "training schedule", even though every ounce of my being said stay in bed, I got up and laced up the shoes. I got myself in the car by 8. I planned on going for a walk over the bridge to SF and back. I parked down at my old office and go out of the car. I looked at my phone and saw I had forgotten to charge it overnight, there was a light drizzle. I got back in the car.

Once again the first thought was, well I can go into work today and sit at the computer and charge my phone and skip this training. But I fought that. I started driving while charging the phone, driving north where the weather would be better. I didn't know where I was going, just that I had to try to find a place where I could get moving.

I stopped twice once for coffee and once for gas. I started driving to the Russian River, but changed my mind. I finally found myself in Healdsburg, but I still didn't have a direction I knew I wanted to go. Even when I got out of the car I didn't know which way to turn, so I turned a direction I had never walked and just started walking. My legs felt like lead and my mind was quite cloudy. But I kept walking north. As I was passing Seghesio on Grove Street, I decided to head for Gesyerville. I really didn't know just how far it was, but I assumed it would result in the kind of walk that I had penciled in earlier in the week. I started walking at 11 am. I figured to be done around 5.

After finding a direction you would think this story should now focus on how good it was to know where I was going. I should be having a spring in my step and a new burst of energy. Well, it really wasn't that way at all. I was still tired and felt as though I was forcing myself to go the next mile to see how I felt. I told myself along the way I could always call a cab with my "charged" phone.

I have an "ap" on my Iphone that allows you to track your walk. You can see where you are on a map and that was both discouraging and encouraging. It looked like a long way to Gesyerville. But it did give me way points that I could use as targets. "When I get to Lytton Springs if I can't walk anymore I can call a cab". When I would reach that spot I would look at the next point and ask, "can I make that?"

The weather was definitely warmer as I drank my water and ate my sharkies. 83 degrees felt like 120 to me. When I finally made it to Gesyerville 8 miles later, I was ready for air conditioning and a lunch. I walked up to Catelli's an old time restaurant that has been in the town forever, passing some wine tasting rooms and another restaurant. I decided I needed to try something I haven't tried before and went into Diavola Pizzeria.

This place was so much more than a Pizza place, although I am sure the Pizzas are fantastic. I had one of the best salads I ever had. It was an oil poached albacore salad with warm peppers, beans, pine nuts, lemon rind and so many "layers of flavor" I was truly delighted. That with the air conditioning and ice water felt like suitable reward for the journey and a good mid way stop.

I headed back on the road for the return trip refreshed and with some new found energy. The pavement as the day goes on radiates heat so what I do believe whatever the real temperature, the temperature,on a road it is much hotter. But I kept on walking. Along the way Myriam and I had traded a couple of text messages.

A man stopped his truck and called out to me. He was a BIG guy with a long moustache and a cigarette hanging out of his hand. "Hey you, I saw you walk by my house, do you want a ride?" Perhaps he really wanted to help. Perhaps he wanted to cut off my head, I don't know but I honestly yelled back "Thanks anyway, I am training for the 3 day." I thought to myself though, what would happen if I dropped down dead on this road. Would someone stop and then figure out who I was, call Glenn. Or would I have the chance to call him on my phone and ask that he come and get me before it was too late. It was an odd thought.

About 15 minutes later, Myriam texted that a friend of hers had just died while going on a training run and she said she felt nauseous. She wanted to stop feeling that way because it had her somewhat frozen in place. I thought back to my morning and how hard it was to get going and suggested she should so out to the beach and breath some air. I reminded her that she needs to take care of herself and her family in order to be able to deal with the sadness of this man's death. You have to keep going even when everything in you tells you to stop.

I passed those way spots I had seen before. I even took pictures on the walking "ap" hoping to easily post them here (I found out later the "ap" only posts to facebook). I made my way to Toad Hollow hoping to see Jim and tell him about our influence over the people walking in DC, and order some wine to be shipped back east for the walk and our cruise on the Chesapeake. He wasn't there, celebrating I am sure the birth of his first grandchild. So I bought my wine anyway and headed back to the car. It was 4:30 when I headed out of Healdsburg.

Since I don't have pictures of my own I will grab a couple from the "net" and post them so you can see about where I went. End of the day, a day when I wanted to turn into a pillow on a sofa, I walked 18 miles. I am proud of being able to push through the resistance I felt in the morning to get this done. It hasn't totally taken all the worries away, but it had helped show me I can and will move through them. God I love walking... there is such healing by just taking a step.