A BIT MORE than a week into my post-cataract-surgery recovery period, I am back to more or less normal—except for the dirty hair (showers are verboten), eye drops four times a day (I keep track with a chart), and sunglasses on the street even on gray days (call me Anna Wintour). And the biggest except: no dance or Pilates classes.
During my copious spare time, I have calculated that in an average week I spend 10-plus hours a week getting to and from classes as well as taking them. They give me structure and endorphins. Without them, I am restless.
I am trying to have a good attitude and accomplish other things. I have done a lot of ironing, for example, and I’ve made lots of soup. I’ve raced through a rather trashy British ladies’ novel—like a box of chocolates between covers—that I had begun as a reward for this period of deprivation. I’ve practiced the piano. I’ve sketched Greek and Roman sculpture at the Met. I’ve started a giveaway bag; I’m finally getting rid of the long gauze skirt I never wore and the nice knee-high boots, ditto.
But my body, and even more, my brain, yearn for that blissful state of exhaustion and well-being that arrives after exercise.
So I’m walking. It’s odd: Although I never have to persuade myself to go to class, I have to struggle to get myself to hit the road. I’ve never liked repetitive, meditative exercise of the jogging/walking/swimming variety. I like systems and art forms with a spiritual-cum-scientific-cum-aesthetic component. Still, I am trying to appreciate it. It helps if I have a goal (the downside is that the goal may involve a purchase). It also helps to have a soundtrack (thank you, pink neon iPod Nano; thank you, Vivaldi and the Dixie Chicks), and a bunch of new routes so I don’t get bored.
If you are a friend and you are reading this, watch out: I may try to rope you in as a walking buddy.