11 November 2015

Running For My Life

Hello! Welcome to a clean page in the diary and a new chapter in my life. As always, I have a lot I want to accomplish and, as usual, it will be a modern miracle if any of it gets done. This is the endlessly frustrating truth of my life. I don't think of myself as a particularly ambitious person, but I make a lot of plans. And these plans are often derailed by the actual work of each day--less glamorous work, less creative work, the nitty-gritty of child-rearing and house-running--all of which butts up against The Big Picture.

The Big Picture is where I really want to live. The Big Picture flickers away on the horizon in idyllic IMAX, full of rolling fields and distant mountains, log houses and land, children gathered around the fireplace before they go out in the snow, me busy writing because it's vacation and I don't have to be in my bookstore or on location (in The Big Picture I've returned to making Movies).

You can see how this might be distracting. In reality, my house is a tangle of daily mess and unfinished projects, my children keep playing crisis hot potato, my finances are freaking me out, and every so often I have to beat back a leaden wave of grief. For a time,The Big Picture was a refuge, an idea to get me out of bed, a future without anxiety. But lately it's more akin to a paralyzing siren, summoning me to death by inertia.

So I'm running for my life.

In an attempt to control one very small part of my existence, I began an experiment. I wanted to see if I could put my  addict behavior to good use and get compulsive about fitness. I'd like to say I was motivated by my mother's battle with pulmonary fibrosis, or the fact that recent bloodwork revealed alarming levels of Boston Creme coursing through my veins, but the truth is more cinematic.

I want to become an action hero. Like these guys:

My sister Erin came to visit and we fell down a Strike Back wormhole. It started innocently enough, with me watching Blindspot and falling in love with the main character based on one scene. (It was a Really Important Moment, when the mysterious tattooed girl touches his face and he pulls away to recover because she obviously reminds him of his Tortured Past and that's why he's so closed off to Love and can only be saved by The Right Woman. I immediately volunteered to be That Woman.) I made the Captain pause the DVR so I could scream about WHAT A PERFECT SCENE it was and then I searched for everything related to Sullivan Stapleton, star of Blindspot, and my new TV boyfriend.

I'm a drug addict, folks. This is how I roll.

The Captain thought I was nuts, but Erin totally understood when I made her watch the show and that particular scene two more times. When I told her Sullivan Stapleton and that cute guy from The Player were in Strike Back together, she sat right next to me and settled in for thirty shows in twelve days. This was no small feat. It took dedication and a willingness to immerse ourselves so completely that at the end we could communicate using only hand signals and simple phrases like, "Going left," and "Move! Move! Move!" When the last episode aired I wanted to be able to run farther, drive faster, and have super-muscled arms like Philip Winchester.

Running farther seemed most achievable.

Currently, I run seven miles every day. It's on an elliptical which, ironically, means I don't really go anywhere. And I'm certainly no closer to the Big Picture, but I've got snapshots of what I want to achieve this year, for me and the boys. Spinning in place doesn't have to mean I'm stuck.

As they say in Strike Back, "Going up!"