My cat, Percy, loves to sleep. No, not just sleep–pretzel sleep. He is his most relaxed and deeply asleep when his front half is twisted to the left and his back half is flat-out prone or even twisted fully to the right. He is the picture of calm and relaxation. I envy him!
I used to love doing The Twist when I was younger, able to swing my hips right or left in time to the music. People still do it at wedding receptions and the like. Oh, yes, those were the ‘good old days’.
More recently, I have done Praise Moves (the Christian alternative to YOGA). One of my favorite positions is the one where you lay on the floor and twist your bent legs to the right and then the left and hold the position for a few seconds. After I left that class, I joined the YMCA’s warm water exercise class, taught by the same teacher as Praise Moves. And again, we did a similar twisted position in the warm water. That was very nice.
However, I must be the only person who can severely hurt her back — by doing nothing! That is why I have not posted anything for several weeks now; I could not even sit at my computer. It all started during MLK weekend. After about 4 weeks of crippling pain that even Prednisone did not alleviate, I had an MRI which disclosed that I have a cyst on my lower spine. I could not get an appointment with the recommended neurosurgeon until March 9. The major pain has finally subsided but has left my lower back weak and easily strained by walking or bending over too much. Have you ever counted the number of times you have to bend over in a day to pick something up? Or pet the cat? I am even contemplating raising Percy’s litter box up about a foot and a half to make it easier for me to sift it! I guarantee you, he will not be pleased.
We all have times when our normally active lives are disrupted by some kind of health issue and we find ourselves spending a lot of time just sitting or laying around, longing to get our lives back. You know, those days when we complain about not having time to ourselves? Always on the go, running kids to their activities, shopping, laundry, working, cooking, even some activites for ourselves? I have loved volunteering in the church’s cafe twice a week and at the food bank once a month. I also belong to a Christian Writers’ group and an adult coloring group at the local library. I have had to miss all of those things for a over a month now and who knows how much longer this will go on? But the worst part was not being able to help my daughter on some days with the grandkids. That really made me feel guilty. I know it is unreasonable to feel that way, but I like to be useful.
In my book Homeseekers, a faithful old cat warned the other homeless cats he was leading. He said, “There is no other breath but the one you are in.” He knew that each breath we take is a gift, whether we are being ‘useful’ or just laying around. Other breaths or even tomorrows are not promised to us. And I have to realize that there is some usefulness to lying around…I have the time to reflect, to read, to color pictures and do other non-taxing crafts, etc. Now that I can sit at the computer again, I can write.
Isaiah 40:29-31 says: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
So I keep that verse in my heart, knowing that if tomorrow is not to come, I will be cured in Heaven. If my days continue on and the neurosurgeon uses his God-given talents, I will be back to my old self, eventually. Back to my life. Maybe even ‘pretzel sleeping’ beside my cat who is oblivious of everything but the breath he is in.