As a young girl, I wandered through the St. Louis Art Museum. The still-life paintings fascinated me. “Still Life, With Wine” by one painter. “Still Life, With Prayer Book” by another. Whose weathered hands had just set the goblet on the table beside the plate with its hunk of cheese and slice of crusty, warm bread?
Who will paint a picture of the random objects on my cedar chest? Who will stand in the museum, centuries from now, wondering about me?
My body ages. I’ve been going to a new physical therapist. She challenges my resolve and pushes my heart rate higher than I can urge it to climb on my own. My gaze has begun to stabilize. Instead of shrugging with mild consternation because she doesn’t know why I get dizzy, she has tackled the most likely culprit, vestibular dysfunction. Doctors had performed a myriad of tests without conclusion and dismissed me to struggle on my own for the last six years. Now I see the potential of improvement.
Inspired by Ms. Emily Watts, DPT, I’ve heightened my daily routine. I haven’t yet gotten back to my old thirty-minutes/day, but I can do two sessions of ten minutes each, first thing in the morning and at evening’s end. I don’t need a gym or a work-out club. Nobody joins me. I pull the blue storage box from its little cubby and wrap a band around the pillar. I grab three-pound weights and grip them as I stretch. At the far back, a wheel waits for the day when my balance allows me to do floor work. I’m getting there. I have far to go, but since I promised my son that I would live to be 103, I have plenty of time.
It’s the ninth day of the sixty-eighth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.