Sunday, December 21, 2014

Just breathing

Among the most difficult of all of life’s tasks, is to be in a relationship and yet to feel all alone.

After three decades together, my wife and I separated a couple of months ago, having fallen into that lonely place.

Battling through all the turmoil of emotions, lifestyle changes and financial considerations I have been managing day to day living okay. 

Staying in the day…that is the hard part.  I am not a person who likes to sit around.  I prefer to move around.  I work through most of my most pressing issues by going for a long run.  I am thoughtful, but I do not like to obsess.  I like to think up all the sides of a problem, decide on the best course of action…and then act…move on in essence.

As I am finding out, this long stretch of holiday season and merriment poses a barrier for anyone trying to work past such difficulties.

Add to that, my birthday was a few days ago. 

I thought (thoughtfully) that maybe dinner and a movie would move me on in the right direction. 

But, with that prospect not on the horizon, I spent yesterday realizing that only time will move me on in the right direction and no matter how fast I run I cannot outrun the present and into the future.

It took me all day, all night and until this morning to understand that.

I started off, of course, by moving.  This time in my car.  Driving aimlessly, as if sitting in front of a TV, but yet on the road.

At the end of my drive, I ended up in a dangerous place…a casino.  I played poker for about an hour.  Luckily for me, numbers unfold pretty rapidly in my head.  So even though I was still mostly aimless, I backed away from the table down only ten dollars when I accepted that this is a losing proposition all around. 

Clearer in my head, but without any real clarity, I drove home.  And at midnight, feeling too tired to think of waking early for my long Sunday morning run I was somehow compelled to search online for something quieter.

I came across yoga.  I had never once before stepped inside a yoga studio in my whole life.  The website I looked at mentioned slowing down our bodies to find a better place.  Thinking that maybe an opposite notion would be worth a try, I set my alarm to make it to the 8am session. 

I will say this gently….when I run…I make every noise known to man as I try to grunt and push my way through from pain to gain.

Yoga is not conducive to that method by a long stretch…or lunge…as I have come to know. 

For an hour and a half I followed along with an instructor and class and didn’t hear myself even breathe.  But I could feel my breath in all parts of my body.

I had slowed down enough for that to happen.  Slowed down to feel better, rather than ran to feel better.

Certainly, I will still run…but I will go back for more yoga as well.  Perhaps improving my balance.

And though I may still want to leap frog into another year and another place overnight, wiping the slate of loneliness clean, I have another tool to use…slow down today and look forward to tomorrow.

© 2014 Christopher’s Views


  1. Never an easy time -- been there, done that, but I am holding good thoughts for you, Christopher, and hope the new year will be a great one you.

  2. You'll be OK. Have a good Christmas.

  3. The words of a man becoming himself in the highest. You will get there. . . Proud to run [and not run] along side you for a while

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Christmas Flute [me playing]

  4. Oh, I'm sorry. Been there, of course, and it is an exquisitely painful process. I'm sorry.

  5. The holidays can be a lonely time! I'm so sorry to hear about your break-up and am glad to hear that yoga is helping you find balance within...

  6. Going through those 'firsts'-birthday, Christmas,-is not easy for sure. However, you are looking to do new things like yoga, which shows you are not staying stuck but moving on. That is a good thing!

  7. I'm so sorry that you're going through this difficult time. This time of year has a way of making that worse and by now, that, at least, is behind you. You're so right about time getting you through it. You're also right about finding that what you do with that time is equally, of not even more important. It sounds like you're on the right track. And reaching out, as you've done here, is also helpful. You will be okay. Believe it.

  8. This is a big piece of writing, here--lots of layers of emotion and learning in it. Your opening sentiment, that it's quite a pickle to be with someone yet still feel very alone, is the nub of everything. But to then let us readers into your days and how you're getting through them, well, that's difficult to do, but I hope ultimately helpful to your finding a new kind of ease. You are so right: when we are in deep pain, the only thing to do it get through the days, and eventually it will get better. But getting there is agony.

    I run. I do yoga. Both are essential to my mental health. I feel you, friend. And I hope 2015 brings you new joys.