Greens fading into reds,
Yellows and oranges, too.
I feel a process-
A gradual, subtle shift
Spreading through the forest.
I marvel at this in-between time
Where summer daisies
Mingle with fall’s first signs.
A brilliant, aesthetic reminder
That each changing day is sublime.
As I wrote this poem, I realized that sometimes I get so caught up in the day-to-day that I forget to stop and appreciate the beauty around me. There are times when all I see are responsibilities- pay bills, clean house, nag remind kids to do homework, cook dinner, blah, blah, blah.
A hike in the forest has a way of changing my perspective. I see how gracefully nature changes and it occurs to me that I should follow its lead. Maybe the things weighing heavy on my mind don’t have to bring me down. Maybe there is beauty in the mundane that my eyes refuse to see. If I walk long enough, maybe, just maybe, a change in thinking will enlighten me that worries are the root of my blindness.
This is the pep talk I’ve been giving myself over the last week as I struggled with test anxiety. Yeah, at my age, it still happens. (So does acne, but that’s another post.) This week, I’m facing a different kind of test with the same old school-age dread. Mainly because I don’t feel like I’ve changed enough to be prepared.
It’s a test I can’t really study for, and at this late stage, my jog (okay half jog, half hobble) around the block each morning probably isn’t going to help much. I doubt the avocado on my salad will counteract the chocolate frosted long john donut I ate earlier in the day. And my anxiety just might spike my blood pressure.
My “test” is a health screening that my work does every year. Failing will cost me $720 a year in higher health insurance premiums. No pressure here.
Last year, I had the same worries. I went through the same last-minute, last-ditch efforts to be healthy. I was elated and surprised when I passed all areas. I celebrated with a bag of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies from the vending machine, ending my week-long effort to be healthy.
My brain understands healthy should be a year-round goal. The problem is, my taste buds think they know better. They are hedonistic and have no regard for clogged arteries or extra pounds. My will power seems to have sided with my taste buds, leaving my brain in a fog of frustration (or perhaps it’s the crash after the sugar high?)
I’m hoping that by embracing change, like the seasons do, I can convince myself that an apple in its natural form (not sliced, spiced and baked in a flaky, golden pastry crust) is an adequate treat whether I pass the screening test or not.
Seeing an apple as just an apple, not a pie, or a vehicle for eating peanut butter. I can do this…
Change is hard. I should take another walk in the forest. While I’m there, I might see pigs fly. Hey, it could happen.
The poem that starts off this post is a bit non-traditional and may disqualify it, but I’m going to attempt to link it to the weekly Yeah Write challenge, where bloggers submit their own personal essays or blog anecdotes (no fiction.) Click the badge below to read other submissions, or even better- link your own!