Nick’s blood sugar levels began running high a few days ago, so we adjusted his insulin-to-carb ratio and he’s doing better. He needs to get more exercise (as do I), but ’tis the season for lazy days by the fire. As usual, creating and sustaining a good routine has been challenging. Saying we should go for a long walk every day is one thing; finding time in the busy days is another. What a terrible thing, to live at beach – to have a dog! – and not spend at least a bit of time outside every day. This week, the stormy weather provides an excuse, but even some nice days I get too caught up in bills, in laundry, in whatever, when what I should be doing – for myself, for Nick, for the girls, for the family, for the dog – is hiking across the dunes and letting the ocean awe me, soothe me. I’ve never ventured out and wish I’d stayed home. I always wonder why I don’t walk more often. The kids will fuss about the cold, the wet, whatever, but they always play, run, collect. Everyone always comes home happier.

I’m really feeling the need to move my body lately, like a alcoholic craving a drink (a not altogether foreign feeling either). My body is so hungry for something physical. Between the Eye and KSLG, I spend far too much time sitting. Exercise is in order. The HealthSPORT membership will help – swimming and yoga – thank you, KSLG! – but I need some outdoor time, too. With no car and the swell running 14-20 feet for the next several days, surfing’s out. But MD turned me on to a great trail in Ferndale last week. We carpooled due to my lack of a running vehicle, which meant I arrived at the station over an hour early, so he sent me to Russ Park. I hiked the steep trail to one of the summit view spots. Being in the forest again made me happy, reminded me of when we first moved to Humboldt County nine years ago. Then the woods opened up to a panoramic view of the mountains, all green and misty. What a way to clear one’s head. Nothing like a good dose of nature to provide some perspective.

And I need some perspective. The teenager is switching her education plans to involve a lot less school time, but without as many concrete, constructive alternatives as I would find reassuring. And my car is still in the shop after hundreds of dollars and weeks upon weeks of being car-less. Oh yeah – and it’s the holidays. At least the tree’s taken care of (thanks again, KSLG!), but what I thought was going to be a bonus Xmas, what with the extra income, is once again a source of stress. At least I’m not alone in my Bah Humbugging.

The actual holiday usually turns out well, with a visit from my mom, a warm fire, plenty of good food and toasty drinks, the air full of cinnamon and spice, hours of board games, lots of low-key visiting – it’s a wonderful few days. I know how lucky we are to have them. But wanting to buy more than I can afford, trying to get cards out, making sure everyone’s gifts are equal, having to ship packages off, wishing I could get it together to make some thermal curtains, gingerbread houses, do the full works. The holiday serves to remind me of all the ways in which I fail. Which, with the teenager and the broken car, feels like insult to injury at the moment.

Not to sound too complain-y. The children are snug upstairs; the cat’s stretched out on the beanbag, the husband’s waiting by the fire he built. Our family of friends is looking out for us. I have a mug of cocoa spice tea and an unread book. Life is a fine thing at the moment.