Today’s Wellness Brought To You By The Number Eight

I go on and on about how wellness is work. It doesn’t just happen. We have to work at it. And we’re never done. We never arrive at wellness. We practice it, or more to the point, we practice its maintenance. This morning’s work was not a run. The work was getting myself out the door for the run. I wanted the wellness and the fitness but I did not want to do the work. I wanted to sit here:

Drink my coffee, stay in my sleeping dress, eat some more breakfast, write in my journal, linger and loll about until it was time to get ready for work. That’s what I wanted to do. Not run. Even though I love running. I wanted to blog about my frags and be grateful for the solace of a slow morning.

Trust me, it would have been brilliant. I have really hit a creative groove with the frags lately and I’ve been so looking forward to this week’s fragging.

But it was not time to frag blog. It was time to run. Ass up. Running duds donned. Lights lit. Out the door. My dog waits until I get to the top of the hill to pretend he doesn’t understand the bouncing lights and begin barking and howling. But at the top of the hill I soon leave his sight, whereupon he flops down at the gate and moans until I return.

So you know those disposable plastic cigarette lighters that resemble rolled-up money? You’ve seen them. Here, they look like this:

not money

Before I finished my first mile I saw one resting on a manhole cover in the middle of the street, under a streetlight. And it totally fooled me. I don’t wear my glasses when I run. As I approached the fake money roll I got super-excited and super-glad I got my ass out of that chair and out the door for a run. Look, the Universe rewarded me! Of course, until I realized this was not money and then I felt like a schmuck. So I kicked it.

Because the lesson was obvious. Shouldn’t I be super-excited and super-glad to be running anyway? Isn’t running its own reward? It wasn’t so long ago I was too injured to run a single step. Yeah. Well played, Universe, well played.

So I ran along and found a penny. Hilarious, right?

At the end of the street I found a nine inch nail. For real, a massive nail spike. I decided to move it off the road for the benefit of drivers (including me) in the neighborhood but I declined to carry it. I figure if we don’t run with scissors we probably shouldn’t run with miniature harpoons either and I have a well-documented history of falls.

The next item found was a cheap plastic ballpoint pen. Black and white. Near the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant which specializes in deep-fried birds. I did pick up the pen but I didn’t keep it. There was a dumpster nearby looking mighty hungry. I thought he/she might be getting tired of a steady diet of bird bones so I fed the pen to the dumpster. It was also to make up for the fact that I left the stupid money lighter in the gutter instead of disposing of it properly. It’s all about making the next better choice, right?

Around the corner, lying submerged in a puddle of sprinkler water and coated with soggy grass clippings, dirty and damaged, I found the number eight. I couldn’t tell at the time that it was a giant magnet. By giant I mean bigger than my shoe, which is no small number. I’d estimate the taillight on my car is 12 inches tall. This is the eight on the rear fender of my car. ↓ I didn’t pick it up at first though. I didn’t want to fish it out of the puddle and carry it home all wet and dirty (still rather princess-y despite my new bisexual bob) so I ran on.

The Universe was not having it. At the typical halfway point of my route I encountered a large unknown, unleashed, unattended dog nosing around a reconstruction site. I quickly threw on my brakes and turned around to recover my unchased, unbitten position before I was noticed (I hoped). Knowing I will not approach a stranger-dog in the dark, the Universe must have put it there to make me turn around and go back the way I came. It was a clear message to go back and get that eight out of the puddle. So I backtracked a block, detoured a couple of streets over, and went back to the corner where the eight still lay in baptism.

Reaching in with two prissy fingers I was delighted to find the big curvy number was not wet paper or some kind of flimsy plastic. It was a big thick magnet. The kind that can survive a dowsing/drowning. It had obviously been run-over a few times, as evidenced by the pointy rock punctures, but it was otherwise intact. So I carried it home and cleaned it up and then tried it out on several metal surfaces. It looks great. It looks gr-eight. I didn’t want to lose it by keeping it on my car though, so it is now clinging to my refrigerator door at home, safe and sound.

Here’s the penny on my faded bumper. The bumper was black at one time but my car is nearly ten years old and the sun is harsh in Mercyberg. You can see a slice of its faded greyness in the eight portrait above as well. But the penny looked so dandy upon it I was glad the bumper wasn’t its former flat black. It is fifty shades of paid. Paid-off is beautiful, y’all.

Why would anyone want a magnetized eight? Because it’s a sign from the Universe. Get it? Literally a sign. It’s a motivator. A motiv-eight-or. I’ve decided to run tomorrow morning as well. If the money lighter is still there I will pick it up and process it appropriately. If not, who knows what else I will find? Or not find. The adventure will be its own reward and the wellness work won’t feel like work.

— Mercy

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