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“Escape to the Unknown” Photo copyright Andre Bohrer 2009.

It’s a new year! Well, January is admittedly almost at an end, already! That’s how rough starting over is – even figuratively. I just finished working on a post for the other blog I write for and I started that post in early December! We were on vacation in France at the time and then it was the holidays and traveling, a quick, horrible bout of projectile vomiting, more traveling, recovering from jet lag, taking care of a sick toddler, early to bed, early to rise, and finally, somehow getting back to a kind of normal, even keel.

In no time at all, the reassuringly regular patters of daily life are forgotten and new, totally unstructured and unpredictable activities take their place. These activities may include, but are not limited to: visiting every relative and friend within a 150-mile radius, eating a lot of large meals at highly variable times of day, light tourism, lots of driving and/or other modes of transportation, and very little time/opportunity for exercise.

Circumstances such as these can make it really hard to stuff ourselves back into the old habits and routines. We were gone for a long time, but even a week at the beach can require as much recovery time. Even though I adore seeing friends and family in my adopted homeland, being away just takes its toll after awhile. I missed being able to go to Zumba and see my Zumba friends for the entire three and a half weeks we were gone and couldn’t wait to get my groove back. Still, it wasn’t easy.

Our odyssey home went like this: a 45-minute car ride to the train station, a 2-hour choo-choo ride to the airport, the loooooong transatlantic flight against stubborn headwinds, the dismal abyss that is US Customs, the shuttle from the international terminal to the train station, the train from the airport to the waiting car of a friend (thank goodness for friends!) who drove us home, we were all totally done in.

Ulysse, poor thing, had been falling asleep in any available position for the last several hours (in airport security, lying across our laps and arm rests, in the baby carrier, on the train,) and after a quick bath, happily fell into a deep sleep. The next morning, a Zumba day, even if my body had not physically scoffed at the idea of moving around continuously and rhythmically for an entire hour, I would have had to take a raincheck because my little toddler traveler extraordinaire was not feeling well. He’s almost never sick, but the cold Ulysse had been resisting for a few days grabbed hold of him with all its might when his guard was down, leaving him feverish and fragile for the rest of the week. We were very lucky to be able to take our time getting reacclimated to real life. Classes weren’t starting back up for me just yet, Ulysse slept a lot, and Fab and I went to bed as soon as we got Ulysse settled for several days.

When I went to Zumba for the first time this year, it was quite a momentous occasion. That particular day was our first class in the new group fitness studio, which had been in the works for months. Typical of construction projects, it had run late – the room was supposed to be open in December. It was a new year, everything was bright and shiny, bigger and better than before, and it was time to get moving again.

But the inertia…oh, the inertia! Newton may not have imagined such an application for his first law of motion, but I doubt I am the first to observe that a human body at rest (for almost a month) will remain at rest, unless acted upon by an external force. In that case, does will power count as internal or external? Either way, it is barely sufficient to get this body back in motion – even when that’s what I really and truly want. My mind can’t compute the loud, fast music, let alone the choreography, and only sends jumbled signals to my feet. It’s a discouraging sensation, but a hilarious sight to see…

Now, at the tail end of January, we are all back in the swing of things. Green smoothies for breakfast! Ulysse is back at school two days a week so I can teach my class. We go to Zumba and play dates the other days. Grocery shopping and cooking and laundry and cats everywhere. Fab and I watch “an episode” of whatever Netflix show we are digging at the moment just before bed, if we can keep our eyes open, and sometimes I even do my pt exercises as we watch.

Before we drift off to sleep, we inevitably curse as we remember 49-50 things we forgot or neglected to do today and absolutely must do tomorrow, or the day after… It’s not new – it’s same old same old. But it’s good. We are creatures of habit and once you’ve carefully crafted your own personal habits, you feel compelled to enact them.

I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in years. I guess I figured I’d stop while I was ahead with my circa 2003 resolution to floss my teeth everyday. Now, 12 years later, I’m still going strong! Not that I have been lacking in things to improve upon about myself and my lifestyle. If I were going to make a resolution, or a dozen, I would resolve to get rid of junk (about half of what we own) and live with less, stop buying and collecting junk to begin with, waste less of everything, write more and be lazy and tired less, stop being afraid of so many things and people for no good reason, choose a cause to put my time and energy into instead of idly admiring those who do, be thankful, be thoughtful, be a better person, etc…

It’s not that I’ve resolved not to resolve, more like I resolve myself to these things continuously. Once a year isn’t enough.

A body in motion will remain in motion…