How to think of nothing

Today is a gloomy, rainy day and I’m in a mood.

It’s partly because it’s a Monday; and it’s partly because I spent some time this morning in a lonely, depressing hallway at the hospital waiting for the blood lab so I could have my blood drawn (just routine stuff), which got me thinking about people I love who have spent many hours waiting in dingy, depressing hospital waiting rooms, waiting on tests, getting bad news; and it’s partly because I was waiting for fasting blood work, so I hadn’t eaten anything yet; and it’s partly because of Daylight Saving Time and losing an hour of precious sleep and waking up in the dark and rainy gloom.

Once you add up all those partlys, things feel rather bleak. Which sets my mind to thinking dark thoughts, and feeling kind of lost.

I hate when I travel down this rabbit hole.

I found a (temporary) cure the other day, though, when I went snow tubing with my sister and two aunts up in Barrie, Ontario.

Proof

When the idea of snow tubing was first proposed, I was all for it. I envisioned it as something like, you know, sledding. Only on big soft tubes that are gentle on post-40-year-old backs and tailbones.

What I didn’t envision was a side of a mountain, with smoothed out “runs”, and a tow rope that hauls tubers to the top, and rubber mats at the far end of the runs to stop the speeding tubes. And perky run attendants who carelessly shove you over the side of a cliff, backwards, and with glee.

I was panicked enough just getting onto the tube at the bottom of the hill. Which was nothing compared to how I felt peering over the top of the hill with my teeny tiny tube as my only protection. One shove and off I went. Just remember to breathe. Pant pant pant. Just keep breathing and I’ll stay alive. Wooosh!

I made it down in one piece. I even stayed on the tube. I had a death grip on those handles.

Going up the second time was a little less scary, but standing at the top of the hill was even more terrifying because now I knew what I was in for.

Down I went. Pant pant pant. Swear swear swear.

What the heck was I thinking?

I’ll tell you. I wasn’t thinking about work. Or bills. Or doctor appointments. Or my to-do list.

I was thinking about staying alive, and screaming at the top of my lungs, and how much fun the next run was going to be.

Funny how taking your life in your hands clears out the mental cobwebs.

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