We had a spectacular camping trip: good hikes, great views, and time both alone and with friends punctuated by sightseeing, random wine tastings, a quick interview with a brown bear, and a stop at a farm selling fresh, raw goat’s milk cheese (which is illegal, by the way, but quite delicious). Add perfect weather and the season’s first cherries, obscene quantities of cheddar cheese and salami, and, well, I guess you could say it was an ideal two-day vacation.
Now bits and pieces of our hiking gear litter our property inside and out like a yard sale, and my body, which felt so spry and strong and able 24 hours ago that I commented to my husband that I felt like maybe this whole lupus thing was a bit of a lie (he raised his eyebrows), now feels slow and weak and grumpy, to put it mildly.
I think I need to commission someone to build me a personal prediction model. I’m sure Tito could do it in Matlab, can’t you do anything in Matlab? All I really need is a program where I can put in the day’s activities and access a little print-out of what I might expect for the following day, given how many spoons I’ve spent. Put in “rest,” get out “energy.” Put in “5-course dinner for 10,” get out “nonfunctional.” Wouldn’t it be nice if life was that predictable?
I’m getting better at judging how much some activities drain me of energy, which is a nice way of saying I’ve made certain mistakes enough times to learn from them, but new things . . .I need the program to help me predict the results of activities I’ve avoided altogether for the past few years. How many spoons does an 8-mile hike take? Well, I really have no idea.
Yesterday, for example, after having hiked the day before, I happily marched up to Stuart Lake under clear skies of Western Blue (I believe Crayola is perpetually postponing their launch of that color; there simply is no manmade match for it). Then we fought the traffic back to Seattle with the rest of the “citiots” who decided to hike last weekend, baked brownies for Tito’s birthday sculpture, and enjoyed the bulk of the evening on the porch with some friends, drinking beer and eating the bratwurst we were never able to find on Sunday night in Leavenworth, which, for mysterious reasons, thinks its a good idea to close down all pork-related fast food stands by 5 p.m. on a holiday weekend. Here’s the one we wanted to try:
Yesterday at 9 p.m., I languished, satisfied and slightly sunburned, sated with pork and sauerkraut and hefeweizen (Tito’s requested birthday meal) and the last of the day’s sunlight. Katie and I built artful sculptures out of strawberry ice cream, espresso brownies, and toasted marshmallows, and paired them with some delicious South African screw-top pinotage.
Had I thought about the day’s activities at 7 a.m., when I was climbing out of a tent at 4,000 feet in a hat and gloves, and punched them into a handy-dandy prediction model, the printout would have told me that without more rest I’d crash at precisely 9:24 p.m., perhaps when the day’s steroids began circling my system’s drain. I’d become a complete basket case, with pains shooting up the sides of my legs and out of each place where tendon attached to bone, and that I’d wake up the next day (today) with a pretty stubborn headache, the kind of stuffy head you get when you spend a day outside below freezing without a hat on, and random waves of nausea.
But no. I have no personalized Matlab model, so I sure spooned it out this weekend without realizing it, and today, I’m reminded to do my calculations by hand the next time I’m eating breakfast by a river somewhere in the Pacific Northwest:
Oy. I overspooned. But I might add that it was totally worth it.