26 laps at the Y! Water is gooooddd…deep conditioning my hair in the sauna, & there are boyfriends/there are girlfriends/but there’s no friends like old friends….

So I went to the Y today to swim laps…..first time in a few months. It’s been so cold in the recent past that I just want to stay in my nest! But the weather was nice today and I’m tired of not liking the body looking back at me in the mirror, so it’s time.

The water was so nice and cool; just the right temperature, and I really enjoyed myself. It’s really hard for me to get motivated to go that first time, after not having exercised in a while, but once I go, I’m motivated to keep going. I’m just not a winter person. It’s so much easier for me to be active in warm weather.

Usually with bipolar disorder, when the days get longer and the sunlight gets more frequent, it brings out the mania. I can feel the light in my body before I see it or the days start getting longer. I can feel the energy building up. Mania in the extreme is just as bad as extreme depression. When I’m being smart, I jump on the manic train and use it to motivate myself to do stuff, like going swimming and getting off my ass today.

The best part of the Y for me is not the great pool, but the hot tub and the sauna. I’m a real spa baby so I love everything that has to do with steam and heat. I start out my laps thinking about rewarding myself with the hot tub and sauna when I’m done. I go from the hot tub back into the pool, like the Eastern Europeans do it. The alternating cold and hot really stimulates your system. It’s good fer ya! Same goes for the sauna. But today I took my Devachan One Condition with me, soaked my head in it, and used the sauna as a giant heat cap! You’re not supposed to put stuff on you when you go in there, but it was only on my hair and no one could tell. My hair feels awesome.

I just wish that everyone could be naked in the sauna. There have been some places in NYC that I used to go to that were more European, so men and women shared it, no bathing suits required. There was nothing sexual about it. No one cared and it was great. I actually forgot I was nude and was just able to relax. And my whole body could absorb the heat. Americans are so paranoid, in general, about nudity. It’s a remnant of our collective Protestant culture in America.

Anyway, I would advise if you have the chance to strip, DO IT!

Several days ago, I got back in touch with my best friend from high school. It had been 24 years since we last spoke. It was so great to hear from her. We were texting and then we talked on the phone, and the old rhythm just took over again. The last 24 years fell away, and we were just talking on the phone as we used to do, laughing and talking about old times. I missed her so much and I’m so happy we are back in touch. I think it’s so wonderful to have people in your life who “knew you when.” In our case, we met when we were 14, freshman year of high school. We remained friends for the next 10 years or so. Then life happened and we lost touch. That’s a long time to know someone; from the brink of adolescence to adulthood, with the painful years of high school jammed in the middle. I am lucky enough to have several high school friends that I’m still in touch with, and it’s one of the most valuable things in my life. I’m an only child, so I don’t have brothers and sisters to share old memories with. Having these people in my life also reminds me of the person I used to be, in all the good ways. I still don’t feel comfortable, after more than a decade, of living in the suburbs. It’s odd and lonely for me. My old friends help me feel grounded, and when I’m with them, I’m in a place “where everybody knows my name.”

Ciao, mi ei amici! Saluti!!

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