When you’re climbing two blocks of steep steps, like these stairs in the Twin Peaks neighborhood of San Francisco, if you happen to be a teensy bit out of shape, then you will likely want to think of anything except your breathing and the twinges in your calves or thighs. You might think about that speck of light at the top, the opening onto the street that marks where you will no longer be climbing. Or, you might not think, but just keep putting another foot up and hauling the bod on up the hill.
There are times in my life that are like this stair climb. Getting through the medical HMO morass and arriving at doctor appointments with my aging mother is sometimes a climb. Figuring out what prescriptions to order by phone or mail and when. How to answer refused authorizations. And, worst, my mom wanting to talk to me about these things at dinner after a very long week. She will not remember anything we’ve said, and I can’t do a thing about any doctor stuff at 6:30 in the evening. So I just don’t want to think about it until I can do something.
Another time is when I get my schedule straight and all the kids in the right intervention groups, and then the school calendar pulls a whammy. An assembly here, a field trip there, collaborations, SST meetings, plus absences. This year I have begun to look at the calendar as a continuous uphill climb. At least stairs don’t move. I can’t really think about it until I have enough records, get through enough lessons and notice a change in reading behaviors. It is just one book in front of the other, huff, huff, huff…
Admittedly, there is a thrill when you make it to the top. And the view is gorgeous. It is only one more stair climb to the old water tank where you can get a 265 degree view of SF, including the Golden Gate. So, when another medical appointment brings relief, or better treatment, or fixes an issue, then the arduous climb doesn’t seem like a big deal. And, when kids have lights go on and get self-confident and start reading, rereading and self-correcting, then there’s a big sigh and I catch my breath.
And some days are easier than others. That’s another good thing.