I was in a mood. Grumpy. Unhappy. Depressed. I think if Joe were describing it he may have used the word ‘Unhinged.’ He’d be right. Things that would have annoyed me simply enraged me. I felt put upon. I felt the world was against me. Me, a vegetarian, bit Joe’s head off – that’s how bad it was.

We got home. Instead of going in I asked Joe to pick up the gifts we picked up that needed to get wrapped and put in the mail to be sent off to birthday parties. He got them, along with scissors and tape and we headed over to the mall. I pushed myself up the slope into the place and then got to where we usually start our mall walks.
When Joe got in after parking the car, I asked if we could do a mall walk. We’ve been doing this a little less because I’ve changed in shape a little and now bruise my right forearm when pushing hard for long distances. But we both decided to go. My argument for going: I need to get my head right. Joe thereafter readily agreed.
We had done our first kilometer, a full turn around the whole mall, and I wanted to do it again, I felt better, but no internal alchemy had turned feeling like shit into feeling like gold. So off we went again. It was about 2/3 the way through that the bruise that had formed on my arm in the first go round changed, the skin had now been broken. That’s not happened before. But, I needed to do this, so I did. We finished the second kilometer and then headed down the elevator to do a lap of that level and stop at the store to mail the gifts.
First we had to pick the cards. then the wrapping paper. A group of young teen boys came round behind me and one of them, with shoulders wide enough to brace the door for a politician’s ego, bumped into a display sending chocolate bunnies to the floor, and I swear they immediately started multiplying. I said to them, “Great you know they are going to blame the cripple right?” Then to their shocked laughter, I said, “Wait let me get my phone out and take pictures to prove my innocence.” Now they knew I was really joking and they started a low rumble of the laughter of boys whose voices have only recently changed.
Then cards and paper in hand, we went to Timothy’s for a tea and a table. There we wrapped the gifts, wrote in the cards, finished our tea and headed to put them in the mail. After that we continued the downstairs mall walk, it’s much shorter than upstairs but by the time we were done, the break in my skin was really sore and I decided not to do a second round. But it was okay. I’d burnt out the flame. I was feeling better, both because of the push and because of the time focused on sending a gift far away with the wish of happiness and good will.
Turns out that for me at least, I can turn shit to gold through exercising the body and exercising the heart at the same time. Aerobics may make the heart beat faster, but loving makes the heart beat matter.