For the past few days, I have been sleeping or resting more than usual. On Thursday morning, I had a cardiac catheterization to investigate my heart and the connecting blood vessels. Thankfully, the results of the test indicate that my heart is in good condition. Over the past several months, my body didn’t feel quite right, and at the urging of my wife, I went to see my cardiologist. After one test showed some irregularities, he gave me a new medication and suggested catheterization as a conclusive test with the potential for possible corrective actions. In 2017, I had a series of tests that helped identify a blockage in my right coronary artery. A stent was inserted in the artery, my medication was changed, and I started on cardiac rehabilitation. So my past conditions and family history accelerate my concern when anything feels awry.
The procedure is relatively common and is completed as an outpatient procedure in most cases. From the new medicine and the stress around the uncertainty of the catheterization results, I have been very tired over the past few days. My mind knows my body needs to rest, but mentally among work, writing, and getting things done at the house, a list of responsibilities builds. With that list comes pressure and stress until the items can be checked off the list. Typically, I rely on quiet time or time on the river to recharge.
I have had lots of quiet time, but I needed to rest my right arm from where the catheter was inserted, so I haven’t had time on the river. It helps me listen to doctors’ orders when it is under 20 degrees outside and snowing! Taking naps and sleeping in isn’t something I often do, and normally I only rest a lot when I am under the weather. I get wiped out fairly easily by a good cold. Thankfully, my wife doesn’t make too much fun of me, as she powers through almost any cold.
Resting has helped me recharge. I’ve been reading, and once my right hand was close to back to normal yesterday, I tied some flies. Before tying, I was able to look through and reorganize my fly boxes, finding gaps where I have gotten low in flies and where I wanted to diversify my flies. Wanting to add some simple, more natural flies to my boxes, I tied some simple hare’s ear and pheasant tail nymphs. Also, I needed to add some smaller midges, so I tied some turbo midges and zebra midges after some encouragement from Mike at Tightlining Maryland. After some online research, I tried to bleach some pheasant tail feathers to tie some lighter pheasant tail nymphs. I wasn’t overly successful, but I think they are slightly lighter. It was fun to experiment with some techniques I don’t often use.
The days of cold and wintry mix precipitation help to encourage rest as well. I’m hopeful my kids will do a good bit of the shoveling tomorrow, but other than shoveling the driveway and walkway, there is not a lot that needs to be done outside. Reading articles in The American Fly Fisher – Journal of the American Museum of Fly Fishing and a Christmas present book of Hemingway’s passages on fishing has been fun and restful as well. The more I have written, the more I am finding patterns in others’ writing, and through reading, I learn how to improve my style and diversify my writing skills.
My efforts to write a draft of my book have been rewarding, but tiring as well. Since Thursday, I have taken a break from writing. I have noticed that it has been harder to motivate myself after breaking my streak of 96 days of writing every day, but clearer ideas have come to me, and I am looking forward to getting back to the book tomorrow. I was reminded of the quote from American author, Alan Cohen, “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”
I have gained peace of mind from the positive results of my test, and I feel rejuvenated from some much needed rest. I am looking forward to getting back into a more productive pace, but I think I will pay more attention to when I may need some rest. Also, I’m excited to get back on the water. My rest has given me a greater appreciation for the time I spend with my family and on the river. On this snowy day, it might be a good day for each of you to take some time to rest.