Maybe it’s the reappearance of the sun, the blush of dawn that awakens me earlier and earlier each morning with unspoken promise, or the daffodils suddenly swaying in the garden to the crisp bite of the wind, but I am bursting with sudden energy.
That isn’t to say I have limitless energy. I still crash into a wall that appears without welcome every afternoon. My reserves are fragile and finite. I wake up some mornings with barely enough gas to make it out of bed.
No, nothing about my body, or the world outside, has really changed. Last month was so warm I was lounging outside in shorts and a tank, while now I bundle back up in a wool coat and scarf.
No, the difference is I have something to look forward to. A clear goal. And not just one, but two, suddenly shimmering on the horizon, as delicate as a mirage, but reassuringly solid in ink on my calendar.
Two trips. Two voyages into the world. The Chronic Traveler is back and preparing to lace up her boots for a giant leap.
There is nothing better for my self-esteem than having a new adventure on the horizon. I can handle the chronic pain and fatigue, these unrelenting realities of fibromyalgia, when my endorphins are pulsing with this rush of anticipation.
The spring fare sale for Air Canada landed me a long weekend jaunt to Montreal. Ever since I sifted through photos of Old Montreal, starring my young, slender mother in a classy pea coat – a vision of a sophisticated Québécois that clashed against my image of my outdoorsy, jeans-and-sweater Pacific Northwest mom – I have dreamed of Montreal. I assumed that one touch of my scuffed sneakers on the cobblestones and I would swirl into a transformational tornado ala Disney movie magic to become a beautiful French-Canadian woman in skyscraper-high heels and bouncy skirt.
Next month I’ll test the long-held theory of an eight-year-old.
Another airline fare sale landed me tickets for a three-week backpacking sojourn through the Baltic States. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, a region of mist-shrouded forests of medieval castles, modern cities boasting some of the world’s best Art Nouveau architecture, and the grim remains of Soviet occupation and Communism to fascinate and horrify this student of history.
Two trips, two seasons, two glimmers of hope on my horizon.
Fibromyalgia – bring it on. Right now I can handle anything.