This is the most retrograde that has ever retrograded.

I rolled out of bed this morning with no motivation.

I made myself go to the gym but I feel like I half-assed my workout. My heel pain has been awful the past few days and I couldn’t finish the full 30 minutes I wanted to do on the elliptical. I love lifting but the weight machines weren’t doing anything for me either. I could chalk my feelings up to my circuit training gym suddenly closing at the end of April. Not only was that a shock but it meant I had to go from high-octane workouts back to Planet Fitness. Don’t get me wrong: I like PF and my gym doesn’t do the whole Pizza Tuesdays and Bagel Mondays anymore. And the Lunk Alarm is not as sensitive as TikTokers show on their videos. Someone at the front desk presses a button for that and the only reason they would is because you narc’d on someone for accidentally dropping a weight.

The planets are lining up to get their moment to shine in retrograde and on top of that we had a full moon eclipse yesterday. As a witch that feels fully connected to the moon and the energy of the planet, I can’t really blame myself for feeling the way I did this morning. Plus there have been events recently where I could possibly blame the planets if I were more superstitious. Don’t tell my fellow witches but I feel that the Universe controls us in the minutest of ways no matter how much we connect to it. The Universe can help set things into motion, sure; but it doesn’t will us to take steps towards a path. I’ve been dealing with this conundrum for a while now.

I had stopped drinking alcohol on December 31, 2022 and then fell off the wagon the day my gym closed on April 30 (the announcement came later that night; call it intuition?). I did feel a little guilty as I brought the cider to my lips and I kept telling myself “It’s a hot day, why not?” I got buzzed and walked home and swore that I wouldn’t do that again. But I walked back to the bar on Friday and had another cider and half a pint of non-alcoholic beer as if that would cancel out the cider I just had.

I don’t crave the drink as much as I used to and have resolved to only have a couple a week. Beer takes me down heavier as I get older so I stick to cider and hard seltzers with the occasional whiskey. But even my whiskey on the rocks sits on my side table at home and becomes watered down. I never was a heavy drinker as pot was more my style. This month will be one year that I haven’t touched marijuana. I do miss the feeling of getting high but I don’t miss the coming down, and I order take-out like mad when I’m stoned, so I’ve saved some money. I may go back to CBD supplements but I don’t feel the need right now.

I have recently gotten off of my anti-depressants after eight years of taking a low dose. The first two weeks were weird as my brain weaved itself back into my own definition of normal. My doctor told me that my withdrawals would feel like a relapse but I didn’t feel any of that. Since I’ve been practicing mindfulness and meditating every day, I haven’t noticed if I felt depressed like I used to. I was in a different situation eight years ago and now I feel meds are no longer necessary, and I have been able to feel things I haven’t before, one of them being peace.

I’m no Buddha or Jesus, of course. I do have moments of stress and short stints of worry but I know how to cope with them now and I let them pass over me like clouds on a spring day. Speaking of which, the sun is finally back out today after lots of last minute spring showers. Birds are singing at my window and no doubt my cat is perched on the bedroom windowsill searching for the source of the music.

By the way, remember my post about starting a Substack account? Well, I started it about two weeks ago….

I hate to admit that I wasn’t able have a successful project, but Substack is a different beast altogether. I met amazing indie writers and got to read some of their work, but Substack is going to cater more to journalists and high brow authors and boost them more than us indies and bloggers. Their Notes function, which was their answer to Twitter blocking Substack posts, is a nice feature but it can be just as addicting to scroll through it like Twitter. But most of all, it felt like a race and I’m not a competitive person. It wasn’t like my blog, this page that has been a writing sanctuary for me and hopefully the few that subscribe to me and still read what I have to say. It didn’t seem fair either to tell you all to check out my Substack where money is the pusher for success, even if it was just an option over the free version. Yes, money is good. Money is for bills I need to pay, but my writing is something I enjoy and I was letting a goal blind my ambition to commit to what I love doing. I hesitate to call it a hobby because what I do on here is my escape, albeit a very public one. I’ve shared a lot of sensitive stuff about myself and though there’s still that twinge of anxiety that vibrates inside me as my cursor lingers over the Publish button, I feel much better when the final product of a post is set into place.

Like hanging a photo of an important memory on your wall.

There are a few good things that have come out of the shadow of the retrograde season. Though I will miss everyone I worked out with at circuit training, I can now take the new exercises and weight techniques I learned from my coaches to Planet Fitness with me. On my first day back, one of my weights fell from my bench and thudded to the floor. I made a noise like “Oop,” and the guy lifting next to me laughed as I looked over at him with a grin. “You’re good,” he said, as if we mutually understood the misconception of the Lunk Alarm. Also, the hefty monthly fee of circuit training won’t be taken off my credit card anymore so there’s a bit of saving grace to that.

My desire to lock myself down today and watch black and white movies is slowly leaving me as I write this thanks to the birds that are singing and the sun making its way across the blue sky of Saturday. My heel is still a bit sore but I’m going to brace it up, go get a bubble tea, and go for a walk.

I started writing another story yesterday morning before work. It’s an idea that’s been in my head for two years. I tried to make it a screenplay but found it may fare better as a novella or short story, and I wrote 525 words. I don’t normally have a set goal every time I sit down to write but I do like to hit at least 500. That’s the magic number for me. The local writers group is meeting today and I always feel charged up afterwards. There are writers there that are unpublished like me but we all share the same passion for writing and honing our craft. After the last meeting, a fellow member and I stayed a few extra minutes behind to talk about works-in-progress as he was also writing urban fantasy and we both had an interest in elemental magic, something that both of our novels rely heavily upon.

So though there are days where I feel like only a giant bowl of ultimate butter popcorn and a Hitchcock film will make me feel better (and it sometimes does), I can take heart in the fact that I still have outlets for when I feel one foot stuck in a rut. I can write about it or meditate on it. I can take a walk and pet peoples’ dogs. I can find refuge in a group of peers that share my passion and feel their energy reinvigorate mine.

And I don’t have to have a damn Substack like everyone else.


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