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There is nothing worse than your feet hurting. Well, I know there are a lot more serious and awful things but at this moment, as I sit here with my right foot with the curling toes throbbing, I hold with my initially stated sentiments. I was just plain on my feet too much today and I know when I do that I will pay the consequences. I could have not done one of the dozen things I did today but they all seemed equally important. I had to go to the bank for that meeting. I definitely needed to go over and feed the sweet cats on Church Street. I couldn’t miss Sue’s return to aquafit. And, I promised, I would work at the community yard sale for three hours this afternoon. So I ignored the aches emanating up from my hot feet and into my brain and just kept doing what I was doing. It was the same when I was a kid. I never heeded warnings from my mother, like when she would shout at me as I snuck more cookie dough out of the bowl and into my mouth, “Your stomach will stick together if you keep doing that!” Her warning never stopped me from sneaking more when her back was turned even though I knew that a half hour later I would have a stomach ache. Just as I knew that my feet would hurt tonight.

Why did I never accept the truth of life that all things in moderation is the key to good, healthy living? I was always more a follower of the “Too Much of a Good Thing is Wonderful” camp. Moderation just always seemed so much more boring. I liked, in my shy way, to tiptoe along the edge of the wild side of no moderation. I never did anything truly crazy or wild except for an occasional night out with my friend, Maggie. She was not even marginally moderate in her approach to life. She embraced everything with a full heart and an amazing intellect that absorbed what was happening around her. She didn’t just go to the movies, she became the movie. Next to her, I was moderation personified.

Except, when it came to my Sherman Phantoms. I loved smoking those sleek, black tobacco cigarettes. I loved the little box they came in. I loved the fact that I had to go to a tobacconist to buy them. I loved the smell of them. And then, one day, reality finally caught up with me and hit me over the head with the realization that if I kept up smoking the enormous — not really but it seems that way now — number of cigarettes that I had been smoking, I would not be able to breathe one day. Smoking in moderation was not an option. Sad as it was, I decided that I loved breathing more than even Sherman Phantoms.

I do always feel better when I do things in moderation but it never seems a natural state for me. I can talk myself into another glass of wine with no problems whatsoever or convince myself that walking that extra three blocks is so much better than waiting for a streetcar. I do this even though I know that both things will bring me discomfort and pain later on. I think I’m probably a bad example to the cats. Or maybe it’s their lack of moderation in chomping down on those Temptations that is bad example for me. Who am I kidding? I’m the one who buys the Temptations. I’ll have to become a better role model. They won’t like it but neither will I. Right now, I’m going to go soak my feet and have a glass of wine — just one … for now.

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