A New Skill

As someone who is notorious for countless ideas and novelty, I have finally started to practice a skill which has laid dormant since HS – consistency! For the last 2 weeks – ok, not long, I know, but it’s a start – I have consistently gone to yoga 3X a week, the gym 3X a week, practiced the harp, pursued my crafts (I really want to have an Etsy business) and gotten chores done.

It’s also now the 4 year anniversary of my 2 spinal surgeries. They happened 6 weeks apart. It took some kind of consistency (well, persistence actually) to get through the rehab, healing and more bad stuff that was piled on top. If not a consistent physical practice at least a mostly consistent spirit of, “I shall endure. I shall not give up”. That says a lot because for a period of time – I really wanted out. Not suicide exactly, but just OUT of the constant pain and bad stuff. Anyone reading this who needs encouragement, contact me. I’ll never fully know your experience but I bet our paths have some striking commonalities.

I would never have believed at the time that there IS a shore on the other side of wading through endless…dung. My life is good and happy. And I’ve given up the thought that I’m too old for things. I took up interpreting school at 36, snowboarding at 40, the harp and my first hostel stay at 53.  I’m weeding out what doesn’t work and keeping those friends and activities that are positive, supportive and present. Hoorah. Bring it on – consistently please 🙂

PS – I know many of my posts mention the “bad years” and how things are much better now. I don’t want it to be a constant referencing of the past but like a grief process, there are no sharp boundaries between states of being. There are: worse, better, the new normal, the former normal, the hope for continued improvement, etc. The only constant in life is change.

 

I asked for the smiley. Gotta have fun before getting sliced!

I asked for the smiley. Gotta have fun before getting sliced (2008)!

The morning after the 1st surgery. 10/2010. Hair got chopped because I didn't think I'd be able to wash it for quite a while.

The morning after the 1st spinal surgery. 10/2010. Hair got chopped because I didn’t think I’d be able to wash it for quite a while.

 

OY! A few hours after the 2nd surgery. 12/2010. Should have just shaved my head.

OY! A few hours after the 2nd surgery. 12/2010. Should have just shaved my head.

 

Flea collar court is now in session

Flea collar court is now in session

 

Let's just yank out some suspicious tonsils, shall we?

Let’s just yank out some suspicious tonsils, shall we? Or maybe this was the cantaloupe-sized abdominal tumor surgery. I lose track.

ENOUGH OF THAT. DONE!

PDX Half Marathon - 2014 - with the way oversized team shirt I got at the 11th hour.

PDX Half Marathon – 2014 – with the way oversized team shirt I got at the 11th hour.

 

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Acceptance

Trying to accept with grace and poise

Despite the racket of my mental noise

Friends are working long hours, they say

And wouldn’t they love to have my kind of day?

But I just turned down my last terping* request

Pain prevents me, I gave it my best

Can’t keep wallowing in what was “taken” from me

Can’t live in limbo as to what will be

Acceptance is daily

Neither welcomed nor easy

The past is over

The “now” is up to me

But f* the platitudes

I wail when I must

This too shall pass

Onwards or bust

(Terping – an affectionate, at least to me, slang word for being an American Sign Language interpreter. I was relatively kick-ass good at it for 11 years until 2 car accidents and 2 spinal surgeries knocked me out of the field for good. Have been trying to reinvent myself for the last 4 years. Do I feel left out when friends tell me how hard they are working and I wish I could? Sure. But I just have to keep the faith that good is on the way.