I’ll tell you something – I wear Nikes and have found that I can’t ‘just do it’ – it’s a bit awkward frankly. After searching vigorously for the one pair of sneakers that would magically allow me to jump higher, cardio longer, dance with the intent that everyone watches…um, not happening.
Methinks I can’t blame the sneakers.
And as much as I would love to do my best Scarlett O’Hara impression, shake my fist at the sky and drawl a commitment to never be clumsy or compromised again, I’m not sure I’d be able to get up from my knees. I’m getting to a point here –
I’m beginning to think it just doesn’t matter.
There’s a guy – a gentleman really – who claims time with she-who-has powerfully-impacted-my-life Christy (it’s her studio, her heart, her humor, etc) before me. He’s got a degenerative neurological order similar in cruelty to ALS. And the point isn’t what he can’t do, for he has the good sense to celebrate what he can. I listen to the lightness in his voice, relish the smile that seems to generate more from his eyes than his lips, yet I can ‘hear’ from the waiting area. He works hard while he is there, not stinting one minute and enjoying it all. When he says goodbye, I feel the air change.
I have no doubt that he has days when he curses the fates, attends a pity party with or without guests. I’m sure he has daily discomfort and disquiet. It would be insulting to him to suggest otherwise.
The point is, I think he wears Nikes. And he just does it. Maybe I’ll keep my pair too.
Hi my friend,
How has your week been so far? Are you finding time to check in with yourself as the driving beat of daily have-to’s increases as the holidays near? Come sit for a minute – I think you’ll appreciate this.
So, I have re-entered the world of exercise – or rather, a modest introduction to the concept of movement. It was quite depressing at the outset, with all these modifications being made for she–who-cannot-bend. I’d alternate between sensing a whiff of possibility in the air and then catch a tear slipping down my cheek, for I couldn’t help but wonder when the hell I became incapable of doing the most mundane stuff?
Anyway, cut to Saturday when I met the trainer for a Pilates session – just me, her and the reformer. No accommodations but for my height (let it go, Kanigan). It was fantastic! Each discreet movement reminded my body that it can still engage – and even suggested that there were some muscles I had yet to meet. In the midst of this delight, Christy said to me “Isn’t it great? You’re feeling your power again. Consider this past year AFGO.”
And what, may I ask is that?
Christy told me about the elderly grandmother of someone she once knew who referred to every plot twist in life as AFGO (Another F–king Growth Opportunity). After laughing at the visual this prompted (white bun, rocking chair, orthopedic shoes…), I delighted in the way it tweaked my thought process.
Most of life doesn’t happen as we plan – there are arguably more times when we have to adjust our thinking to the reality presented. How nimble we are depends upon our state of mind far more than our ability to physically bob and weave. Shaking my head and smiling, I considered the impressive number of growth opportunities I’ve had, while hoping for gazillion more. I welcome most of them – after all, I’m learning to be nimble. I do Pilates.
Have a good day, ok?
I know – it’s been a while. I’m not sure if you’re still passing this way – and it’s certainly understandable if you’ve changed routes. After all, there hasn’t been anything here to see for more than a year.
But if you’ve stopped by – it’s good to see you. Clearly I’ve been gone – and I’m tentatively back. In the interest of abbreviating a very long year – I got sick. If you listen to my hematologist, rheumatologist and every other ologist I’ve seen – I didn’t know how sick I was. The year has been a blur of blood transfusions, biopsies, a bilateral hip replacement and a brain that went wonky because my blood was so compromised. I had to get multiple assurances that I was clear-headed enough to even try writing again. The thought of appearing more nutty than I usually do was a bit too much for me to handle.
I’m better now. I’m a version of me again – one I sort of recognize and occasionally don’t. I lost a year of mobility and engagement with the world. These days, my body is a cranky participant in my efforts to get a bit stronger – thinking it prefers being sedentary to the aches and strain of movement (honestly, I can’t even call it exercise – it’s more like wishful thinking with a beat). But, I can tell you that the return to normalcy is greeted each day with an emotional ‘thank you’, even if my body and I occasionally disagree. There are no more hospital beds, occupational therapy tools and elevated seats. I can put on my own socks thank you very much. I can engage in the most mundane activities – driving, food shopping, laundry – and I think each is pretty damn fantastic. Musing over the monotonous with a significant amount of delight.
And yes, there’s also some fear – fear of a recurrence (the autoimmune world is at best dystopian, at worst just plain freaky), an awareness of how much I am unaware of – I could explain the list, though I don’t think I need to.
So, I’m going to re-enter the community and see how we do. The musings won’t be this intense – they weren’t before and life doesn’t ask that of me now. I’m just going to keep my eyes open and my heart full – and we’ll see what happens next. Thank you for stopping by – see you soon.
My dear friend,
We exchanged emails last night – and now I’m without adequate words. This post will not do anything justice, and yet…I feel like there’s so much I want to say.
I’m sitting in my little office, surrounded by pictures of my family – parents who I miss daily, Andy, my boys who are now men, daughters-in-law, granddaughters. This is where I feel most comforted, most bewildered, most loved. I have one of your photographs framed here too. An abundance, truly. It can make my heart hurt. I whisper “thank you, thank you” throughout the day. I can think of no better mantra.
We’ve never met, yet I feel like we’ve known each other for years. How do I console you when I am literally across the ocean? How do I begin to articulate to you – a man of faith and family, deep love and incredible grace – that I have an ache deep within that exists with yours. How I pray for a miracle, even though I know that you and your wife have made peace with something I am railing against. Yours is one of those once in a lifetime loves – and though I believe it transcends time, I want you both to celebrate it together forever. Petulant, I know. Selfish, I agree – for this is not about me at all.
I pause to look once more at your magical new grandson, as he is held with some distractedness by his toddler sister. Her eyes are luminous, filled with some whimsy and a little mischief. You are literally in the midst of the alpha and the omega. One struggles with this most profound of extremes. Yet, you sent me peace last night. How can that be? In your deepest sorrow, you offered me gratitude for feeling the telepathic connection that has caused us to write each other out of the blue for a few years now. How can that be?
Cherished friend, I wish you peace. I am thankful that your faith is deep and your family surrounds you. I wish your beloved wife time…time to delight in your love and the love of her children. I wish she could stay. What can I say, I’ve never been one for small wishes when it comes to those I hold so close in my heart. Needless to say, I’ll check in again soon, perhaps with better words – though that’s unlikely. What can one say when there are no words? Only these random murmurings. Much love..xx