Friday, January 16, 2009

On/off switch

I am certain that somewhere inside me there is a switch with only the on and off positions.

Yesterday morning I felt horrible, and then through the day, it got much better.

This morning, I woke up thinking, "hey, I feel pretty good!" I went to the doctor for my post-op appointment, he declared things a success (I agree!), and told me that he was lifting all restrictions, just to leave out heavy upper body exercise for another week. Go for a run, resume your life, have fun.

This afternoon I went for a run. I only ran part of the way, walking all the way back, but Shep and I went down to Lowman Beach Park and through Lincoln Park to the pool point before returning home.

I'm creating lists of all of the things I'm behind on, determined to catch up: phone calls, email, church stuff, Tessa's school paperwork, thank you cards (so many!), planning Tessa's birthday, catching up with friends, and way too much housework. Oh, and a family meal together tonight.

But I'm also trying to live in the moment. This is it. This is the moment I have been waiting so long for. No more horrible surgeries ahead of me, no more awful recoveries, no more anesthesia. I have some small stuff that can be done to improve my cosmetic outcome when I'm ready, but I'm not ready and I may never be ready and I can live with what I've got.

If I give you a hug, I will not feel rocks smashing into my chest as I do so (and nor will you!). I don't feel like I'm wearing a too-small lifejacket. My back doesn't hurt so much.

And I'm just getting started.

Today I'm not asking "What if." I'm tired of the what if's - enough already. I'm too exhausted just thinking of them, so I'm dismissing them. Healthy denial.

This is the moment. What is that I will do with my one wild and precious life?

The Summer Day
Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall downinto the grass,
how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


Caley said...

I am so excited to see this poem on your blog! I don't know if we've already talked about this, but I absolutely LOVE Mary Oliver! And, one of my fave poetry professors read this poem to us as's such a great poem for all times in life! So good to hear you feeling positive and able to enjoy life without so many worries. That's the challenge isn't it? I love you and miss you!

Jenny Ward said...

amen - sister!!!! go! go! go!
my favorite poem, too!

love you!!!!

you have also inspired me to drag myself kicking and screaming out of my "i'm back here" funk and get something accomplished today - THANK YOU!!!