I write a lot of things and never publish them, so here is something I wrote close to a year ago. Much remains true. I’m still not patient enough, although I am feeling better 🙂
Be patient. I heard that a lot when I was growing up, whether waiting for dinner, for a birthday, for Santa, for school to start or end, to get my license (I was the youngest in my class), to go to college, to finish college, to finish law school, to get married. I remember my grandmother’s surprise when I announced at age 23 that I was engaged. “Well,” she said, “I suppose you’re old enough.”
Waiting has never been a strong suit of mine and I never did learn patience. This past couple of years I have been really trying, and what I’ve learned along the way is that patience actually hurts. I’m talking about soul-wrenching pain, where I consciously tell myself to breathe in, then out, in a deep and physically noticeable way. Often I cannot stop myself and impatience wins, generally not in a good way.
I haven’t done any writing lately. These last six months have been difficult for me and my little family and I just haven’t been able to figure out what to say. I feel almost guilty writing about how hard it has been for me, as I know so many people out there have faced much worse. Most of what has happened during this time has been positive: my son graduated from high school and decided to postpone college to pursue ski racing; we sold our home in the mountains and moved back to Denver so that my husband and I could actually live together on a consistent basis; my son moved to a new town, with a new team, got a job and is learning that growing up doesn’t get easier as he gets older; and I had surgery in the middle of all of that. It should have been a relatively straight forward recovery from removing my gallbladder. It has not been.
They say that moving is one of the most stressful things we can have happen in our lives. Our the move was really hard. We loved our home. We loved much about living where we were. We knew it was completely impractical. We considered staying another year, while Riley raced out of another town. Had we been PATIENT, maybe we would have done that. Financially it would have been a stretch. Emotionally it seemed like it would be hard to be split apart for another year. Looking back, the emotion of moving combined with my post-surgery illness was probably the more difficult route.
I don’t know what is wrong with me. I mean that quite literally. I am sick and I don’t know why. Since the surgery, I have suffered extreme fatigue, low-grade fever and other ailments that I won’t go into because you, Dear Reader, really don’t want to know. As a result, this move was really taxing, and I cannot seem to BE PATIENT so I pushed myself to set up our home and get it furnished and make it a place we want to be. I have no idea whether this has exacerbated my illness (since I don’t know why I’m sick, it is hard to say). I have tried to get back to some sort of exercise routine and each time I work out (even just a little) I am shattered for the next three days. The surgeon claims my illness has nothing to do with the surgery (really?!) and I’m hoping some lab tests will help solve the riddle.
I really, really want to move forward. I have visions of long ski weekends with friends this winter, of restarting my career, of a big house warming party at Christmas time. Today, I’m feeling completely defeated because I have no idea whether I will regain the strength to do those things any time soon.
I am trying really, really hard to BE PATIENT. To breathe deeply in and out and wait for healing. To sit on the couch and rest when I want to be riding my bike. To let the house be just a house for a while because, really, it isn’t going anywhere. If this is my new normal, I am going to need a little help adjusting to a slower, patience required life.