Sunday, April 9, 2017

4/10/17—Holding On Long Enough

I'm not a spontaneous person. At all. But a couple of things happened this week that showed me how much I'd changed in that area of my life.

I've probably used the word spontaneous incorrectly. I am still today someone you can't call and hang out with on a whim. Like, there's no "Hey, I'm I'm the neighborhood and was wondering if you wanted to meet for coffee" in my life. I like plans. Preferably made a week or so in advance. Anything in less than 24 hours is nearly impossible for me to handle. Work is different. I'm constantly shifting plans to put out fires. I honestly don't know what it is, but something in my body just revolts at spontaneity in my private life.

So don't expect me to drop what I'm doing and meet for coffee. And horror of all horrors, do NOT show up at my house unannounced. You'd have to be bleeding for me to abide something like that. I have slated my healing from whatever it is that's beneath my hatred for that kind of spontaneity for a future lifetime, as I can only do so much in this one.

The new me I've discovered isn't in the area of doing things unplanned, as much as it is about having planned things change at the last minute. Two sides of the same coin, I guess. But last minute changes used to kind of ruin my day and now they don't. Especially when it's easy for me to accommodate them.

I have a friend I see a couple of times a month and she lives roughly an hour away in decent traffic. When we see each other, it's always her coming here. She can schedule work up here, then go out to lunch with me. But traffic is awful between her house and mine. Rain can double or triple the amount of time it takes to get here or go home. An accident can do the same. So she cancels at the last minute all the time. It's just part of the agreement. There may be passing disappointment, but no anger or anything. We see each other pretty often. So I guess this has tempered me some for other situations. 

A couple of times this week plans totally went to hell on me and the end result wasn't disappointing at all. In fact, it turned out better than planned. The first was a doctor's appointment I had. I scheduled a water heater repair person around the appointment so I would have an easy time getting back home in time. Then I was all set to leave for my appointment when I got an email from a client. It wasn't disastrous or foreboding email at all, but something told me in that moment that my whole day was going to go to hell and I better cancel that appointment. So I did. Which was a good thing because then the repair guy called me and asked if he could come two hours early. Which was good because, as it was, he left my house at 7pm. Had he come later, he'd have either stayed later or I'd be without water until whenever he could return. So everything somehow worked out ideally there.

The second time was yesterday. I had a long list of things to get done this weekend and knew, once again, the cleaning of the house would fall to the wayside in favor of more time-sensitive things. Like naps and such. So as I was getting ready for my nap, my sister-in-law messaged me she wanted to stop by and pick something up that I had for her later that evening. So that meant the house had to at least be presentable. So I cleaned and thought I might cook for her if she got there early enough. So I cooked. And she didn't make it for dinner, but my goal of having multiple cooked chicken breasts for eating this week was met. And my house was clean. And I caught a nice sunset with Kizzie. And, frankly, it was more than I thought I was going to accomplish. So, feeling quite satisfied, I built a fire. And when my sister-in-law arrived, we chatted by the fire under a clear starry sky, which was very nice. It was a much nicer Saturday than if I had napped all day.

Honestly, there was a time that feeling I have to cancel a doctor's appointment and having an up-in-the-air day with so many "maybes" would have left me bitter and resentful. I wouldn't have been open to the thought that a change of plans could leave me better off. Like maybe I'd have some unexpected nap time. Or maybe the rest of my day would be less stressful and time-sensitive. Or maybe everything could end up being in divine order. The change has come gradually over time, but just seemed suddenly obvious this week, for some reason. And I'm kind of digging it.

I feel like my life is moving in the right direction in a lot of ways lately. I mean, man, my life was shit all those years I was sick. And the past year or so since getting well has been difficult in so many ways. You don't just miraculously get well when you finally get treated for asthma after being debilitated by it for so many years. You have to learn to live with your new diagnosis. You have to learn how to work your medications and recognize your triggers. Knowing what I have helps enormously, as does treatment and the much better sleep I'm getting, but it hasn't put me back to normal. It didn't quite pull me out of the darkness either.

But I've turned a corner on all that in the past few weeks, too. I'm figuring it out. I'm learning how to get back to normal, or at least a new version of normal that doesn't make me feel like my life is forever ruined. Things are harder than before. And I have to move a lot slower than before. I need many breaks. Some of that may be age, but most of it is asthma. That said, a very active day working outside now can accomplish as much as a very active day working outside 10 years ago. It just goes slower.

This spring, and having to clear out my back garden that has random volunteer trees growing in it and mending my fence and other chores that have always been difficult things to accomplish, brought me an epiphany in figuring the right combination of elements that have to be in place for me to get the job done. Last spring it was hard and my brother was doing most of the work. So figuring out how to do it all myself is life changing. I've learned how to be active again. And if I can be active, I can get healthier. And I'm sure that will help the asthma even more.

So anyway, that's a long jumble of words to say I feel like I've broken through a long, bleak wall in my life. Which is a good thing, because I was worried about whether I'd ever be able to move forward. I think some of it has to do with leaving Facebook. But I also think some of it has to do with my own fight and determination. In addition to the illness, a number of other events over the past few years have really stripped me of my fight. I haven't shared them all with you, but some have been pretty painful and I've taken steps to remove those things from my life. So it took a long time to finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. I was worried about what might happen if that light never arrived, but it has. I just had to hold on long enough.