It is that time of year again. The time when everyone makes their New Year Resolution. That means that for the next two months I will have to wait to get on the equipment at the gym. I am not much of a “New Year Resolution” person. It is not just because it makes the gym more crowded, but also because I have experienced the fact that I can not plan past today. I almost died once. I know better than to make resolutions that I don’t know that I will have the opportunity to fulfill. Last year at this time, I wouldn’t have chosen, or even thought of all the changes God made in my life the past year. There were so many wonderful things that came into my family’s life. None of them planned and each one happened not when we dictated that it should happen but rather when the time was right. Trust is always easier when things are going well or when things are so bad that you are unable to do things for yourself. Trust becomes a completely different thing when it is blind or when you could just do it yourself, but instead put your faith in another person or in a process. I trust that God has a plan. I believe my calling is to live each day with passion and conviction and to be open to His plan in every experience.
Two days ago I had a conversation with a friend who also suffers with a lot of chronic pain from bone deterioration in her hip and leg which required her to get titanium rods. She is a wife, mother and special education teacher. She lives her life with great passion and determination. I told her that the winter weather has me feeling about 75% of where I was in September and asked if it affected her also. (She has been living with her pain for more years than I.) She told me she has been feeling the same and that she often feels that way in the winter. We talked about managing our pain and the effects it has on us mentally and physically and how it controls our mood. It was so reassuring to know that what I am struggling with, and my family has to living with, is not unique to me. Talking to someone who understands what I live with everyday gave me a real sense of peace. I didn’t go looking for help. It found me. I was just open to recognize the moment and shared. I received what I needed from a conversation I could not have planned.
Having peace and being content however are two different things to me. Even though I am assured to know I am not alone, I also am not content to stay this way. Every day I am working on my recovery. I wake up every morning in pain. I make myself get out of bed most days, because I am committed to driving my kids to school. After a large mug of coffee and 30 minutes of a heated car seat I am ready to begin my day. By noon I feel pretty good. By five o’clock things start to go down hill. Some days by seven o’clock I am so worn out and short-tempered that I am afraid to talk for what might come out of my mouth. It is a constant battle to calm my mind. Only through meditation and prayer can I control it to some degree. I am a work in progress. I continue to find better ways to manage the pain.
I wish I had someone to talk to two years ago. Someone who could give me an idea of what my recovery might be like. I know now that I can help other people in making their challenge easier. I have a great deal of pride in knowing what I have overcome so far, however, I have also learned that I need to ask for help and to not try to go it alone.
In a few hours I am going to eat pork and sauerkraut for good luck. (A German New Years tradition that Tonia and I grew up eating.) So I guess I should make a resolution this year as well. This year I hope to continue to find more balance and calmness within the many facets of my life. To quote the Latin writer Publilius Syrus, “To do two things at once is to do neither.”