I also have physical therapy 2-3x a week in the evening. Holy shit balls.... I will say tonight was the easiest for me to get through. I've been wanting to write for some time now, but I knew I couldn't possibly do it after p/t, and look at me...writing and don't look now - may even staying up past 8. Myofascial release has been huge in my recovery. I missed it last Wed after having major electrical issues in my vehicle (that only has 40,000 miles). It was a harrowing ride home, and I could feel everything was like a knot afterward, and I should have just shown up late to p/t and had her just do the massage part - but I chose a glass/es of wine instead. Anyway, slowly but surely I am improving. Yesterday, I didn't even think about limitations and did a shit ton of cleaning and cooking. It felt so good to have the house look so nice. Last night, my whole body ached and was worried I was sick. I went to bed really early (shocking...), but this morning I felt much better. I then realized I had done too much yesterday, but I wouldn't change a thing. It was another step toward feeling human.
Lately, I've noticed there have been times when I've felt like my old self. I had to take pause and think about it, because it has been so long since I've been myself- I'm not really sure what that looks like. I had a year where I dealt with trauma and went right into last November when I started to realize that I wasn't feeling right. This past year my physical issues have dominated me. I can sum up the past two years with trauma/reaction and ailments, but thank God that isn't the whole story. There has been a lot of good in there, too. I've just let the other crap control too much. So, although I've lost parts of me along the way, and there are injuries emotional and physical that I'm still working through - I haven't lost all of me. Hopefully, I've left some of the things behind - that needed to go. We all have to choose how to deal with life. I wish I were better at dealing with things, than I am - but I am getting much better at it. I've learned to accept myself in more ways and embrace who I am. I am especially grateful to see some parts of me return, and am grateful, that I get to appreciate them more. This might all sounds like complete self-absorption, but you must understand - I needed that....I put too many people in front of myself. Honest, to God I do. I started to wonder, if I had actually given every piece of me away.
On may way home tonight from physical therapy, I drove past where boot camp is being held. This happens often, and how I've accepted it has changed. In the beginning, all I could think about is, I bet I can return next week or month or whatever fairy tale I would tell myself. Now, I am much more realistic about things. I would love to be able to return in January, but I have a long fucking way to go before I'll be ready for anything like that. I hope I am, but I can't beat myself up if I'm not there yet. My body hasn't like that fact that I had a neck fusion. I know it takes time...I kept hearing that...but of course I thought I could beat the timelines, and that won't happen.
A picture the family and I took last year for our Christmas card, came up on my timehop this morning. I was really happy to see it. It took me back to that moment, of the 4 of use (with all but Ryne being anything but photogenic) trying to get a decent picture. We had some good laughs. I wasn't at the weight I wanted yet - probably 10 pounds away, but I was satisfied with where I was. Fast forward a year, and there has been a lot of weight put on. The first 45 years of my life, I would have beat the shit out of myself for how I let myself get over this past year. The 46 year old is much more compassionate. I'm not happy, at all, with where I am, but I am making small changes to fix it, and those will lead to big changes. More than anything, I'm so glad that looking at that photo wasn't all about my weight (it was the first family photo we'd taken since the boys were small because of my weight...), it was about going back to that moment an Ryne trying to hug and kiss Brian who was trying to get away. For me, this is huge progress and undoubtedly a result of learning to get through so much this past couple of years.
My family is in Seattle or headed to, as I type. We are having a family reunion. I couldn't go, as I really couldn't miss work after being out for so long. As it got closer, I did look into actually flying in on Thanksgiving morning and returning Sunday. It would just be me and the boys, as Brian has to work, and they can't get out of holiday work. Brian was supportive in us going, but then I returned to work and realized just how hard functioning like that was. I knew the trip would take a toll, and I wouldn't be able to enjoy it. Nobody wants to go to something like that - when they aren't quite themselves. I am really sad, but have worked hard on focussing on the positives of being home. I made our Thanksgiving dinner last night and we had another family come over. It was also a nice little celebration of buying our house 3 years ago. The boys and I will spend Thanksgiving day at a friend's house. I will also have a Thanksgiving dinner at another friend's the following day (Brian will be working and our h.s. football team has made the state championship, and the boys will be travelling to the game for marching band). I'll also get a little shopping in that day. I will also be doing our local Turkey Trot. I've had anxieties about doing it alone and undoubtedly coming in last - by A LOT, but I told a coworker I'd signed up (without telling her any of my anxieties) and she said it sounded fun and asked if she could do it with me. Another friend later said she wanted to walk it with me, which really made me feel good - as she is a runner. This Turkey Trot....means a lot to me....it's a new start. It may still be 2018, but I'm starting my new year now. This calendar year is going to end on a great note.
I may not be able to travel to see my family this weekend, but I have had plans to meet a friend in Florida the following weekend. She has a condo down there and has already rented a car. I bought the insurance on the ticket, just in case I thought I couldn't do it, but I won't do that to her - or me. The flight isn't too long, and it's only a weekend. The sun, sand, and beach will do me good, but more than anything, having a weekend with Nurse Kristy will be just what the Dr. ordered. I am someone who normally thrives on adventures and first, and with this being my first time to Florida there would be a lot to see and do. However, for this trip, all I picture is just good, quality time with a close friend. We'll probably spend most of our time in just chatting and drinking wine. NK is the easiest going person and will totally understand I can't be my more adventurous self right now, and will just appreciate me being there. I miss just hanging out with friends and enjoying a night of talk and wine. I'm very much looking forward to this.
I know, I know....this is a long post, but I really need write about this. There was a lot of hurt with some people not being there after the surgery or things that went along with it. People I've always tried to be there for. I know, this is life. We are not all the same in how we reach out, etc. Time heals a lot of those wounds. But with this, there is the opposite also. Some friends were there in huge ways, and I never could have expected that. I will always remember them for this. In my time of need, they were there. When I returned to work, our receptionist, said she had a card for me - that H.R. wouldn't give her my address. I've only worked here a few months, but this woman, is truly the kindest, most caring person I've ever met. I think anyone that is ever in her presence feels it. She had told me that she prayed for me every morning and evening, "Whenever I get to "J", I pray for Jennifer." Yes, this woman prays for someone in every letter of the alphabet! Anyway, she gave me the sweetest card, and a $50 Visa gift card. I was floored...it was completely unnecessary, but I know it made her feel good to do it. It brings tears to me eyes, just thinking of it. I promised her I would use it on something just for me - and I'm going to get new sunglasses before my Florida trip. We all can't be as kind as this woman is in every day of her life, but it just reiterates how we have the power to turn someone's day around by simple gestures. I'd received a card in the mail from my department while I was out. I thought H. R. provided them with a card, but when I returned, I heard the story about how this guy (who started a month after me) brought in the card and went around to everyone making sure they signed it for "Jenny," and also heard about how much he asked about how I was doing after the surgery. Again, he was that dude. The dude we can all be. We all have just this one life. I hope we make it the kind of life we can be proud of.
I hope you have a wonderful week and Holiday. -and hopefully you find your local Turkey Trot. It's a great way start the day.
I'll leave you with a song I absolutely love off of Brandi Carlile's newest album. I like her solo version better, because I'm a sucker for an original, but she put this out with Sam Smith - and that dude can sing, too. Together, they are magical.