During my recovery, which you can read about in numerous 2014-2015 posts, each day presented a new challenge.
Our kitchen was gutted down to its studs when I fell, the old kitchen sink temporarily relocated to the back porch. Still, I felt as if each stage of my (and my kitchen's) recovery was an opportunity to be better than I was the day before. There were doctors’ appointments to be kept, grueling physical therapy, and I had to keep my business going. Granted, there were setbacks and down time. Gazing at the kitchen from our bedroom seemed like staring into the darkened belly of an old whaling ship, wondering if we would ever do dishes indoors again. I insulated the kitchen walls by pulling myself up from my wheelchair and standing on my good leg, and painted the eventual sheet rock. (I left the more difficult, hard-to-reach areas for Wayne and our contractors.)
As I moved my wheelchair around and re-positioned myself for each task, I couldn’t help but have the feeling, “This isn’t a hardship; I get to do this.”
Eventually, fresh, bright new walls appeared around us, as did the kitchen counters and appliances.
Two years later I am doing things better than I did before, perhaps because I’m more mindful of how I move around (and I’m titanium-enriched). I’m still banned from ladders, but I’m okay with that. I’ve come to accept and appreciate the notion that you can actually hire people to do things instead of trying to do all of them yourself, and it ends up costing less than the staggering hospital bills (most of them covered by ObamaCare, thank you very much). And of course, everyone I talk to has a worse ladder story than me, although I will tell you that when my chiropractor looked at my x-rays, he shook his head in disbelief and said, “You could have died.”
Things could have gone way worse than they did, and for that I’m extremely grateful.
So I keep this beholden thought-form in mind whenever I’m doing something difficult, such as pumping iron at the gym, painting a fence, splitting firewood, or just carrying a load of food scraps up the hill to our compost bin:*
I get to do this.
* Our compost bin is actually the skeletal remains of a 1933 Oldsmobile I’d originally wanted to offer on eBay, but when the former owner of our house described two men sliding down the snowy ravine sometime in the 1950s and getting stuck, then jumping out of the car and running away, I decided it should stay up in the woods as functional art. Unless you're interested—just let me know.