Saturday, October 4, 2008

Gaining Ground; Distance Still to Go

Yesterday brought some milestones: after my shoulder was taped in occupational therapy, I was able to drive, a first since surgery. It felt good. The pain is much reduced and, by now, the last of the steroids should be out of my system. The shoulder-taping also helped with sleeping. We’re settling into long-term recovery mode. At the same time, it was hard to feel triumphant, as there’s so much distance yet to go.

My mood was surely affected by the cooler weather and reduced sunshine, but also, I think, by the sheer uncertainty of knowing, at any given time, what is possible and what is not. It is hard to plan ahead as it is not possible to predict how things will progress. For a person who has been perhaps overly fond of certainty and maybe had a worldview that was a little black-and-white at times, this is trying. I’m working at seeing it as part of my special opportunity to learn patience and acquire grace.

Today’s main task, therefore, is to find a more cheerful frame of mind and to focus on the progress, not the distance to go or the uncertainty. We’re scheduled to visit one of my brothers at the end of next week in conjunction with me giving a talk at a university I have been working with for many years. They’ve been wonderful about reorganizing the original schedule to fit within what we think (being sensible and prudent) I ought to be able to do by the end of the week. Assuming I have enough stamina to spend the entire class period at either or both of my classes this week, this should work. The daunting part is wondering if I can still be me and do what I love to do, and do it well. We’ll know more next week.

In the meantime, there are naps to take and papers to grade, and maybe a walk in the park on a beautiful autumn day. Shea is taking the SAT this morning and the farmer’s market is this morning. We have a full and good life and we intend to revel in it. For now, that’s enough. We hope your Saturday is full of friendship and love.

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