Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saddling Up

Throughout this adventure, it’s been clear that the only thing over which I have total control is how I greet the events as they unfold. I’ve thus worked hard to take things as they come and to appreciate the great and wonderful moments that came along. In looking for them, we’ve all found and enjoyed them. In the last few weeks, I lost the hang of pulling that off, as the pace of life accelerated and as we adapted to the changes of this year and our empty nest. In retrospect, it’s clear to me that the one year anniversary caught me off guard.

From the very first consultation with the neurosurgeon, we were warned that the recovery would take a year or more. There were even conversations that talked about eighteen to twenty-four months, though the year benchmark was the most frequently recurring one. Following the blogs of other meningioma-craniotomy patients who were somewhat ahead of me in their own adventures, it seemed like the year mark was a watershed. For me, though, it’s been a hard anniversary. While this recovery is very far along and there are many (many) blessings to count, it’s far from what it would be nice to hope will be the finish line. The mismatch between my expectations and reality caused a slump in my outlook and attitude. As you'll have noticed, I slowed down on my writing here. Coupled with a virus of some sort that put us both under the weather, I somehow lost hold of my will and ability to find the best in the situation. That wasn’t fun and reinforces its importance.

Poor Michael bore the brunt of this yesterday, when I was not only glum but grumpy all day. I didn’t like how it felt and neither did he, much. Today, then brings a new resolve to focus on the good parts and to appreciate the improvements as they come. Nothing is guaranteed so we might as well be happy about the positive parts--of which there have been and continue to be many. It helps that the sun is shining today after yesterday’s grey and rain. Plus, the university has a new interim president, announced yesterday, who can only improve what’s been a dreadful situation for too long now. There’s more to go there, too, and it feels like there are good reasons to hope that will happen.

Today, then, brings a renewed resolve to enjoy the sunshine, appreciate the wonderful people who inhabit my life, including this semester's great students, as well as to generally seek joy. Happy is better than grumpy. It’s a state of mind and a habit as much as anything else. Here’s to getting back into the groove.

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