I’ve never been great at spontaneity. I wish I was – trust me, I WISH I WAS. And thankfully I’ve been given a partner who forces me out of my comfort zone in that regard, but I’m more of a worrier and a planner by nature. So, naturally, as I approach the dawn of the day that marks a new year, my Birthday, I tend to find myself wondering what the next year will be like. What I see for myself. I think this is our nature as humans, and I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad one. We reflect on a year or a milestone and look to the next one wondering how we can improve upon ourselves. For me, there’s no regret, no judgement, just a longing to do and be better.
Before my 32nd year had actually approached, I dubbed it the year of productivity. I was going to figure out how to make better use of my time, how to have more free time, how to make more money, essentially how to make my days idilic. And it’s almost like I cursed myself because what followed was, quite literally, a series of unfortunate events.
First came the ulcer. Or what both my traditional and functional medicine doctors believed was some form of ulcer. My insurance had lapsed and I didn’t want to spend money on tests, so I ran with it. The symptoms fit. But I was miserable and I was devastated. I was supposed to be having a wine and pizza birthday party and had been told to essentially live off the world’s blandest foods – rice, chicken, potato, squash, artichoke, blah. Absolutely NO wine and NO pizza. Just dig my grave now. Seriously, I’ve never understood when patients call asking for a cheat day on their Birthday because they just ‘haaaaave to have (insert bad food here)’ but I get it now. Emotionally, I so get it. So, per aforementioned docs’ advice, I started taking Prilosec – something that I dreaded and fought – 2x a day. I started using probiotics via both top and bottom (you read that right) in an effort to quickly reinoculate my gut flora. I stopped my normal supplement and keto routine, and started eating bland foods. I gave up my morning coffee ritual, swapped wine for tea… I basically became a saint. And on the eve of my first (yes, first… There were to be a few) birthday party, my gut was starting to normalize. Hallelujah!
Fast forward to later that night – my sisters and friends were in town and staying with us. I’m climbing the stairs to our guest loft bed, chatting with my friend who is standing in the doorway, and as my foot hits the second to last stair, the ladder gives out from under me and I fall backwards. First onto a metal table, then onto the hardwood. All I remember is hitting the glass table, my vision going black except for – no joke – a huge white crystal that exploded into a million pieces (I think this was likely from all the glass shattering that I kicked off the table when I hit). Next thing I know, everyone is crowded around me and I think I’m paralyzed but, thank the Lord, I’m not. ER X-Rays show a fractured scapula (side note: this accounts for less than 1% of fractures because it’s SO HARD TO DO), my arm is put in a sling and I’m sent home. The rest of the weekend goes great – I think I may have still been in a state of shock. We went up to Big Sur and enjoyed the most perfect weather and company and I got by on high dose Tylenol and CBD oil.
The Monday following brings strike 3 – the flu. The past 4 days I’ve slept anywhere between 15-20 hours a day and miraculously avoided the Hospital but, for a minute there, it took me down with a vengeance.
I guess you’re wondering why I’m sharing all of this and all I can come up with is that I feel overwhelmingly lucky. I feel like I’ve dodged a few big, fat bullets. That, or that something much bigger than me seriously has my back. Now that I’ve typed that, I think it’s a combo of both. The fall could have just has easily left me in a wheelchair. The flu in the Hospital, like it has for so many I know this year. I feel like all I can say to people when they say ‘I’m sorry’ is ‘I’m okay, it could be way worst.’ Because I am, and it could. I don’t even feel sad (yet) that I have a 6 week hiatus from practicing yoga because I’m living and breathing and I clearly am in really good health. And I have so many more days ahead of me to live my purpose. And those, my friends, are the greatest gifts we could ever be given.
It seems like 2018 has had a rocky start for a lot of people that I know. If you’re one of them: know that you’re not alone (there is SOMETHING going on in the universe). Try to find the good, because there’s always a silver lining in there somewhere. Count your blessings. When you sit in silence, I think you’ll find that you have more than you could ever need. And that you, too, are really, really lucky.
Of all your lifetimes, do you know which ones you’ll look back on with the fondest memories, the most pride, and the widest grin?
The ones where in spite of challenges, no matter how daunting, difficult, or painful, you pressed on.
Like a Cheshire Cat,
You utterly fascinate