Pretty much everything redefined.
I have learned some life-changing lessons over this time that I’ve been sick — life-threatening sick — and convalescing.
I have experienced some profound changes, and I’m doing everything I can to hold on to them as I slowly return to health.
Three weeks ago I wasn’t strong enough to scramble an egg
And it took me two days to eat the egg my sister scrambled for me.
Overnight, I stopped multi-tasking (I could barely single-task) and I started experiencing mindfulness in an entirely new way. Since my energy was so massively compromised, I had to choose every action with intention. I no longer had the bandwidth to watch TV and play games on my iPad at the same time. I had to plan every trip to the kitchen. When I grabbed some food to eat, I sat down and ate it. No reading, no iPad, no TV.
Priorities had changed. This is a gift. When would I — when would anybody — even think to sit down and review every single habit?
Many of my habits have dropped away or completely changed. I no longer drink strong green tea round the clock. In fact I no longer seem to be dependent upon caffeine. I’m having a cup of green tea today, by choice, not habit. What? One more: I now drive around with my windows open, something I never ever did in the 20 years I’ve lived in California. I have no idea how or why this happened.
I resisted being sick, and going to the hospital, partly because I didn’t want to rock the boat with my clients. (That’s fear, yo.)
My clients and my partners — without exception — have held space for my illness, and my healing. Talk about gratitude redefined.
Remember, I had just come back from a month’s vacation, and I ended up in the hospital four days after I got home. It had been really difficult for me to take the break. This is the second time in my career that I had taken a long vacation. By the time I got home I was eager to get back to work. And then — oops! — to have to tell my clients that I’m out of commission, and to have it last so long!
I couldn’t have made it without the love and loving (and sometimes stern) admonishments my clients and colleagues kept heaping on me. What a gift to be able to surrender to what is.
What gratitude redefined really means
Even that stuff that comes from the No way, Never, Not me, Seriously? Are you frickin’ kidding me? compartments, even that stuff is food for gratitude
I have been gifted with some pretty mortifying moments in this process. For a week or so, during the height of the c diff recurrence, I couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time. Now that’s fun. And I became a woman who doesn’t leave the house without clean panties and a baggie. Mortified.
But now I’m grateful for it. For all of it. It took a while, but I got to gratitude. Those of you who know me know that gratitude is the centerpiece of my spiritual life and of my business. Well, lately I’ve been feeling like all this time I’ve been a gratitude piker. I was conditionally grateful. Yes, it’s true. I was grateful for the good stuff, and I think — if I’m to be honest about this — that I just didn’t really see the places where I was not so much grateful at all. But now…
- I’m grateful I got sick, and that it wasn’t worse.
- I’m grateful I’m alive.
- I’m grateful that my life was saved by competent hospital doctors and nurses.
- I’m grateful that this ruptured appendix and all that followed may just have a significant impact on the chronic digestive issues I’ve had since 2011.
- I’m grateful I had clean panties and a baggie to carry around with me (and which I never needed to use while out of the house, phew! — but I was prepared).
My annoyance threshold has been raised — I just don’t get so annoyed any more
Seriously. For the first three weeks of my convalescence at home, someone stood in front of my window and bounced a basketball, every day, for about 30–45 minutes. Bounce. Bounce. Now, listen, there is no basketball hoop out there. There isn’t even one in the community center park across the street. No one plays basketball around here.
At first I got irritated. (Hey, I’ve had a lot of practice.) But then I started to enjoy listening to this mysterious stranger bouncing the ball every day. In my imagination I saw a young African-American male, but who knows?
I started looking forward to the daily visit. And I really started to wonder why, why here? I finally got to the point where I wanted to go down and meet this person, and that was the day the bouncing stopped.
I’m less annoyed everywhere. Driving, dealing with the $200,000 in medical bills (looks like I’m gonna be paying $640 after the glitches get worked out). Even the annual Fourth of July insanity right outside my windows didn’t bug me like it used to.
Okay, enough rambles from me today! If something resonated, if you have a question, or just want to say hi, please join the conversation and leave a comment below. Much love, many many blessings.