Originally posted 5/11/15
Today I posted a photo of Pat and I walking at Tyler Arboretum. "1.5 miles today!" Within a couple hours, there were over 100 likes. Within a couple hours!! We are nothing if not well supported. I love hearing from friends, near and far. They have kept me alive and keep us going. But I want to tell them: this is only part of the story.
I want to talk for a minute about Facebook. Or Saving Face(book). Or Two-Face(book). Because let’s be honest. Things aren’t what they seem when we post them.
Yes! Pat, James and I walked 1.5 miles today at the arboretum. That is absolutely true. A man whose doctor has told us that four months ago, it was her expectation that he wouldn’t be doing much walking ever. Ever. Just walked 1.5 miles. Astounding. Photo-worthy, most certainly.
Know what else is astounding? Here’s what’s not in the photo: That walk? It took 115 minutes. Just shy of two hours. Take a moment and do the math. That’s about a 76 minute mile. Know how I know? I HAD TIME TO DO THE MATH. Try walking 1.5 seventy-six minute miles with a 7 year old. Give that one a moment to swirl around. What do you do with a 7 year old who is moving for 2 hours at a 76 minute mile/pace? I tell you what you do. In our case, with every single step you are grateful that you have the children you do—because ours are outstanding. This little boy? He’s exactly who we needed. But that’s another story : )
So we walk (painfully, laboriously, precariously) and I worry. And we talk. Endlessly. About dragons. And baseball. And bugs. And anything else Jamie wants to talk about. Because he is so patient and deserves it. And I worry. I worry about what to do if Pat falls, if he doesn’t feel well, if we can’t finish.
We walk slowly. I mean slooooowlyy. I know it. Pat knows it. Being sarcastic people, we are snarky about it. Why pretend? Everything we do, we do at a whole new pace. After four months, I am still nowhere close to syncing our new pace with our schedule. I’m still “popping in” places for minutes at a time when I plan my day. Popping? We don’t pop. I have yet to adapt. But Pat has always told me that I think time works differently for me. To him, this is nothing new.
We’ve discussed our new pace. To be honest, we don’t care for it. I’ve tried to come up with some kind of artful transformation: we have time to smell the flowers, or to really appreciate the landscape, the brilliant blue sky…but honestly, I hate going slow. I’m going to just come right out and say it. I mean, I’m a New Yorker! I don’t do slow. Or I didn’t do slow. And for the record, Pat hates going slow too. I’m pretty sure he hates it a whole lot more than I do. And with good reason.
The paragraph above is the point of writing this... I have a confession to make. I am not making lemonade out of every lemon. Some aspects just suck. Is that bad? Can I tell you that? Is it ok?
This time of year makes me happy. It’s all promise—new beginnings. This year is no exception. Once it’s warm enough to be outside (by my hothouse plant standards), that’s where I want to be. This weekend I woke up and could feel the warm sun and thought, “A hike! We can hike!” then I remembered—we can’t hike yet. Right now a hike is a walk on a hill without a path. And it’s kind of stressful, at that.
Right now, life feels like a chain of realizations. It kind of amazes me that I can be taken by surprise so frequently. We can hike! Not right now. There’s a street fair in town! Let’s go! Wait—slowly. And again, kind of nerve-wracking. Last summer we took an adventure vacation. We hiked a mountain in Idaho. Went white water rafting. Jamie was old enough for us to get back to being more grown-up active. And now…we need to adjust. This isn’t complaining. It’s our reality. And life is a series of realizations. To pretend that it isn’t disappointing and hard sometimes—for all of us, Pat most of all—just seems ridiculous.
So there you are. Not inspirational. But where we are to date. We are so grateful for the support we receive. We are adjusting to our new lives while keeping our eyes on the prize by not accepting them. Constantly pushing forward. I believe strongly that it is possible to have more than one feeling at a time. We can be grateful for all that we are regaining while being frustrated and disappointed by what we've lost. Maybe you are sometimes too? Feel free to chime in. Today I am grateful to be alive and for our health AND also wouldn’t it be great if….