Monday, March 18, 2013
It's amazing how life unfolds. I saw a post on FB the other day that showed the 'path' of life from point A to point B. One drawing showed a straight line from A to B. The other drawing showed a squiggly line running all over itself going forward and backwards and crossing over itself many times! As I find myself on one of those twists and turns that takes a few steps backwards I feel much less rattled about it as I normally would.
It takes some time to pull back and look at things from a distance. Normally I have myself so close to a situation I don't have any perspective except for an emotional reaction. A little background info would be helpful. Last August I placed my Dad in a long term care facility that turned out to be a terrible place. I withdrew my Dad and took him back home and set in place the system that has worked so well for him in the past. I went to the gym four times a week. # of them for a work out with my trainer and one a kickboxing class. A new placement came up for my Dad about a week and a half before Christmas. This place was number one on our list. Winter was coming and we were concerned for my Dad's safety. (He had wandered from home four times in three months.) So we placed my Dad. I believe the transition is far more difficult for me than Dad. In addition I have asked my daughter to live in my Dad's house so that it is not vacant. I have to tell you going over there and seeing my Dad's spotless little house transformed into the image of my daughter's messy bedroom was shocking and very difficult to deal with. However, something has happened to me in this cancer journey over the last three years. I am not the person I was. I don't focus on these events and use them to upset myself. I can rationalize the feeling and move on. Nice.
My husband was home for four months from October. He was called back to work ( a remote mining camp in Nunavut) Do you know (I ask sarcastically) that it is very easy to fall back into bad habits when you have someone to do it with? So I began to sit and eat more than usual. In addition a young woman who had worked in the camp came to visit and stayed for 8 weeks before going back to work herself. And... wait for it... she is a baker. Ya, ya... what does that tell you? Yes, I ate the cinnamon rolls and the fresh bread and... and... Needless to say in three months I packed 8 pounds back on to my pastry loving body!!
I lasted about a week after my husband and the baker went back to work. I was simply exhausted. On top of that my piriformis muscle went into spasm and squeezed on my sciatic nerve. I was glued to the handrail halfway upstairs and I couldn't move the pain was so bad. My daughter phoned for an ambulance and I ended up in emerg looking for some relief. Heavy duty drugs and two weeks later I am crushed.
Soooo, I made a decision. Clear my calendar and do nothing. Take some time to refuel and reset my compass. No gym, no appointments that made me feel like I had to do something. Take some time and just be. Well I had to stumble a little. Typically when I am in a situation like that I want to sit and have a nice coffee and a treat. I grew up as many people have with the idea that you use food as a treat to give to guests as something to reward yourself with. SO I managed to scarf down cake and candies for the first two weeks of my time off adding a little more adipose tissue to my frame. I also thought I could start to impose a low carb diet to make up for all the candy etc. that had crossed my lips. Then I saw that post with the path from A to B. A totally different thought came to me. Why rake myself over the coals over poor performance and telling myself I have failed and should be doing something differently. Freedom. A feeling of freedom came over me. Permission to fail without making a big deal over it. Keep facing forward and do the best I can on a day to day basis. Dump the guilt. Can;t change what has already happened!
For today, that feeling of compulsion that comes over me to go and get candy or cake to fill the void is not there. Let's hope that feeling lasts for a while. I like it!