Sunday, December 26, 2010

Good Intentions and Where They Often Lead

(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger, better version)

Of course, I intended to post something special with a Merry Christmas wish to all. We can see where those intentions landed me. While I contemplate the sad way I strayed from the better path, I am reminded of another aphorism: "Pride goeth before a fall." I hasten to add there was no literal tumbling to ground or floor involved. This, alone, is reason to be grateful. Instead, I have been forced to reevaluate my capacity for recovery. I recall that in a particularly cheeky mood while in the hospital, I even said to someone: "I have recovered from seven major surgeries in my life. I think I understand this process fairly well." Hah! Lesson learned: never underestimate the toll the passing years take on our strength and resilience. Yes, I know it's been less than two months since I left the hospital, but....

As if these lessons were not enough to digest, I am reexamining my original determination to avoid writing about my recovery. I imagined myself limiting my posts to cheery notes about interesting things going on around me and leaving my feelings about being incapacitated to the imaginations of any interested enough to contemplate my progress. Alas, I lack the energy, imagination, will...whatever. My days are long, yet the weeks fly by. I long for the activities I had come to treasure: long morning or evening walks with camera in hand; hours lost in processing photos and endless experimentation with shooting techniques or immersion in Photoshop tutorials; frequent blogging and a vigorous web conversation.

Instead, long fights with boredom, depression, pain, and hopelessness are punctuated with glimpses of ambition, determination, and optimism. Change isn't always easy. Aren't we peculiar creatures? We long for adventure, resist sameness and repetition yet, all too often, we balk at new developments in our lives and flail about in futile attempts to reconstruct what was when what is proves uncomfortable.

Our Christmas was extremely modest and quiet. It began with the sunrise pictured above, was propelled along with wind gusts of up to 30 mph throughout the day, and ended with a torrential downpour. We had the beef and vegetables in the crock pot by 8:00 AM. Then, before 9, I had the fresh bread in the oven. While the wind roared, I stayed tucked inside where the fireplace cheered the great room. Mostly, I amused myself by alternately watching sticky sweet and predictable Hallmark movies (odd that they they all have almost exactly the same plot) and marveling as backyard and patio items were tossed about by the wind gusts.

All in all, it wasn't the best Christmas I have ever had, but it was a long way from the worst. I hope yours was merry and memorable for all the right reasons and I wish you you the Happiest ever New Year!


  1. Anita, I think we sometimes tend to charge ahead believing a strong will, positive thinking and determination can overpower anything. Well, from my own past experiences I can testify that isn't always true. The trees that survive the strongest wind are the ones bending with the flow. We'd not consider those trees as "lacking energy, will or whatever"...we'd marvel at their ability to survive a tough situation.

    Change...Lordy how I've struggled with it in my life. My wife has spend her professional life in Organizational Management and Associate Relations and she's an agent of change. I marvel at people who flow so easily with change. Me...I need some advance notice before I'm even remotely comfortable with it...I've gotten so I only need about 3 days of notice! ~grin~

    I often find writing to be therapeutic and I hope this will be for you. For now let me end by simply saying, Happy Holidays and may the coming New Year bring all those things your striving for.

  2. Earl - Thank you for the holiday wishes. they are most welcome. May your New Year bring change only where you most desire it. :)

    I also appreciate your sharing your struggles with change, as well as the valuable thoughts on the limits of determination and the power of positive thinking. You cut right to the core of the problem. The metaphor of the trees and the wind has set me thinking—more perhaps than is healthy.

    I am hoping that indulging in this self-pity and sharing my "whine" will serve as good therapy. Perhaps it is at least marginally better than simply clamming up.

  3. Anita,

    I have to say, and I am not just speaking to make you feel better--what you lack in being able to photograph right now you make up with in your writing. Seems as though, as much as you don't want to write about your recovery, your writing is well done and hits some universal nails right on their shiny heads: recovery is hard. Recovery when you are older is really, really hard.

    Please share--its still a journey and your prose are lovely to read. Plus, its really nice to hear from you! Mary Ann (Happy Holidays).

  4. Anita, Best wishes for a New Year that will see improvement on all fronts!

  5. Mary Ann - You always say the loveliest things! Thanks a million for the encouragement. I suppose I will continue to write about these feelings. Not the cheeriest stuff, but it's what is for now.

    I hope your New Year is full of Joy and Love.

  6. Steve - I know that the future is filled with the promise of good things. Gracious, there is goodness all around me now. I'm just not capable of fully appreciating all of it. That is where my work lies. Thanks for the positive thoughts.

  7. I am with Earl - writing about it can often help you understand yourself better, or at least bring some realization of some of the struggles to the surface. Not always easy to do if you are normally a private person. I know I am when it comes to health matters. To this day I never really wrote about many of the past struggles I have had. One involved some serious surgery, so I can try to understand a little what the road to recovery is like. Sometimes it makes sense to write, other times, it doesn't have to - just as long as it is flowing.

    I hope you have a wonderful, healthy, and prosperous new year Anita!

  8. Mark - Giving up and getting my "whine" out of the way seems to have been good therapy. At least, it got me back to communicating.

    I agree about the privacy issue. It's a struggle for me. I still can't admit much of what is going on now. It's quite nice to know that others share feelings about these things.

    And, thanks for the New Year wishes. Of course, I wish you the same.


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