This morning I headed over to the (wet, again) garden on my own. The girls have been staying with their cousins and grandparents out of state this week, and so it’s been another quiet week around the house without them. The state of the garden is… green. Green and lush and dripping with moisture, punctuated with vivid colors – mostly pinks, yellows, and purples. They look almost neon bright on an overcast day.
A year ago today, at the same time that I was roaming the garden this morning, I was headed into the second of seven professional exams. When I left the testing center hours later, I headed to the store to try on and purchase a couple of pairs of running shoes – my first real shoes post-surgery. I took my selections to my physical therapist the following day so that I could try them out with her and have her evaluate them and help me decide which pair to keep. I said goodbye to her that day which reminds me that tomorrow I really should email her with an update and a thank you for working me into her practice and giving me the best possible start at getting back to a life of activity, and walking, and now running again.
I know that in the big scheme of things my surgery and taking those tests were just small things. They were challenging in the moment, but then they were done and life moved on. And although they certainly impacted my immediate family – first I checked out physically (walking, driving, cooking, cleaning, everything) and then I checked out mentally (studying eleven days out of every two weeks) – a lot of it was just me, doing the work, trying to reach the next goal and moving right onto the next one before even catching my breath.
I spend a lot of time in my own head still – maybe I got sort of used to it, and now I realize that I really need it. I’ve always been such a driven person, almost manic at times. I used to be able to multi-task like that, but not so much any more. I spend more time really focusing on the moment and that’s made me quieter. And calmer. And stronger, so much stronger. I’m more comfortable in this place, in my own shoes. I appreciate those shoes more. I appreciate the work more. I appreciate the run more.