It will soon be six months since I had my life changing hip replacement surgery. If you were to see me jumping around now, you’d never imagine that the day after surgery I could only move my toes.
One of the reasons I had such a good recovery was yoga. On the morning of my surgery, I got onto my yoga mat and did a farewell yoga practice. I knew I wouldn’t be able to practice yoga for a long time. I cried as I thanked and said goodbye to my unaltered body; soon there would be a titanium and ceramic prosthesis inside of me. I said good bye to certain poses I would never be able to do again, like the child’s pose, one of the most basic, delicious poses in yoga. Apparently, a new hip doesn’t like the geometry of this pose.
Whoa! If it’s one thing I’ve learned from blogging…people love a whiff of misery. I’m expecting a tsunami of hits on this post. It’s human nature: people like to read about those who are worse off than they are so they can feel better about themselves. Or, we like to read about someone who has the same problem, so we feel we’re in the same boat.
Well, no misery here except, very simply: At this august moment in my life, I can look back and say: I have never been properly, truly loved by a man.
Hello my lovelies! It’s July! 2017 is half over. In six months we’ll be musing about how quickly the year went, wondering where it went and thinking about the new year.
Let’s take a moment. How have the first six months of 2017 been for you? How can we reap the best of the rest of the year? What do we need to change? Or is everything going swimmingly?
2017 has been like nothing I expected or wanted when it started out. It’s been
difficult a challenge.
I recall my father saying to me when he was in his 70’s and 80’s: “My skeleton hurts.” I let it slide by, not understanding, not caring to understand. That’s the arrogance and breeziness of youth.
Now I understand. My skeleton hurts. I guess I inherited it from him.
So, in addition to this being the year of living passionately, this is also the year of the bod. My bod.
A lifelong friend of mine passed away last week. At first I felt numb. Then I felt sadness and loss. I accepted the condolences. I grieved.
And now I feel angry.
We are uncomfortable with feeling anger in general, and especially uncomfortable with feeling angry at someone who has died. It doesn’t seem right, or “seemly.”
My darling Bob,
Last week whilst I was busy living, you were busy dying. I was boating on the Gulf, sipping Prosecco and cutting into a birthday cake and you were leaving.
Separated by thousands of miles, you left your old age on the day I entered mine. You slipped out, while I slipped in, no, burst in, “To rage against the dying light.”
Why didn’t you…? You shouldn’t … or You should…! Do you deserve…? How could you…? Why did you? How can you justify… Shouldn’t you be…?
This is about silencing those mischievous, terrible voices in my head that constantly criticize and question me.
When I was young, I didn’t think anything about my body. I lived in it.
Now, I’m aware of it all the time.
I have a hip issue, a shoulder situation and a knee thing. (I don’t call them problems.) I have turned into the sometimes limping and stiff vision of my elders. Instead of cursing myself and being angry, I embrace my body and all its imperfections. I love my body. My body has brought me here. My body has given me great pleasure. My body has birthed two children. My body has played thousands of hours of tennis. It has walked everywhere, run on beaches, hiked on mountains, skied and skated. It has sailed, walked cities, strolled through museums and sat in cathedrals and concerts all around the world.
Lately, fear has crept into my life. I can’t pinpoint exactly when, why, where or how. I never used to be a fearful person.
When I was younger, I’d make a plan and go for it. Move to New York and go to grad school? Yes! Quit my job and start a business? Yes! Move to a foreign country to write a novel? Yes! Marry a foreigner? Be the founder of the Merida English Library? Yes and yes!
I’m not saying slow down, I’m saying, change up.
“I determined that at sixty-five, business, properly speaking, should know me no more. On my sixty fifth birthday I woke a free man.”
–from “All Passion Spent” by Vita Sackville West
“When I retire…” We say these words all our life. We say them when we are frustrated with our job, our boss, our lack of time, not enough sleep, pining for a creative outlet. We say, “When I retire” as a threat, a promise, a dream.
Then the day comes. Whilst there are those who are thrilled, fulfilled and “ready for the next adventure,” it has become chic to squawk, “Who me? I’m never going to retire!” Insulted at the notion even.