Two years ago I signed up for weekly emails to train for a 5k. At the time I was walking 5 miles a day and had just started adding jogging. I thought it would be motivating, maybe even fun to collect 5k race t-shirts.
Of course, life had other plans and before I could even get a second 5k training email, I was at the doctor for neck pain. I thought it was just a pinched nerve, but it wasn’t. My doctor sent me for x-rays and physical therapy, but more symptoms arrived that landed me in a neurologist’s office.
Then came MRIs, a spinal tap and several other poking and prodding sorts of tests. Life became a series of NEW things, including conversations about possible diseases you never think could be in your future, but were now a MAYBE.
All I wanted was a stupid 5k race t-shirt.
Forget the shirt, I just wanted my OLD things back.
The thing is, I really can’t go back. I’ve gotten some answers. One of which is something called small fiber neuropathy, aka the foot and hand terrorist that turns my nerves into zombies (they’re dead, but they can still wreak havoc). Oh and it’s “idiopathic” which means of course, no one knows why I have it. Not even Google knows (and we are very close, I’m expecting my internet medical degree in the mail any day now).
All this time I’ve been waiting for answers, but it was just this last week that I realized I’d been under the assumption that once I had the answer I would also have the solution. But I don’t, not the kind that would make the nerve damage and whatever is causing it, to go away.
It was another reminder that we don’t always get the answers we want, or even answers at all in life. So yea, it’s my new thing. Maybe the old things were better. Maybe. But this is what I’m moving into my future with, so I have to deal.
And guess what? I don’t think that 5k t-shirt is so stupid. I still want it. Yes, there is an inclination to just forget about it, even forget about the exercise I am still attempting to do (no matter how lame the old me might think it to be).
Except I’m still here and to me that means no giving up allowed.
So how does one go about moving forward after suck-tastic change?
Well, I’m all about baby steps. You can still cover the distance that way.
And gratitude helps, but don’t beat yourself up by playing the Olympic pain games. You know, the ones that make you feel like you can’t be mad or sad because someone else’s life sucks more than yours.
Above all, try to be kind to yourself!
Which brings me to the greeting family and friends have been giving each other the last couple of days: “Have a SWEET new year.” This week began the Jewish new year. Like the new year in January, it is a time to take stock of the previous year. It’s an opportunity for change, renewal and spiritual transformation.
The new year challah is round to symbolize the cycle of the year, the circle of life and the opportunity for spiritual transformation.
You see that honey in the background of the photo? Apples and challah bits got a good dunking in the sweet stuff. My daughter even doused her corn kugel (pudding) with honey.
A little sweet can go a long way. Even just the idea of it offers up HOPE.
Like imagining a future post with me in a 5k t-shirt. 🙂
So be sweet to yourself.
Or focus on the new things that are awesome. For me that’s thinking about publishing my first book or seeing the Grand Canyon with my husband and kids in a couple of months.
With dangling carrots like those it’s easier to maintain some forward motion.
So, whatever changes you are in the middle of, I wish you a sweet transformation!
How do you deal with change? What are the dangling carrots that keep you going?
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