On the way home from my most recent business trip, a few things happened! I had time to think and I had time to talk. Before I really got on the road home, I had to stop at my favorite place in Rohnert Park for something sweet to eat – my therapy food. Of course, my personal trainer, Jeremy, would totally disagree, but he’s a guy and I’m sure he is NOT an emotional eater. I have been incredibly diligent with my nutrition and diet for months, so I have no guilt. I rarely sneak a candy bar and I can’t remember the last time that I actually swung by Baskin-Robbins on my way home for dinner. My favorite two scoop combo (mint chip and Pralines and Cream) has always tempted me, but not in months. I have felt so healthy with my nutrition and I guess I have not needed to get my daily dairy intake from ice cream.
But today was that day where I felt that I could drown my sorrows in not one, but TWO amazing chocolate cupcakes from Sift Dessert Bar. The name of this chocolate miracle of a cupcake is The Sky Is Falling! I hope you are salivating right now! It was heavenly. My husband loves to watch me eat my sweets and laughs at me. He will say, “Did you even enjoy that? You inhaled it.” And I sigh. “Of course, I did” as I lick my fingers!
I digress a bit, but you will see how I tie this up with a nice bow at the end. So anyways, the cupcake was chocolate with a chocolate peak of whipped heaven on top. But the surprise was the inside of the cupcake – an extra nice cloud of sweetness nestled inside. I know you are salivating now, right?
After I inhaled my cupcake, I received a phone call and got a little turned around as I was talking and ended up in downtown San Fran – blaring horns, buildings that create claustrophobia, memories of the 1989 earthquake. Opposite of Zen for sure. So, I got back on the road after my detour and was heading back (again) on the freeway.
I ended up talking to a friend and colleague about the messages that one should take from experiences (good or bad). Her daughter, Courage, has struggled with mental health issues. Although I have never met Courage in person, I can tell she is amazing. So, how does Courage come into my story of a cupcake (or two) and a detour along the way?
This was a challenging week for sure for me. Courage paid the nicest compliment to me and had her mother send a picture of herself doing a full-on crow pose. She was so proud of it, but she was most excited for me to see her do this. I was excited that someone else gets my love of yoga – that peace and strength that comes with the practice and the ability to surrender worry. But what she did not know is that her pride and the fact that she wanted me to be a part of it really helped my outlook too! It encouraged me to keep trying. I have faceplanted doing a crow but have always tried again. Courage’s excitement gave me that moment to smile just like I did as I ate my TWO chocolate cupcakes. She gave me that opportunity to be reminded of the importance of continuing on and moving forward even if I faceplant.
Courage’s mom and I continued to chat about new challenges, and she asked, “What do you think there is to learn?” I had to think and think. Really hard this time. “I’m not sure, I guess it would be developing the trait of patience and realizing that all things are not on my timeline.” I like to have all of my ducks in a row and if they are swimming in all different directions in the pond, I become impatient. I go to places in my mind that I should not, and I know this. My first hip surgery just about put me into a tailspin of uncertainty – my second one – not so much. But part of that also comes with trusting my body and those around who I have enlisted and trusted to help. Courage has allowed many to support her in her journey as have I – whether we faceplant or not. “Crow pose is a metaphor for life: sometimes you soar and sometimes you crash. The highs-and-lows are simply constant reminders that we are, indeed, human” (Dr. Grace Bullock).
As a patient, whether you have hip problems, knee problems, cancer, diabetes or mental health issues, look at the big picture. The detours in life will still get you home, just maybe a little later, maybe with a little more mileage, and a little more wear and tear, but you will get there. You may miss the exit on your trip to Goal A and you have to reset and calibrate to Goal B or even Goal Z. That is okay. Along the way, you may run through the unpleasant surprises of potholes, but you also may get little surprises like the extra fluff inside of a cupcake that you were not expecting. Here’s to looking for those hidden messages in your healthcare journey! Find what you are supposed to learn from your experience! Here’s to hopeful hips and healthy outlooks!