Updated: Feb 3, 2019
I am very directionally challenged. My brain does not think in north, south, east and west, but rather up, down, left and right. The most frustrating part of navigating any journey for me is figuring out how to navigate away from the “You are Here” red dot. The red dot, for me, is a good thing. It grounds me and I know exactly where I am in relationship to that red dot and I’m in the moment. I am not worrying about the obstacles I will need to traipse through, around or over to get to the destination.
The other part of the equation to my destination, which is more unsettling, is finding the box on the map that equals where I want to or need to go. It may be A3 or B4, upstairs or downstairs, outside or inside. I need to be able to conceptualize the red dot, the box on the map and then point my feet in the direction and start moving. Most times, I’m on a mission. Don’t get in my way. The goal is always the destination and not the process.
The problem with my thinking is that it does not let me enjoy the moment. I am unable to see the young mother cradling her newborn or the elderly couple walking slowly enjoying each other’s company. It certainly does not allow me to just breathe in the scent of Mrs. Fields Cookies (although a calorie saver, it's still a mistake). I am unable to realize that there may be something else to see (or learn) from a pit stop along the way.
After my second hip surgery in about two months, I had cabin fever. I was anxious to go somewhere. I was focused on anywhere, but home. That was my end game that day – get out of the house! But I lost one very simple message as my husband tied my shoes for me. I lost the message that I was loved and cared for. I realized my attitude and perspective can get in the way of recovery from hip surgery or any other challenge really. It is very hard to not focus on your pain and what you can’t do yet. The real challenge, though, is to look at how far you have come since the red dot and to celebrate that.
Why? Well, here’s the simple truth. Life and recovery are not straight lines. There are turns and u-turns even. Find perspective and learn something. Realize that progress takes time. For some, progress may be slower or faster than others. The most important part of the entire recovery is honoring where you are. There will be bad days and there will be better days and good days sprinkled in there for good measure. At the end of your hip journey, you will have healthy hips and you will be able to understand that, sometimes, it is not just the destination but all of the stops in between that are important.