Half ten at night and I still don’t have a post ready for morning. I’ve been sitting at the desk for far too long, with minor excursions to feed me, the fish and the dog… not necessarily in that order… and walk at least two of us. Briefly. ‘Walk’ is, after all, a four letter word. Especially at the moment.
The day did not start well. The pills I had put off taking did not kick in until stupid o’clock… and then I managed to ignore all three alarms, only waking when the sun crested the horizon. I leapt out of bed in a panic and was instantly reminded of why I’d taken the pills in the first place.
“I thought that was a bit daft,” said my son a little while later, sipping his morning concoction and watching as I climbed Everest. I groaned and tried to haul myself off the foot of his bed. Upright seemed a long way away.
My son believes he may have found the cause of the problem. He tells me the workman currently fixing things around his home says it will take three men to re-hang the gate I’d had to shift on my own after the storms a few weeks ago ripped it from its hinges and sent it sailing across the car park.
I think there is a simple answer. I’m falling to bits.
It seems like only yesterday that I was supple, limber, able to move with grace and ease. To be fair, it not that long ago… but lately I have been hobbling around with half-strangled squeals, muttering a variety of four-letter words that were not ‘walk’.
What has really struck me is how quickly we accept new limitations and adapt. I no longer bend from the waist, but from the knees. I dress the lower half sitting instead of standing, having made that mistake early and felled myself like a tree. What I cannot do the way I have always done before, I simply do some other way instead.
And I can’t make up my mind whether that adaptability is a blessing or a curse.
When things go wrong and cannot be changed, except, by time and the natural march of events, acceptance is a blessing and the only way we can get through the bad patch, putting one foot in front of the other. We adapt to the new circumstances, making the best we can of our lot and finding ways around, or through, the challenges it presents.
But once we have accepted and adapted, do we start to take things for granted, building new habits that do not serve us well? Do we lose the will to change when our circumstances finally alter? Or have we already accepted a new version of ‘normal’ and begun the cycle again? That is not always a bad thing, especially when there is nothing we can do to change those circumstances ourselves, but how often do we miss a window of opportunity because we are stuck in the acceptance of a status quo we did not choose in the first place?
On the other hand, a simple shift in the way we look at things can change our circumstances drastically, just by changing the way we see the world. I, for example, could feel guilty at my inactivity and bemoan the fact that I haven’t been able to take advantage of the first sunny day to tidy the garden, cut the grass and start digging the soggy mud Alternatively, I can be glad I was able to sit and enjoy the sun effortlessly and blamelessly… and all on the doctor’s orders.
We don’t always have to bend over backwards to meet our own expectations….though ‘bend’ is a four-letter word too. We can accept and adapt, yet still be ready to catch a passing wave and surf the moment. And when the time is right, we can just sit and enjoy the sun. Sometimes, doing nothing is the most useful thing to do.