Thursday, January 26, 2012

Loving What Is

I stole this title from one of my favorite books of all time by Byron Katie.  If you’ve not read it, run, don’t walk, to your favorite bookstore or Kindle your way to it in a hurry.  Just read this book!  The title says it all.  Learning to live with acceptance of what is and getting on with your life is the secret to happiness.  Stop waiting for it to get better.  It doesn’t.  The best is right now.  Now is the moment you’re living in at this second and the only moment you have.  (Even if it sucks.)

When people talk about how they can’t wait for the weekend (and I’m in that crowd quite often), sometimes I say to them (but usually to myself because it tends to hurt their feelings and then they don’t like me any more), “Yeah, you’ll be four days closer to death by Friday.  Get a move on!”

Admittedly, I’m morbid by nature.  Sometimes when I go to sleep at night, I think to myself, “Another day closer to death.”  Note to self: it’s also not the best thing to say to the sweet man who sleeps beside me as he is dozing off.  In my own head, it’s funny; when I say it out loud, it just isn’t.

The thing is, I’m not scared of death.  Do you know how I know this?  Every time I go up in a plane and there is the slightest bit of turbulence, I am convinced the plane is going to go down and I am going to meet a fiery end that also involves drowning.  Even so, I am remarkably calm (and no, I don’t take sedative or drink when flying).  I just feel like if it’s time, it’s time.  I continue reading my celebrity magazine or watching the cheesy inflight movie, thinking I might as well go down in good spirits:  feeling a bit smug, knowing I could look just as good as those movie stars if I had a personal trainer and a cosmetic surgeon on standby.

Another (real) near death experience I had was about 20 years ago when I had a very traumatic motorcycle accident (for which I’ve just been told by an orthopaedic surgeon today that I may need a spinal fusion (!)).  As I plunged 50 feet over a bridge into a bed of rocks below, I remember thinking, “Oh, I guess this is it.  Today is the day I die.”  There was no “come to Jesus” moment (I already had), or my life flashing before my eyes, just the somewhat sad realization that my time had come.

My then-new-boyfriend, now-husband, was right behind me, watching the motorcycle wheel hit the bridge deck, and seeing me as I flipped over and plummeted down, down.  He tells me his response was, “Ah, damn, and I had just started to love her.  Now she’s gone.  Bummer.”  (Okay, it might have been a bit more romantic and panicked than that, but you get the picture.)

As luck would have it, my time had not come, though the time to be in chronic pain for the next forever had.  Even so, I have very fond memories of my early recovery days because while I was going through all the trauma and pain and anxiety (and not understanding anything that was going on because we were living in Taiwan and we had barely started to learn Mandarin), I was also falling deeper and deeper in love and realizing the guy who had accompanied me on this, my first and last motorcycle jaunt, was indeed a keeper.  Even now, my pain brings me memories of joy and love and laughter (and shuffling all over Asia with a cane and a back brace).  More often than not, I actually feel grateful when I have back pain because it reminds me that I am alive and still kicking and still able to make a difference in the world.

The point is: what you’ve got is what you’ve got.  It’s Monday.  So what?  Enjoy it.  Your back is killing you?  At least you’re not dead.  What else feels good?  Focus on that and go have a hot bath and take a pain killer if you need to (or have a spinal fusion for that matter). 

Life is for the living and there are ALWAYS going to be problems and things we look forward to doing more than what is happening at this moment except for those blissful orgasmic (including orgasms!) moments that come along only once in a while. 

So suck it up and love what is.  Now.  Whatever it is. Who knows: tomorrow you may be hit by a bus.

For today, I am going to:

Love that I still have three more days of vacation.

Love the tub and all the joy and relief that it brings me.

Love my most wonderful family (who have been out hiking while I've been out consulting with back doctors: ah, the irony).

Love the fact that my doc told me I could still wear heels.  (I look SO much better in heels.)

Love that there is nothing in particular that I need to do for the rest of the day.

One of my better moments!
PS: I also love writing this blog and love the wonderful reception it has been receiving.  I am so thankful to all of you for your positive comments and for reading.  You really like me - or at least my writing!  Please pass the link on to your friends if you do enjoy.  It means a lot to me.  I'm presently figuring out the whole podcasting thing and I'm going to give it a "real" go in the next day or two.  This is incredibly gratifying and rewarding for me, and I am thrilled to bits that people are reading.  I LOVE that!

1 comment: