In the spring of 2013, I was recovering from my total hip replacement surgery that had been delayed for at least ten years of my life. People thought that since I was young at only 30-years-old that I would bounce back faster than a rubber band as I had always been resilient. I thought the same. But, as you get older, it gets harder. Mind you, I was 30-years-old chronologically, but not physically. Age is just a number. It is all about what has happened in all the ages and stages of your life. What we often think is not what plays out in reality.
The recovery was hard. And painful. I was learning how to walk all over again after the mechanics of my body failed me and compensated, resulting in walking wrong for about 30 years of my life.
I cried a lot. I was furious at my body that I felt had betrayed me since I was a tiny tyke. I was mentally exhausted of wondering and waiting when I would get better. Would I ever get better? Would I ever embrace and feel comfortable with and in my ‘new normal’? I never thought I would get better. Have you been in those situations where you never thought you would ever get better?
This recovery time brought me back to when I was a little girl and learned my very first life lesson: “Life is not Fair.” You do not always get what you want. You do not always have a choice. There are no shortcuts, and you are often forced to go through what never seems like will work out or get better. You may give your all and tried what your best, and it still is not good enough only to learn and live that it was not meant to be and acceptance (not defeat) of this. Life never goes according to the plans and the deadlines that you made that you formed in your head.
Throughout the recovery, the person that was there as he had always been there was my father. My father helped me with everyday tasks that we take for granted: cooking, cleaning, getting dressed, bathing, bending, and even just going to the bathroom. Unlike others that may have lapped in all the service and assistance, I disliked it. I never liked feelings of dependence, weakness, and helplessness. However, these very feelings that I loathe have always been my motivators of determination, perseverance, and persistence.
One of the most challenging tasks with the recovery was getting in a car and driving again. My mind has always sped ahead as ‘limitless’ to my limited body. My father insisted that he would drive me time and time again, but I had lost my patience at depending on others and spouted stubbornly, “If I need help, I’ll ask. But, let me do it on my own. Let me fall so I can get back up again.”
My father backed off. I think one of the most difficult jobs in the entire world is being a parent and somehow knowing and seeing that your children will suffer, experience pain, make mistakes, and learn only from pain and suffering one of the harshest realities about life that ‘life is not fair.’ I think a great parent will actually let their children fall and fail and see how their children will go through the motions/progress, learn, and come up and out better with solutions and options rather than be their problems and a victim to their problems. Protecting, sheltering, and doing for others is actually not helping, but is actually crippling and trying to control others and situations that really cannot be controlled. Sometimes, you have to go through all the worst to come out and bring out your best.
Failure, falling, and even suffering are all vital ingredients to life. When did you come to realize that life is unfair? When did you fall to get back up again to be and come up with solutions and options rather than be your problems? When was your biggest and greatest ‘fall’ to only stand up taller again?
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,