”Down With the Bad, Up With the Good”

It’s been twenty-one weeks today. Twenty-one. Whole. Weeks. Typically, when a person refers to time in something other than the obvious measure, such as weeks versus months in my case, one can deduce that there must be a specific reason for doing so. In my lifetime, I’ve often used such a comparison of time when I lie in anticipation of something, such as a much-awaited holiday or the end of a very long day, counting the minutes instead of the hours. Alternatively, such references of time can also be used to mark the end of something significant, be it good or bad, wherein today’s blogpost lies for me.

For most of you reading this, today is important because it is the beginning of not only a brand new year, but a brand new decade likely inciting a mixture of reflections and resolutions from whence you have come to where you are headed. After all, decades often bring monumental changes our way. I know that I have definitely given some thought to all that the 2010’s have bestowed upon me and my loved ones whilst wondering what exactly it is that the 2020’s will have in store for us. In thinking ahead to the future, we all wish for good things, many of which will surely happen:-). As adults, however, we are also aware that there will likely be some most unfortunate events that we will be faced to deal with as real life unfolds. That being said, maybe you were thinking to yourself as you came across my title that, “Down with the bad, up with the good,” was a summation of my January 1st state of pensiveness and that I was looking to expel all of the not-so-good notions from this past year or so to look onward and upward to more of the hopefully appetizing ones to come. To that end, I would say that that is a very reasonable conclusion and maybe even true to some extent, but there is more to it than that…

You see, my life’s mandatory motto over the past twenty-one weeks–nearly half of this past year–has been, “Down with the bad (leg), up with the good (leg).” Day one of my ankle surgery, August 7th, 2019 set that defining quote in motion as both my husband and I naively began navigating the tumultuous waters of my ongoing recovery from a torn tendon. Who knew that a tiny little two and half centimetre tear in your ankle could cause so much fuss?! Neither of us, that’s for sure!! Although, come to think of it, I guess it really all began long before the month of August since the state of my foot health had been steadily declining for nearly half of the past decade. Regardless, as I wearily broached the bottom of our three-step entryway to our home that memorable summer day, it was stone cold clear that I would have to rely on my right foot/leg to carry me; a feat more challenging than it sounds after the sudden realization that I had been leading with my left limb my whole lifelong. I always knew that I had a tendency to do certain things in a certain order, such as putting on my pants with my right leg first, but I find it fascinating that I never really paid attention to the fact that my each and every step forward and upward in life had been with my left foot until I could no longer use it. Try telling your brain to switch gears on something like that after forty-five years of habit! Nonetheless, I had no choice. My operation rendered my left ankle unusable and so began my silent and sometimes, not-so-silent adherence to a new set of rules in a new way of life.

Some day, I may choose to document the ordeal that has been my life (and my husband’s life) over the past twenty-one weeks, not as a record of ‘poor me’, but rather as a testament from whence I came to where I am headed. For now, I will simply use today’s new calendar beginning as an opportunity to start measuring time in the here and now instead of the has-been. Despite the literal ups and downs of my recent journey, I am proud of my twenty-one weeks of has-been because it has humbled me in ways that only such a life-changing, mobility experience can. The best news of all? Five MONTHS and one week later, after much hard work both physically and mentally, I have been gratefully afforded the choice as to which foot I am going to step forward with into this new decade of promise, be it my left or my right. Maybe, as circumstances dictate, I will even alternate which foot carries me along the way–a marriage of sorts between my old way of life and my new one, but better because of a deeper appreciation that I even have a choice in the first place. Which foot will carry you? How will you choose to go forward into 2020?

Blessings and good wishes to you all!

6 thoughts on “”Down With the Bad, Up With the Good”

  1. Raelene

    Sue, I often reflect on that horrid day in April 1988 when I played my last game of soccer because I had wretched my left knee so badly. I was running and my foot landed in a hole and my knee ripped. My life changed forever that day and my knee was never the same. I used crutches for 6 months, did physio for 3 hours every weekday for those same 6 months. It changed me, but it did take me down some interesting paths and although I was angry and sad that the dream of me playing top rep soccer was never a reality….I never gave up. I watched your video and read your posts and I knew how it felt to not shower normally, wear shoes normally…..it all came back to me. You have overcome a huge obstacle and although it was one of the hardest things you have done, it was part of your journey and your path, and you may not know why you had to go through it but it made you who are today, and that is a beautiful soul who gives her all to everything she does and everyone she encounters can feel the strength, energy and love that she so graciously gives to those deserving. I love you my dear friend and may you know that I am so blessed to have you in my life….here is to better days, better steps and back to somewhat of a normal life…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rae, thanks for your kind words. I, too, cherish our friendship and feel blessed to have met you when I did to be able to share in all that we have over the past three decades. You are a special soul & I know that your journey in this life has not always been easy either. Like you, I think that life presents us with these challenges to learn and to grow from them and when we make it out the other side, it’s often for the better! I can tell you that I have a whole new appreciation for what it means to have one’s mobility and to never take daily life or one’s health for granted, as things can literally change in a heartbeat. Cheers to a whole new decade of friendship and sharing!

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  2. Sue–soon as I read your title, I figured I knew where you were going with this. Those little change of habits will become second nature to you–what some people refer to as ‘the new normal.’ Whatever. I hope 2020 is good to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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