New Year: New Possibilities

I’ve never been one to set New Year’s resolutions.  I do, however, believe the New Year offers an opportunity to push the “reset button”.  Instead of making a list of action steps, I resolve to be open to new possibilities.

A few weeks ago, I was waiting in line for a $2 taco when I complimented the much younger lady in front of me on her lipstick.  Believe me it was a great color, bright blue red and perfectly applied.  The woman was wearing an apron and no coat.  Later, I decided she must have run across the street from the new salon that had just opened to buy her lunch.  But when I talked to her, I was just waiting for lunch. I couldn’t resist telling this young woman how great she looked.  We got into a conversation about how I had stopped wearing lipstick because it got on everything, coffee cups and my teeth.  Since I was retired, I hardly ever wore makeup. She told me about the new products that are easier to apply and stayed on forever.  If she was an example, the new lip stains look great.

She picked up two bags of food, paid and hurried for the door.  When I stepped up to pay for my taco, the waiter told me the lady with the great lip stick had paid for my lunch.  I tried to thank her but she just waved and hurried out the door.  I’m not sure why she chose to buy my lunch.  Maybe she was having a bad day and having someone tell her she looked great helped make it better.

I do know that one random act of unintentional kindness on my part i.e. starting up a conversation resulted in a return to me that was much larger.

As I start the New Year, I am opening myself to the many possibilities that are available every day.  I probably miss most of them.  I am working on being more in the present, listening and watching more intently and being willing to put myself out there.

To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” ~Unknown

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Celebrating Small Successes in the New Year

I went swimming today!  I was thrilled.

I had major surgery in August and was on a non-weight bearing cast through November. The last six weeks, I have been attending physical therapy twice a week. The surgery was to replace a torn tendon in my left foot.  I had been wearing a specially made black leather boot the year before but finally even it was not providing enough support.

The surgeon took out the tendon. She described it as a rubber band stretched beyond capacity and replaced it with screws.  I have 12 new screws in my foot. I ponder occasionally if this has added to my body weight or could it be six weeks without exercise. I haven’t flown since the surgery but I am now one of those bionic people who you don’t want to get behind in airport security lines.  I am sure to set off every alarm.

When I agreed to this surgery, I wanted to keep the movement in my foot so I could swim, dance and ride my horse.  My foot doesn’t move right or left but does flex up and down.  As a non-physician, I totally under-estimated the toll this surgery would have on my ability to do anything.  All fall I was on a scooter.  While I could drive, I couldn’t get out of the car because I couldn’t lift the scooter out of the back while hopping on one foot. Most of my friends couldn’t wield the scooter around either. Fortunately, my husband could take me for rides. The taxi service, while expensive, was dependable when I absolutely had to be somewhere i.e. a doctor’s appointment.

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Cast off, back to boot

Once the cast was off, I was expecting to walk out of the doctor’s office.  But after 3.5 months in a cast, I was back in a boot.  Six weeks into physical therapy and I can ride a recumbent exercise bike at level 10 for 20 minutes and walk on a treadmill at 2.0 miles per hour (snail’s pace) for 10 minutes.  This is all with my brace on.  I am learning to walk at home without a brace.  I am dancing in the playroom to our boom box.  I started at 5 minutes and I’m up to about 8 minutes a day. My goal is 30 minutes so I can go back to Jazzercise. Riding my horse and electric bike are somewhere off in the future.  When the PT said I could attend water aerobics, I was ecstatic.

Today, I walked down to the pool (no brace), used the steps to get into the kids’ end and floated off to the deep end with one foot feeling  like I had a rock tied on. I was absolutely thrilled.  The warm water lapped around me. My friends said “Hello!” The dance music and instructor kept us kicking and splashing for 45 minutes.  Afterwards, I was able to get up the steps, shower, wash my hair and be on way.

I felt almost normal again, almost.

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Christmas 2018.  I missed this year but back in the pool before 2020.

As I enter a new year, I am looking forward to celebrating the little successes in life; getting up in the morning, reading the paper, walking, and swimming.  These are things I use to take for granted as I chased some mandatory “to do list”.  Now they are the things I most enjoy. I feel blessed I’ve been given the opportunity in the new year to dive in again.

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I walked into Christmas eve services without a boot.