“The Winding Road”
Today’s Words of Wisdom:
“All’s well that ends well.”
The Foda’s Take: I said this exact quote to a nice customer service woman the other day after being mistakenly charged overnight shipping for a delivery. I didn’t mind- she naturally refunded the faulty amount, so in my mind, no harm, no foul. But she still apologized profusely, to which I said, “all’s well that ends well!” She seemed shocked I wasn’t mad. But living with Lyme tends to put small problems into perspective, wouldn’t you agree?
Hey folks! So I was taking my short daily walk with my husband Mandalf the other day, and, as sometimes happens to people like me with dysautonomia, I started to get dizzy. So instead of focusing on the end point, I looked down at the pavement, choosing instead to only concentrate a few feet in front of me. And although it didn’t take the dizziness away, it did help me finish my walk. And that got me thinking. “Eureka! There’s a metaphor here!” <And yes, when I said Eureka, I did picture putting on a safari hat and ascot whilst puffing on a large mahogany pipe.> Sidebar- that image was completely character-related, totally not advocating smoking. (Kids! Don’t puff that stuff!) But I digress.
In life, we always want to know how things end. It’s what hooks us into reading books through the wee hours of the morning or not wanting to miss one episode of our favorite TV show. It’s also what gives us a lot of anxiety when a difficult situation arises and we yearn to know how it’s going to turn out so that we can move on already!!! If we didn’t work this way, no one would have ever invented the magic 8 ball, am I right? But I’m beginning to wonder if not being able to see farther than what’s right in front of us is actually a good thing? After all, if I had known three years ago I’d still be sick today, I don’t know if I’d have had as much gumption and tenacity right out of the gate. So maybe the reason why we can’t see the whole road in front of us is because it would be too overwhelming if we immediately saw just how far we have to go?
When I was a runner, I loved going on long runs, always through winding neighborhoods, because the change of scenery was nice. (Treadmills make me feel like a hamster on a wheel. And plus winding roads remind me of those swirly straws I used to drink chocolate milk through as a kid. Wee!) But when I’d get to a long straightaway and realize just how long it would take me to get to the end of it, my head would start playing tricks on me. That doubtful voice would creep in, reminding me of how tired I was, or how far it was, or that my troublesome knee was already starting to twinge and would it be smarter to just stop? I didn’t have these issues on winding roads. Why? Because since what I could see was so slight, A to B felt like an easily-attainable goal, and my competitive side kicked in. But when I could see the long road stretched out straight before me? That’s when I felt overwhelmed, and had to fight with my mind to keep going.
Living with chronic illness is a winding road. We never know what the next turn is going to bring. And this can be frustrating and scary, and I usually loathe it. But I have to wonder- if we saw it all mapped out in front of us in one straight line- would it be so overwhelming we’d wind up simply treading water out of sheer exhaustion? Like when your to-do list is a mile long and you wind up wasting more time freaking out over how much there is to do instead of just getting started? Is our lack of transparency maybe the lesser of two evils? And if so, perhaps the real challenge is to stop trying to see the future and just work on the next step.
Just something to mull over while you search for that swirly straw you have buried in the back of your cupboard. You know you want it. And you are welcome.
Until next time,