It has been three months since my last blog post. To refresh your memory, I was going to make the last four months of the year memorable. Well, I can honestly say that September was a good month. Although work kept me busy, I could keep up with swimming and began making some healthy changes.
One thing that I have learned through living is that as soon as I begin to make a change for the better, the Universe decides to test my resolve. And test me, it did. Mid-October sadly brought the sudden death of a family member. Then while in New York State for the funeral, I fractured my left lateral malleolus (a.k.a. broken ankle). One of those circumstances would be hard enough, both at the same time was truly a struggle.
The orthopedic doctor put me in a fiberglass cast and instructed me to be 100% non-weight bearing for one month. That’s hard to do on a good day, but became even more challenging because my sweetheart had to remain in NY to deal with the family member’s estate.
I was faced with figuring out how to manage life with broken ankle while still working full-time and taking care of the dog and the house. Thankfully, I broke my left ankle so I could still drive. That resolved the issue of how to get to work.
In the middle of a serious “why me?” moment, I remembered my August blog post that challenged me to make the year memorable. I sat down and thought how am I going to meet my obligations while focusing on getting healthy…and make it memorable in a good way? I decided to be patient with myself and to ASK for HELP.
My sweetheart was in upstate New York, his emotional plate was full. I needed to keep our home running smoothly so he could focus on the issues at hand, not worrying about me. I looked for ways to get help. I told my neighbor what was happening and she came over to see what I needed. Our daughter and her boyfriend picked up two knee scooters, one for home and one for work. I called to have the garbage picked up at the garage instead of the curb. I hired someone to mow the lawn. My co-workers covered me at the office when I took longer lunch breaks to go home and let the dog out. I made one big pot of food and ate that several days in a row. I used the home office desk chair to move about the kitchen area so I could cook and do laundry. And when the house became dusty, I called Merry Maids and paid them to clean it.
After two weeks, my sweetheart returned home. We are a team and having him home certainly made life a lot easier.
Through this journey, I realized just how lucky I am. I have friends and family who care, I have supportive co-workers, I have neighbors who watch out for me and, most of all, I have a sweetheart who is there for me. Yep, I am blessed. But what if I didn’t have all those things? If I couldn’t drive, the picture would have looked very different.
As Thanksgiving approached, I kept thinking about people who don’t have a support system. How do they manage when life gets complicated? I had a little extra cash so I could hire people to do tasks for me. What if I didn’t have the extra money? Would my friends come to my house to clean it? Would I even ASK them?
Two days before Thanksgiving, the doctor removed my fiberglass cast, placed me in an Aircast boot and said that I could begin partial weight-bearing. I felt like I had won the lottery. I have begun the three-week process to walking again and SWIMMING again. Although, the mystery of why my bones break easily has yet to be solved, there is one thing that I know for sure. Helping someone in need “costs” very little, yet can be priceless for the recipient.
In October I was reminded that life-altering experiences don’t come with a warning. They come when we are just going about our day. As I prepare for the holidays, I will be noticing the world around me. Who or what might need help, but isn’t willing or able to ask for it? What can I do to ease someone’s burden? And when the holidays are over, how will I continue to be helpful? Tinkering with Success is about becoming a better version of oneself. Being helpful will become a more important aspect of my journey. Perhaps it can become part of your journey too.