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.
I learned last year after I broke my arm, that I had to ask to help. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done. But everybody needs help every now and then. We have to learn to look at other people and really listen to them. And, yes, even a simple gesture can mean the world to someone in need.
Wow Beck….awesome response to not great circumstances. I wish you all the best in your journey and continued success. Glad to know you are healing and maybe you’ll figure out why you break easily. Hate these little mysteries. Medical science has come a long way but has far to go.
Thanks also for the gentle reminder that we all need to do as much as we are able to help those around us. And…..yes I would come and clean your house as needed and I hope that a friend in need would ask. Love to you and Ken…..may you be blessed throughout the holiday season and beyond.