It's Never Too Late To Do That Thing That You Want To Do: On Measuring Success While Fighting Lyme Disease
When I close my eyes, I can see the outline of the mountains cut out of the sky with pink hues and a speckled blue. I dig my hands deeper into my pockets as the cool of the air continues to wash over me, making itself known and welcome to every part of exposed skin.
Then I move inwards, focusing on how hard my body is working right now. The blood rushing through me, bringing life and movement to every part of me; In this moment, I wonder how I could ever feel anything but lucky. Lucky to be alive. Lucky to have a body that allows me to see things that are normally so dim, as full of light and endless possibility. This right here, this is no small feat. This right here, the simple act of breathing in mountain air and listening to the beating of your heart, should be considered a success. Why? Because you make the choice to see it that way. You make the choice to feel love over hate, admiration amidst pain, understanding over self doubt, and joy amidst the uncertainty of fighting a disease that has a way of tangling itself into nearly every part of your life.
Celebrate this moment because you've worked your butt off to get here, and more importantly, celebrate you and the way in which you see the world, because friends, that is where happiness is found.
And the reason why I am saying all of this, is because I too struggle to acknowledge the small victories, and instead, let the "didn't do's" weigh heavy in my thoughts, actions, and the way in which I present myself to the world. It's almost as if I'm driving a car with an iced over windshield, only every catching glimpses of the road ahead, so instead, I find myself relying too heavily on the rearview mirror. Rather, a look into the mistakes, "failures," missed turns, and detours I so wish I could forget.
I spend a lot of time in my head, something that I've known but had never really give all that much thought until Elli (@elliexplores) mentioned it in passing while we were navigating through narrow snow covered roads on a recent adventure (adventure post coming soon!). I could tell she had given this comment a lot of thought before saying it, probably making sure I wouldn't take it the wrong way. I think she said something like, "you have a lot going on in their don't you?" With my eyes still on the road, I gave it some thought before agreeing. Yes, it's true. Rarely is my mind still, and when it is, it's quickly blanketed in thoughts, concerns, and the need to analyze and figure out every little thing about, well, every little thing.
So, instead of immediately trying to fix this problem, I let it be. Sitting with it, which also mean't sitting with my busy mind, no judgment or hurtful thoughts amidst the chaos. Then it got me thinking (figures...), that maybe, just maybe, my always busy mind isn't leaving me any room to celebrate me.
To look in the rearview mirror and think, "wow, that was tough but I did it!" I made it through, just like I always do. Just like we always do.
Look back on this past year and list out, month by month, everything you did. Every accomplishment or milestone. You see, when you set aside chunks of time, and look at them individually rather than clumped together, you may find that the positives out weigh the negatives. Or even, something that started out as being negative, then turned into something worth celebrating. After all, regardless of the outcome, we must view each go around as a success. If we don't. If we get selective with our victories, than without question, the ice will begin to build up, and soon, the only thing you'll be able to see is everything behind you instead of around and in front of you.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't be so hard on yourself. You've done a whole heck of a lot, and you're going to do a whole heck of a lot more! You may think I don't know this, but I do. I do because I not only see, but feel how this community works. I see the support and love we give each other, even when we're struggling to give that to ourselves. I see the hope that radiates through every post, smile, hard moment, and setback.
I see how brave you are, and I know with every fiber of my being that you're going places. That you will either do that thing you want to do, or continue to do it with enough gumption to shake and rattle the world. To push through obstacles and change lives.
We all have thing we need to work on, that will never change, but I don't think we would want it too because "working on" is how we get places. Working on is what continues to push us to be the best we can possibly be.
And with that, I will head to my bed, drink some tea, and see this day, the days past, and the days to come, as a success.