One of the things I've had to grapple with increasingly lately is my inability to make things happen the way I think they ought. For the past couple of years in particular I have been trying to make peace with listening to my body and accepting my limitations. This was hard enough when it involved only physical limitations, but has gotten even harder since this fall, when I was felled by a pretty serious H1N1-asthma-pneumonia combo that caused my physical limitations to affect my ability to focus and concentrate.
I spent many years clothed in cape and tights -- first as office superhero, then as band superhero. I confess, it was a role I relished. I loved everything about it: the feeling of competence, the way others could (and did) count on my to make things happen, the praise, even the exhaustion after a task was completed. As I moved into the brain fog of menopause, the cape got really tattered and the tights became riddled with snags and ladders, and a couple of years ago I had to throw them both away, leaving myself feeling incredibly naked and vulnerable. With a lot of help and support, I've been trying to find a more comfortable outfit, one that is suitable for both work and play.
Today is one of those days when all my plans have to go out the window. Last night I had visualized myself waking early and going out for a sunrise bike ride, then eating breakfast on the lanai and getting a bunch more work done before Carol and I headed into Kona to do some errands. Unfortunately, though I woke up early, I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed till after 7, and then when I did get up I immediately started coughing asthmatically. Eventually the coughing stopped, but neither meds nor coffee have yet fully cleared opened up my bronchial tubes, and I'm sitting here thinking I probably won't go into town with Carol. Unless this clears up by evening, I probably won't ride today, either, and the chances of my getting any meaningful work done (apart from this post) are also pretty slim.
Wonder of wonders, I think I'm okay with that.
I can't tell you how many hours of angst, meditation, and therapy have gone into that simple statement. But I'm finally understanding, feeling in my very core, that tomorrow is another day, and nothing that I have to do, either personal or professional, is so terribly urgent that I need to push myself beyond what feels comfortable today. I've also had ample proof, time and again, that if I try to push past and do the things I feel I have to do, I don't do them very well or very easily, but if I wait till I feel okay, they come to me as easily as they ever did.
So instead of riding my bike today, perhaps I'll strum my ukulele on the lanai and watch for whales. And enjoy feeling okay with that.