How it even still surprises me is a mystery. Because I have known this broken body for as long as I can remember. Yet still I am taken aback when in the middle of making pancakes on a lovely Sunday morning, I loose my breath, the POTS kicks into higher gear and I must go laydown. Indeed if it was truly “the middle” of flipping jacks it would be easier for my DD to step in, but as it was I had only cracked the eggs and the rest of the griddle cake recipe existed only in my head.
There is no “cause”, no “remedy”, no tell tale sign that it is about to happen. For in truth, I might make breakfast one day, put a load of clothes in the wash, and organize my closet before needing to rest. And on another day, I am unable to boil water for coffee.
The unpredictability is frustrating. We want to believe our world is made up of laws, rules, guidelines and guarantees. Til death do us part, An apple a day, Four out of five doctors choose Jiff. But everywhere around us we see the thin ice of our illusory solid ground. We get bumped from our flight, we loose our job, our Healthcare, our home, our old dog, our parents, our invoice to pay the feng shui consultant who we hoped was going to cure our condition.
But life at some level for each of us is unpredictable. Perhaps your body can stand and deliver, but you find yourself on a dead end street with the person you thought was your life long lover. Maybe your new boss has thrown a wrench in your retirement plans. Could be that catastrophic medical plan seemed like a good idea until you developed a chronic life-limiting now pre-existing condition.
Each of us have our own unworkable version of perfect. And for the most part, we pick up the pieces that we can and we work with what we have in the moment. The relentless pain in our head, hands, lower back, and/or legs. The minimum payment on the urgent outstanding bills. The pee stain on the new carpet because puppy couldn’t remember what to do and where to do it.
My body fails me, only in so much that I have expectations it should perform in a reasonable way. Only in so much as I have desires, wants, preferences and goals. Only as much as I am attached to outcomes. Which each of us find ourself at times pushing away or holding on to something that is different from what Life is presenting in this moment. I may not be able to choose to continue making pancakes this morning. That ideal is off the table. My remaining choices involve how I handle myself … do I laydown and cry over the not yet poured milk? Or do I prop my feet up on the wall and blog as I wait the bitch out? And who is to say I can’t do both? 😉
Even choices don’t look like we thought they would. And none may seem desirable in the moment. But sometimes as we consider surrender we can find the path of least resistance and settle in to drifting with the current for a little while, until we are able to pick up an ore and paddle in a new direction. Eventually we reach the other shore and get to begin all over again. Maybe not pancakes because that ship has sailed, but as I am not defined by my last failed attempts at happily ever after … I am now free to explore the endless possibilities that present themselves as lunch, given I feel up to task by then.