So in my last post I ended things on the up note proclamation of adjustment, and while I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, I want to further clarify what that means in my life — both specifically and in the abstract.
First, the specific (big to small, small to big, big to big, whatever, I’m not sure).
* Sailing: the kind of which that inspired this site, is — as I’ve decided to label it — on temporary indefinite hold. This was a tough one to wrap my head around, for sure, but heeling (when the wind fills the sails and causes the boat to lean) for extended periods of time, on either side of the boat — high or low — is extremely taxing on my neck. I’m not sure when or if this will change, but for now I’m taking stock in rest, design ingenuity or a really big catamaran showing up.
* The wheelchair: this is a tricky one because I have a bit of a balancing act going on already. On the one hand, the acoustic chair — the chair I use on the track for my exercise routine — causes me far less pain and allows more uptime without pressure problems than my electric chair. But on the other hand, I’m far less independent and need assistance most everywhere I go outside of my home, the track or smooth, flat surfaces (not exactly common in Berkeley). The electric chair allows me the freedom to take off and go where and when I please, but again, the problem is the pain, and the now ever increasing issue of having to stop every 30 m or so to let the function in my arms return — a sketchy situation under the best of circumstances, but when crossing long, busy intersections even more so.
This give and take/pros vs. cons of choosing either of these chairs is forcing me to assess what I want from my life, and to some extent reshape what my independence means to me.
* Exercise: over the last 6 months or so I’ve had to face the fact that — for the time being, at least — I’m not the same guy, speed or distance wise, I once was. Instead of a mile and a half on the track, I can now only do a mile in the same amount of time. At first this was frustrating as hell, but I’ve since come to a place where if I’m still able to do it, and I can feel “the burn”, I’ll take what I can get and let time sort out the rest.
The abstract (where I get all metaphysical on ya). Over the years I’ve come to a pretty clear understanding that everything is borrowed. And what I mean by that is this life — our health, our bodies, our families, our lovers, our spouses, our friends, the sun, the stars, the Earth, war, platypuses, our favorite Mexican restaurant, record collections, family heirlooms, houses, iPads, etc., all of it — are temporary phenomenons and will fade away. You can count on this. But if we live in this moment — right here, right now — then we’re experiencing something altogether more real — the truth, in fact — and that’s pretty compelling.
So when I speak of adjustment in terms of the above understanding, what I’m really speaking to is greater awareness of where I truly am. It’s the ultimate task at hand. But it’s easy to lose this, and I’m still not all the way there yet — not 100% of the time. At times, I try to cling to that which can’t be clung to and I slip out of the moment; getting hung up on the temporary and how I think things should be. When this happens, I suffer, and that’s when — as in my big WTF? in my last post — I miss what’s really going on and get lost in what’s going away.
Understanding — or better yet, knowing — everything is borrowed is a powerful catalyst to remind us about what isn’t, and also to facilitate a greater celebratory appreciation of all that will leave us.
Just as life means nothing without death, love means nothing without hate, light means nothing without the dark, so too is it true with that which lasts and that which doesn’t. Letting go of anything — even, well, you know — is an adjustment well worth making, and makes everything a whole lot easier to roll with… and I’m so about the rolling.
Let the recalibration begin!