Embracing major life changes demands a woman’s resolve, her honesty with her feelings, and the courage to navigate the labyrinth of emotions until she reaches an outcome that benefits her and those she loves.
Personal aspirations may not directly improve our lives, but they can be a powerful catalyst, a driving force. Why? Because genuine thoughts can propel us to examine what we truly seek: our needs. In this journey, two guiding principles are crucial: staying true to our feelings and allowing time to be our friend.
I recently wrote a story entitled From Chivas Regal to Ensure: The Transitions of a Charmed Life that resonated with a lot of you. Now I will delve further.
A woman over 50 should consciously commit to remaining honest with her emotions. Never wear a mask. Authenticity validates truth. And of course, be gentle with yourself and show yourself love.
Time… ah, a complex issue. Personally, I crave immediate answers. Even though I know changes take time to process, I resist the slow burn of thoughtful, thorough reflection. Instant gratification beckons! (Sharing my truth with you, dear reader!)
My ultimate concierge constantly reminds me to “slow down and be gentle with your thoughts. Take your time and test them.” I, in turn, pass his wisdom on to you. My friend Gail also reminds me of the true meaning of quality time, you’ll enjoy her take.
LOSING THE WIND IN MY SAIL
My husband’s health struggles over the past months have stolen the wind from my sails. Returning home after a 60-day stint in two hospitals, we were both physically and emotionally drained, yet relieved and grateful to be reunited in our condo in the sky.
The past 60 days have been a whirlwind of emotional and medical traumas. Illness has a way of turning life upside down. Unfortunately, I know some of you have faced similar situations, or are facing them now.
My husband was hospitalized for 60 days. So was I. I never left his side. My sole focus was his comfort and survival. My personal life went on hold. No, I’m not a martyr. That’s not my style. I love my husband deeply, and he needed me.
“Personal aspirations may not directly improve our lives, but they can be a powerful catalyst, a driving force. Why? Because genuine thoughts can propel us to examine what we truly seek: our needs.” — Honey Good
Each day, I’d leave our condo in the sky at sunrise and return around 7 pm to care for America, our dog. We hired someone to spend the night guarding him.
My husband endured two surgeries and a serious complication in between, thankfully resolved after days. He traversed three hospital floors, one being intensive care. Confined to bed or a wheelchair for two months, he only saw masked nurses and doctors. For the final twelve days, he was at Shirley Ryan Ability Hospital for physical and occupational therapy, as the doctors deemed him “deconditioned” after his long hospital stay.
A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD
Shirley Ryan is an excellent institution for immediate post-surgery rehabilitation, like a hip replacement. After 50 days in a hospital, however, it’s not ideal. Three hours of various therapies fill the day, but the remaining time spent in a wheelchair further contributes to the curse of deconditioning.
Deconditioning? A new term for me. It affects every part of the body after bed rest and isolation from society for days. Curable, but time-consuming, requiring five days of reconditioning for every day spent hospitalized.
If true, my husband faces over three months of reconditioning his body and mind. He arrived home ready to tackle this next phase: three days a week, three hours each, at Shirley Ryan’s Outpatient Care, combined with two days of home therapy. I’m grateful for Shirley Ryan’s plan and his determination to recover.
EXHAUSTION’S CRUSHING EMBRACE
Despite relief, a crushing wave of exhaustion washed over me as we arrived home. Imploding, not exploding, was my initial reaction. I was ready to collapse.
Within hours, reality set in. Exhausted and overwhelmed, I realized our life would never be the same. I lay beside my darling husband, mourning our loss and fearing the unknown path ahead.
FINDING MY WAY THROUGH THE LABYRINTH
After a week of “time” and staying true to my emotions, my husband’s needs, and our needs as a couple, I navigated my personal labyrinth and felt the suffocating cloud lift. Positive thoughts began to bloom.
REALIZATIONS WITH GENTLE UNFOLDING
Here is what I have come to realize:
- No one but me could restore the wind in my sails. I committed to doing just that… in time… while acknowledging my present grief. Adding more to my plate now would deplete me, not rejuvenate. Time and authentic feelings would be my healers.
- My meticulously designed life, resembling Monet’s Garden in Givernay, was gone. The vibrant colors and adventure scents transformed into softer hues and subtler notes. But the lushness of our love, the essence of our garden, remained unchanged.
- Eventually, I’d discover a new rhythm that will continue to make my heart and our hearts sing. For now, our song is that we are home together, sleeping close to each other and loving one another. And, grateful that the healing process is in its last phase.
- That time is a great healer and I will find positive footing again.
- I had to push myself to go to my pilates class once again and dear reader, I have!
- That there are three things that count in this new passage that I am entering. I count, my ultimate concierge counts ,and we count as a team.
- I have missed Honey Good and all of you.
- That I am blessed and grateful that my husband made it through the rain.
THE BEST IS YET TO COME
As we lay in bed last night my ultimate concierge whispered to me, “ The best is yet to come.” I smiled in the darkness of the night and then replied, I believe you… because you are once again drinking Chivas Regal! Bye Bye, Ensure!!!
With those two sentences, we laugh and I think…I have no doubt that In ‘time and with authenticity’ I will refuel and renew. We will refuel and renew.
I know many of you have and are facing similar challenges. In the past, I have had my woes but none have been as emotionally difficult on me as this recent one. Why? Because I cannot stop father time.
If you, too, have faced challenges or big changes, please share with me in the comments below. It helps us to know we are not alone.
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