Saturday, September 8, 2012

Climbing the Ladder Figuratively

Some people, including myself, never seem to cut themselves any slack. In an attempt to accomplish and gain more, we sometimes forget to take a step back and examine our lives.

A couple of weeks ago, Chris, my physical therapist, said that she was thinking about me and what I was able to do after the loss of my second leg in January 2011. What she was really referring to was the fact that after having lost both legs I was able and allowed to go immediately back home. She explained most people in that situation would have ended up in a nursing home, at least for a while.

I never really gave it much thought, I guess  because I never realized that the situation, at that time, was so precarious. It never dawned on me that I would not be going directly home from the hospital, isn't that what everyone does? Apparently not.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that even in my position, I still take some things for granted, have a tendency to be too self critical, and not allow myself to actually be proud of what I have accomplished, given my circumstances.

It is almost like walking a tight rope, or balancing on two prosthetic legs, to strike a compromise between accomplishment and complacency. I feel that if I become too satisified with the way things are, it will preclude me from accomplishing more. This is not all together true.

After reflecting upon this balance of accomplishment versus complacency, I realize you reach a point where you can and should give yourself credit for what has already been achieved regardless of whether or not you achieve more in the future.

Without playing into that old comparison game, we all tend to do from time to time, it is perfectly alright to take a breather and be proud of who you are and what you have done.

If we as individuals can look at our lives and feel any sense of attainment, we owe it to ourselves to acknowledge and appreciate what we have done, even if that means, in our own minds, we have not arrived at where we ultimately want to be.

Spending our lives being dissatisfied with what we have not yet completed can prevent us from realizing and being cognizant of what we have already done. It can become a futile merry-go-round robbing us of our well deserved happiness.

I sometimes forget how amazing it is that I am able to live on my own, drive my own car, and even climb stairs, without the benefit of either one of my legs. If these are not accomplishments,  than I have forgotten what accomplishment means.

I feel I have the type of personality that is always driven, I strive for a sense of accomplishment, always reaching for the next rung on the ladder, seeking to climb higher and higher.

Sometimes when we are climbing those rungs on the ladder of our life, we need to look down and see how far we have already climbed. Who knows we may learn to enjoy the view from this height, if not, we will climb higher.

The point is we need to stop and enjoy the view from where we are, be thankful and proud we were able to reach the point where we now find ourselves, and realize the long climb has already been worth it.

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