I received an interesting comment from an anonymous reader of my blog within the last week. This commenter suggested that I should perhaps just lighten up a bit about self-imposed successes and failures and what I perceive about walking or lack of walking.
This anonymous person related a story of a bicycling trip they had embarked upon. At the beginning of the trip, their objective was to ride 100 miles a day for 4 days, total trip was 400 miles. As planned, on the first day they accomplished their 100 mile goal. On the second day, despite a myriad of obstacles, they once again reached their daily goal of 100 miles. At the conclusion of the third day, exhausted, they collapsed near a beach for some much needed rest.
Upon rising on the fourth day, they decided that this place which they had stopped was so beautiful, with the beach and the surroundings, that instead of proceeding with the original plan, they would instead enjoy the beach, have a relaxing dinner and just generally take it easy. My commenter said he had experienced an epiphany of sorts, it had never occurred to him that these self-imposed plans, were just that, self-imposed. It would make no difference to anyone whether they bicycled 400 miles in four consecutive days or forty days.
He went on to explain that when we set goals for our self, it is only ourselves whom we have to please. He used an analogy of comparing it to being self conscious about they way you dance. Most likely, it is only you feels self conscious, others are not really paying that much attention. He further explained that the experience of taking that extra day gave him a feeling of freedom, it freed him from arbitrary constraints, that need not be there in the first place.
I must say I agree with him wholeheartedly. Instead of placing a judgement upon myself, I should relax and enjoy the relaxation for what it is. I have discussed this type of thing before and I realize it is a slippery slope, determining what is sufficient relaxation time and what is time that should be spent in obtaining realistic goals.
It has been 2 1/2 years since the loss of my second leg and I would have thought that I would be walking on the full length legs by now, such is not the case. Does that mean I should constantly beat myself up over it? I think not.
I was talking to my friend Steve about this very thing and he had mentioned that first and foremost despite what I had written in my last blog entry, there was no way anyone would ever consider me to be lazy.
Steve suggested that I may or may not ever walk on the full length "C" legs and if I never did, it was not from lack of trying. He pointed out that I am 55 years old and that this leg loss was caused by a circulatory disease complicated by a blood disorder, and perhaps those extenuating circumstances contribute to my difficulty in attaining my goals. Maybe at this stage of my life I am not physically capable of walking in those full length legs.
Just because something takes longer that you had anticipated, does not necessarily preclude it from ever happening, conversely, if we are unable to reach a goal because of circumstances beyond our control, should we allow that unreached goal be a lifelong disappointment?
Limb loss is a highly individualized predicament. Everyone handles their situation uniquely and as you may well imagine, the results are as varied as the individual and the various causes of their limb loss.
It would probably be advantageous for me to remember all that I have just written and at the same time keep working toward realistic goals. Sometimes we just have to let the chips fall where they may. Knowing we have worked hard toward a goal should bring some satisfaction, in and of itself.
As long as we can look at our lives and derive some feeling of accomplishment, I think we have already "walked the walk" as well as "talked the talk." Only we can control our own happiness, and I for one, plan on doing just that.
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