Opportunity 1: the long road

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No meeting with the theatre group last night. It’s moved to tonight. Naturally. I did everything I said I was going to do yesterday to prep: took a shower, took care with my hair, carefully chose what I was going to wear AND ironed everything, did a last minute online check on the metro. I was MORE than ready. Of course it was cancelled. Story of my bleeding life. It’s moved to tonight – my post-swim evening. So my hair, despite my best efforts, will be a bit frizzy. I’ll probably yawn at least once, even if I make sure to have some coffee before setting out. And to top off my annoyance today, I’ve been wearing my orthopedic shoes and now have yet another blister on my toe.

All I need to do is drop some food on the outfit I was going to wear and everything I planned will have gone straight down the toilet.

This is one of those times when I just surrender and say, ‘Ok, Universe, for some reason I’m not supposed to go into this meeting looking my best. I can deal. I hear you loud and clear. Now, can you give me some breathing room so I can just get TO the meeting?’ Yeah. That’s how far my expectations have sunk in the short span of 24 hours: I just wanna GET there. No looking my best, no relaxed attitude, just get the fuck there. Yeesh!

Maybe that’s for the best. Maybe my earlier high expectations would have led me to some deep and bitter disappointment tonight. At the moment I expect very little: to show up, to shake the hand of M who’s been my email correspondent on this, and then to spend the majority of the time keeping my mouth shut and doing jack shit. I expect no friendly overtures, no fast connection with anyone. Just a first tentative step into a new social circle. Anything above that will seem like a lot to me right now.

This start/stop stuff has its consequences, too. Been “taking it easy” with my exercise, trying to conserve enough energy so I can DO these things in the evenings. Which means for a few days now I haven’t burned like I’ve been doing, haven’t pushed or sweated…And I miss it. An awful lot. The endorphins, the release, the full body buzz – even the exhaustion that follows. And I’m getting cranky without it. Who’da thunk?

My bro has been busy with advocates and accountants, getting ready for our immigration renewal. Other than a lot of meetings costing a tidy sum, things seem to be going well. No one foresees any problem for us. That’s encouraging. After 14 years in Ireland getting eyed up every year like a bleeding criminal trying to rip off the system, it’s refreshing to see smiles and hear everything’s fine. Latest news on my status is that after five years of toeing the line I’ll have the opportunity to find employment. I’m happy and intimidated by that – happy that I’ll have the chance and intimidated that I won’t physically be capable to handle it. My job now remains what it has been: to keep working on my strength and the language. Keep focused. Keep going. For another three years.

I’m not so worried about the language; three years gives me ample time to continue my studies and improve my Dutch on all fronts. But the physical side…now THAT’S what’s scaring me. So much can happen in such a short time span with RA. I could wake up tomorrow and blow my knees out again and put myself down for another year. I don’t want to, obviously, but I’m well aware it’s within the realm of ‘possible’. For me, that’s where the real gamble is. Even my rheumatologist thinks I’m on the edge of incapacity. Finally did a little research on some of the info she gave me for specialty places that do wrist braces, and every single one of them is a bleeding nursing home. Every. single. one. Fuck. While I’m well pleased that these assisted living places exist and DON’T seem to be administered by the devil himself, my feet are firmly dug into the ground on this: I. don’t want. to go. to a place. like. that. Ever. Even the thought of going there to buy the damned wrist braces turns me off.

Christ, I am a young person caught in and old person’s body. Give me a break! My hair hasn’t even really turned grey yet.

Yeah, I KNOW she didn’t give me that info to suggest on any level that I look into a living space there. Or I think I know. Did she?

I haven’t even had the guts to ask if I’d qualify as disabled.

Mostly because I’m not sure I want to know.

Because if she said yes…If she, a professional, called me disabled, I might just give up. I might start to think it’s okay to back off ‘because I’m disabled’.

I don’t want to back off.

No matter how you cut it, this is the beginning of the last phase of my life. I can feel old age creep up on me. I can see it begin to show in my face. Ugh. It’s worse than you could imagine. Sometimes you begin to think it’s okay to give up, to let time overtake you. I suppose that’s the natural order of things. Your body winds down. You die and give way to other, younger generations.

ARGH!!!! SEE what backing off my endorphin rush is doing to me?!?! Fucking with my head now. Making me macabre (tell me that isn’t a chemical imbalance).

Three more years. One day at a time. That’s 1095 mornings to struggle through. 1095 afternoons of studying Dutch. 1095 days of making myself get some exercise.

1095 opportunities to make a difference in my own life.

It seems like a long road, with a lot of unknowns along the way. But I’m gonna try to take what each day has to give me, and do my best with it.

Here’s to opportunity 1: the long road.

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