Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In a Year Our Troubles Will Be Miles Away....

I posted a clip from "Meet Me in St. Louis" about this time last year, with that now-famous line from "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." Of course, I did this under the illusion that I was trying to console others for much of the pain and loss they experienced in 2011, but I was really hoping that this would be true for myself. Could I have even hoped that a life without impending death would be a possibility for the first time in many, many years? I prayed and doubted. I held hope as I remained skeptical. And yet I kept telling myself that there's a balance to everything, and that we can only take so much hell before we see the light once again.

Now, a year later, my life has changed so completely that I often look in the mirror and can't believe it's the same person I'm looking at. And in some ways, it's not. My body, mind and spirit have been transformed in such a manner that I feel alien in my own skin. And I'm enjoying it in the truest sense of that root word, JOY. I feel so viscerally alive that I'm finally able to occupy my energies in the physical plane and enjoy being in my body for the first time since my youth. Weightlifting, running, Yoga... it's all become a new normal for me as I explore what this new instrument is capable of.

Am I out of the woods yet? Certainly not. I still have to rest a lot more than I'd like, still get sick from the copious amounts of pills I have to ingest each day, and still have to watch how much stress I put on my still-healing midsection. But in contrast to the zombie-like way in which I felt a year ago, my current state of being feels more akin to Superman than poor old Pat B.

Transformation IS possible. I often talk to people who are disappointed with their lot in life. And I hate to sound like another garden-variety self-help guru, the likes of which I abhor. But I do know that if one is healthy and sets one's mind to it, just about anything is possible. Now I am seeing real results from my efforts in the gym. This never seemed possible before. And yet, I decided to do something and I found the self-discipline to do it. No, I won't start wearing Affliction t-shirts, shave my head, and wrap a pair of Oakleys around the back of it. But I do feel damn sexy, and so light that I want to jump out of my skin in sheer delight of being.

This is not to say everything is perfect in my world. I have traded an old set of problems for new ones, as we all do, and as my doc said would happen. Both physical and personal, I have new challenges to face that I did not have a year ago.

In some ways, I have been climbing towards my goal for so long that I could not see or do anything else. Now that that goal has been reached, I find that at the top of that mountain is a very large plateau, and I cannot see to the end of the horizon to determine what is next. This is both exciting and scary, and during the last few months I was filled with a morbid sense of disappointment that that part of the adventure was over. Now I find that this has been replaced by a feeling of opportunity and determination, as I have now had a few months to live my life normally, beginning the process of  synthesis.

I do feel blessed and gifted this holiday season. Someone gave their life so that I may live, and I am thusly reminded again of the true meaning of this season. Now I can only hope to one day do the same through the gift of organ donation, and through my efforts to help others while still on this earth. Yes, there's sadness and pain and loss and indescribable horror in this world. You all know what I'm talking about. But there's also tremendous joy, and laughter, and beauty and unending love. Our job while we are here is to hold up that light. To create even in the face of destruction. To bring a little sunshine to each other. To bring a smile to the face of a child. That's what Christmas, Hanukkah, and all other celebrations of the holiday season are about at the core. To remind us that it's not only okay to give of ourselves, it's necessary to heal our own scars.

 I have been sick, and I am healed. I have been sleeping, and now I am awake. And like a kid the night before Christmas, I'm too excited to close my eyes. I'm not tired. I'm not.

Merry Christmas to all!


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