Saturday, October 5, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – Time in a Bottle – October 5, 2019 – Day 35

Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now. - Denis Waitley

While I'm traveling across the country, all the days of the week seem to blend into one. Time becomes a nebulous entity. I often have to look at my phone and the calendar to figure out what day of the week it is. I'm often not even sure what the date is. It's like time is in a bottle and all mixed up. But, to be honest, that doesn't bother me. I like the freedom it represents.

During my active business years I tended to live by the clock. I wore a wristwatch. I had to be much more aware of time zones and days of the week to maintain contact with clients, authors I was publishing for and vendors so I could keep projects progressing. Now, all of a sudden, with this regimen of medical treatments I'm back on the clock again. I must be aware of the days of the workweek and the time because my treatments are tightly scheduled.

So, weekends have now become identifiable time periods, again. They are times of rest and a more relaxed attitude about time since I have no treatments on weekends. I guess I would have to say I'm once again looking forward to weekends. It's like deja vu all over again.

That being said, it doesn't mean that there aren't things to be considered and thought about over the weekends. But, I still like what Denis Waitley said about living in the only moment of time you have control over . . . now.

This weekend I had planned to be in Bloomfield, New Jersey attending a BBQ bash with a group of colleagues from one of the professional facets of my past business life. It is the 14th Annual Voice-Over Talent BBQ hosted each year by my friend, Roy Yokelson, aka, Uncle Roy. I haven't been able to make most of the past events, but I committed to Uncle Roy that I'd be there this year. Of course, that was well before the “Fireball” struck me on August 18th. Obviously, I can't be there.

Instead of hanging out with a bunch of “wild and crazy” guys and gals from the world of voice-over work, Carolyn and I went to Walmart to explore the possibilities for smoothies that will very likely become a significant part of my diet for the next several weeks as it becomes harder and harder for me to swallow traditional food. We had to consider gaining the necessary and appropriate amount of protein as well as carbs. We had to take into account how much sugar and salt was in the products we were looking at.

This has become a new reality for me as I progress through this course of treatments. The single, unexpected point in time when the Fireball struck me down, gave no warning. But, it changed almost all aspects of my life in a flash. I no longer have the energy and stamina I had. I must cope with the knowledge that I can only function at a reasonable level for about 6 to 7 hours and that will probably diminish over the next three weeks. I now feel my throat becoming tighter and making eating and swallowing more challenging by the week. Next week it may even change by the day.

There are so many changes taking place in such a short span of time. And, as Waitley said, the only time we have any control over, and I'm not sure how much control I'll have as the next several weeks pass, is NOW. However, I continue to maintain an extremely positive attitude and outlook on life. I still enjoy laughing and making other people laugh. I'm not willing to forego that part of who I am because of the Fireball. I will admit, it is a challenge, but I'm up to it.

After our exploratory trip looking into the smoothies possibilities and purchasing a few products to try out, we had one more major chore (and a couple quick errands). The chore was visiting the small church about 15 minutes from Carolyn's house where there is a spring that is ever-flowing with the “Water of Life.” It is pristine, cold, mountain spring water. We go over and fill up 2½ gallon jugs and bring them back to use for coffee, tea, food preparation and similar uses. Normally, we take 8 or 10 jugs and bring back 20 to 25 gallons of water. I usually fill the empty jugs and then load then into the car, carry them into the house and put them downstairs in storage. Each jug weighs about 22 pounds when full.

Let me just say it's very disconcerting when I'm just barely able to handle those jugs of water and I have to leave the hard part of that process to Carolyn. She doesn't mind doing it and does her very best to not allow me to feel like a lesser man than I've become. But, when something this simple has now become nearly an impossible task, it is daunting. And, the worse part is, I have to face the very real possibility that I may be able to do even less as the next few weeks pass.

Okay, here's my reality. This is potentially going to get worse. However, I have complete faith and confidence that this is only a temporary condition and it will get better and I'll return to my normal capabilities. How do I know? Because 17 years ago I underwent major surgery and experienced a very similar set of conditions for a few months. And, they did get better, I did return to normal (whatever normal can be defined as).

I've called this experience a new “adventure” and that's what I've been writing about. The experiences, the thoughts, the feelings are what I'm going through. I truly hope that anyone reading this will be uplifted, inspired and encouraged. Everyone is going to have to contend with a variety of Fireballs during their life. I talk about the pivotal people and the pivotal events during our lives that have influenced the choices we've made that have brought us to where each of us is today. Some of these pivotal events are the Fireballs that strike us and knock us down. The reality is, we each have the strength, the tenacity to deal with these obstacles and challenges and become better people because of them. We wouldn't still be here if we couldn't and didn't deal with them.

Another thing that happened today was a bit of serendipity for Carolyn. She really loves alpacas. As we were heading to get the water, we passed some people on the back country road we had to traverse who had just created a fenced area to keep a three-year-old horse and an alpaca. Yes! We stopped on the way back and Carolyn made friends with the woman and her daughter to whom these two beautiful animals belonged. And, if you don't know what an alpaca is, it's similar to a llama only smaller. And, like a sheep, it has a dense coat of wool that is shorn and turned into a type of yarn to make clothing from.

That's all for this Saturday, the 35th day of my adventure.

Live free and be happy. EH

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