After a six week hiatus, I am back in the Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy room of my local library. I thought it the perfect place to contemplate what the hell I’m going to do with my life now. It’s indeed time to start thinking about this. Harriet, the knee, is starting to really feel like she is healing — although during the five block walk over here I had my doubts. So, if that’s true, then theoretically, at least, I should be able to be up and about and doing something next week. But what is that? Sometime during that first three weeks, post-surgery, when I was at Margaret’s, I said to her, “What did I used to do that kept me so busy?” In that pain and drug induced fog of those early days, I really couldn’t think of me as having a “life”. But that was six weeks ago and now the pain is starting to subside and the drugs have all but been eliminated, but in reality the answer to that question seems even more elusive than it did back then.
That’s another reason to take my question and myself back here. I used to spend a lot of time in this room. Almost every word of every weekly blog was written here among the tomes of fantasy. It’s a comfortable space — quiet (no cell phones allowed), respectful and has an energy that massages the creative spirit so that words can flow — or at least dribble out. I haven’t been able to come over here until now. I tried — even made it one time to the library but with just enough energy to return books and pick up more on the first floor. I couldn’t make it up here to the third floor to sit and contemplate and write. It’s been one of my major deprivations of having a stiff, painful knee. But today I managed to get here, albeit it slowly. I was spurred on by sunshine, blue sky and an overwhelming case of cabin fever and intense self pity that was going to consume me if I didn’t get me and Harriet out of the house.
Those are some of the after-effects of knee surgery that no one ever talks about. You hear about pain, and discomfort and weeks of physio, but no one addresses the emotional toll that having a sore Harriet imposes on your life. (I should apologize to Harriet but, I’m sure she agrees with me.) One day I was an independent walking person — I even walked to the hospital for surgery — and then, the next and for these six weeks following, I haven’t been able to come and go anywhere without a lot of pain, and walkers, and canes and tears. Alas, poor me! That immobility has muddled my mind about what it is that I can do now with my new and improved — but not totally fixed — Harriet. When I think about what I was so busy doing before September 16, almost everything took two good legs — or I should say, since my legs haven’t been “good” for years, moving legs. Harriet reminds me that she is here and listening and really I should just get over myself, be patient and keep moving.
She’s right, you know. And to be honest, I have been able, little by little, to start reclaiming my life and some of those things that did keep me busy and happy. I have faithfully, if not always creatively, written a blog every week. And religiously, just like before, I have done my exercises every day no matter how Harriet protested when I pushed and prodded her into formation. Last week, Spanish Clara and I reignited our Habla Espanol once more. And I already have two cat sitting gigs scheduled for the December holiday. This week I’ll talk to Clara about starting to cook again for the Mediterranean Journey Cookbook. And, best of all, my doctor this week gave me the go ahead to get back in the pool and that, indeed, brings joy to my heart. So little by little, I am reclaiming my active life. I think it’s time to add a few more bits and pieces to it and those will reveal themselves when Harriet and I are ready for them.