Being very excited to set out on my own this morning, I planned my first trip to the grocery store by myself since my knee surgery. Today marks going into my 8th week. I’m still having trouble walking correctly, but also know I need the practice. Having the cart to hold onto and taking my time…no problem! I think to myself.
As soon as I get out of the car my mind is way ahead of me trying to push me faster then I can move. By the time I get from my car into the store I’m feeling as if I’ve gone far enough. But with determination I push myself because that’s what I think I have to do. Now I have to go from one end of the store to the other even though I don’t need that much. I get halfway through the store and I can feel my leg starting to cramp. I find a bench and sit for a few minutes. It’s funny how close things look but how far out reach they seem to be when you walk like a turtle.
I finally worked my way down a long aisle toward the checkout. Get in line and empty my basket. Than look on wondering what the hold up is. The lady in front of me has food stamps and about every four items the cashier rings her up separately filling out checks, scanning her Welfare card, and her Giant card going through the same process 5 times. I’m dying now in line wanting to scream that this is a handicap checkout and I’m in pain, but I didn’t because I’m too frigging nice for my own good. I finally check out. Make my way back to the car, head home and the worry begins to play in my mind. Why I am I having such a hard time? What if something went wrong with the procedure? What if I need surgery all over again? I pull into the garage and slowly make my way into the house. I go straight to the freezer. Throw my coat off. Head for my recliner and put my leg up. Than I start to cry. After I get it all out. Talk to Tom and calm down. I’m able to look back and remember how far I’ve actually come. As I’m thinking this, I’m reminded of how relevant my experience is to my daily reading as Mark Nepo says, “Being human, we struggle constantly to stay with the miracle of what is, and not to fall constantly into the hole of what is not.”*
And so the lesson of the day has been learned. Now that’s an accomplishment!
*”The Book of Awakening” Mark Nepo