I don’t often blather on about my walking status, because 1)it’s been such a winding experience and 2)I cannot afford to be “down” about it.

After all, I’ve been in and out of injuries for a few years now, gang. It’s not new to me, and I have grown used to some level of discomfort, for better or for worse.  I have done the thing where I drown in the challenges and the hard times and the difficulty. I know that when the swell of emotions associated with chronic pain and constant limitations and overwhelming financial commitments (medical care costs ALL the money) set in, I have to ride the wave. But, then. I have to do something else.

I have to get up and keep going. I have to trust. I have to try. And, when things that I’m trying prove unsuccessful, I have to try something else. I have to be resourceful. I have to put a lot of time and energy into being focused on where I am, and where I am headed. I have to leave out how I feel about it, and leave in what I am able to do about it.

Because, let’s face it. We have all got our shit storms, and from time to time, they make land. And, when they do, we all have to deal with what we have to deal with. I am one person dealing with my things, but I’m not alone or special in it.

The difference with my issue is that I wear it on the outside. You can’t miss my mess. I can’t cover it up with flattering clothing, or smear a wod of foundation across it. I can’t stuff it into too tight jeans or wrap it in a bright scarf and call it PERFECT, DAAAALING. I am here. Hobbling along. Stuck on my crutch. Not sure where the finish line is. Not yet, anyway.

Lately, I’ve been up and down about my leg. I’ve been frustrated and emotional and upset and angry. Again, I want this process to reach its completion. I have this urge toward a more “normal” life, where I can move around more comfortably, run after my kids without pain and wander the aisles of Target pushing a cart (I know, I have big plans for my life). Anyway, where I am isn’t always an easy place to be. I search myself for solutions, and I still come up needing a lot of help and guidance and support. Even then, I get on my way, but I go slow.

I get impatient with the slow pace. I get irritable with the one day at a time routine. I get pissed at the present moment. I get fed up with where I am.

Fortunately, when I begin to go to those places, a light bulb starts to flicker on, and I remember what to do next:

Stop. Deep breath. Touch down. Hold close. EXHALE. Start again.

The thing about hard things is they’re often a marathon. We don’t grow or learn or get strong by taking a one hour, online course in tough shit. Life doesn’t show us what we’re made of by sending us a pamphlet and scheduling a 30 minute telecon, so we can phone it in. It’s daily trudging through trenches that makes the journey worth the while, and every time I forget this, the universe conspires to remind me.

I’m not up to fast fix-its and overnight healing over here, although, if I could wave a wand and make it so, believe me, I would. Every time I want to give up and throw my crutch and beat the ground and throw up my middle fingers toward the sky, that is the time I MOST need to:

Stop. DEEP BREATH. Touch down. Hold close. EXHALE. Start again.

This is a basic pattern for operating all of life’s most difficult equipment, and some day, I’m going to be really grateful that I learned it. Even today, when I’m feeling so overwhelmed by the work still waiting for me, I have an inkling of that gratitude. Because, I CHOOSE this kind of journey. I CHOOSE this marathon. I WANT to be a person who is fully awake. And that means being awake in the light AND in the dark. I don’t get to cherry pick the experiences I must face along a road that I have already chosen and begun to walk along.

After all, this road has freed me from wasting time and energy on things that didn’t feed me, and I TRUST this freedom. I believe in it. And, believing in it means believing in me, and I do. I believe in me (cue the choir, please?).

I’m not okay, every day. I miss out on things, and I miss the more mobile me, something awful. Sometimes, I see other mothers or fathers doing things with their kids that I can’t do, and I feel sad for myself or, worse, sad for my kids. But then, I think about the other things I’m giving them, like ME- a mother who shows up for her hard things, every single day. I don’t give up, and I don’t back down. I struggle, but I always show up. They’ll never have to wonder if we can do tough shit together, because we’ve certainly proven that WE CAN. My kids don’t always see me as the most physical person, but they feel my presence, and they know I am right here. And, that’s because, even though I am limited, I am SO HERE. In the present, telling the truth, showing up no matter what.

I don’t talk about being hobbled because in so many ways, I don’t feel hobbled. I’m right here, showing up every day, and when I forget what I am up to, it’s as simple as:

Stop. DEEP BREATH. Touch down. Hold close. EXHALE. Start again.

And, I am back. Back to showing up, back to trust, back to believing in this and, above all things, BELIEVING IN ME.