Once upon a time, I wrote a blog.
I loved writing, but I lost my way, stumbled, fell.
Lyme disease tripped me up and pushed me flat on my face as surely as if by a schoolyard bully . Six lost years were only part of it.
A side effect of neurological Lyme is short term memory loss and it’s daunting, let me tell you! I still can’t reliably string words together in a meaningful way, so having conversations can be like pulling teeth. Reading books is more difficult, as I constantly have to reread what I’ve just read, completely lost and unable to remember the plot. I read a lot of books, but two days after I read anything, I often pick up the book as if it were brand new. Frustrating!
As I started rejoining the world, I discovered something more troublesome. I’d lost my creativity.
I’d sit at my work bench and stare at beads and wire and couldn’t make a single piece of jewelry — and this was my livelihood for a long time. Nothing was meshing, nothing inspired me. Lack of inspiration flooded over into lack of drive, and in turn a lack of motivation. Why try if I couldn’t complete a thought?
Then I turned fifty. Fifty hurt in a special, sneaky sort of way. “But you’re fifty,” a voice whispered whenever I thought about trying something new or revisiting the tried and true. I felt I was too old now to accomplish anything of worth.
I tried to settle into this new life, a life without the things that used to define me. I had won the battle against Lyme disease, but I’d lost so much in the process.
Worst of all, I’d lost myself.
Then came that moment you read about, see in the best movies, daydream about. While tackling yet another book, I ran across the words “soul sickness”, and it brought an immediate moment of clarity. This was what I was feeling. Soul sickness.
Sickness I understood. When I began thinking about the very center of my being as unwell, I found that another word for my soul sickness was “regret”. I felt like my life, my soul, had changed so irrevocably, all I was left with were the regrets of things I thought i would never be able to accomplish.
I’m happy to say that way of thinking is a bunch of angsty crap. Garbage. Dangerous, even. What was I doing regretting things?
I realized that if I sat around moping about what could have been, I was missing out on all the things that could BE. We get older every single day, and unless it’s our time to travel to the Great Unknown, time is going to pass no matter what we do. What we do while waiting is what makes life richer, more rewarding, and keeps our soul satisfied, satiated until the next dream, the next opportunity on a different road.
We can make life choices. What we can’t make are the outcomes. Outcomes are capricious things. As humans, we can make all the plans we want as long as we realize we have no control over the outcome. Things will happen. I mean, 2020 happened! That beast came in and messed up the carpet and ruined all the furniture. 2020 was the tick that bit me, coming back for an unwelcome visit, ruining peoples’ lives in the process. It was a real bastard with long term damaging effects, and I wanted his stink out of my house.
There are many things I learned in 2020. I learned the best laid plans can go awry and there’s not a thing you can do about it. So instead of waiting for the familiar road to reopen, I picked another path.
This road redirected me to new possibilities. Not certain wins, but possibilities, and the possibilities are truly endless.
I am healthy.
I have dreams.
And I have time.
No more regrets, or I’m wasting my life! I’d like to think “regret” is just a word for another chance to try something. And I’m all in, folks, I’m all in. My dreams are fluid things, not written in stone, after all.
I’ll try jewelry design again and see where it leads. I’ll start making beads again and see if the spark is still there. I have language books waiting to be opened, a cello that needs tuning and revisiting. I’m writing this blog as a way to document the many little things in life that sum up to a great life lived.
I hope you’ll join me!