So…I always have issues figuring out how in the world to start posts. I swear, someday I’m just going to tell a ridiculous joke to break the cyber-silence. Awe heck, I’ve got a good one to share so I might as well do it today just for kicks. Why did the man go out with a prune? Because he couldn’t find a date. Bah ha ha! Terrible…
My year anniversary day (wow, that doesn’t make a lot of sense) went really well and you know, it really was just another day. But it also was a day to celebrate life which meant a pretty good reason to have a party with the family and some close friends. We lit off wish lanterns that evening and I wanted to share some of the photos because it was pretty awesome.
Doesn’t it look gorgeous? I can promise you it was even cooler in real life. Funny story about the lanterns, we lit them all off over a bunch of farm fields basically in the middle of nowhere so we didn’t have to worry about anything bad happening with the open flame. All of them went up without a hitch, that is until the very last one. The very last lantern got caught in the lone tree in my aunt’s front yard. No worries, the tree was fine, but I felt it was oddly fitting. Yea, take THAT tree.
I find it super exciting that summer is finally here. Now I’m normally a big lover of the fall, but when you basically missed most, if not all of last summer, this one becomes a bit more special. All the fires, the warm weather, the awesome summer festivals, I mean, what’s not to enjoy? Needless to say, I plan to make the very most of it.
My family and I hit up Brown county’s Breakfast on the Farm this past Sunday which was held at Calf Source, a farm I worked at as an intern after my freshman year in college. It’s an awesome place to work at, but it’s even cooler to go and see for all of the people who have never really experienced farm life before. Calf Source is all just calves, like 6,000 of them. Now I don’t remember the actual number, but it’s a pretty impressive site to see and an even more impressive thing to be apart of. When I interned, I fed calves, I medicated calves, I did health checks, and I loved every minute of it. Was it hard work, oh yea. Was it worth it? Most definitely yes.
It was great to go back and see the little dudes again (obviously different little dudes) as well as some of the people I worked with. But it really made me think and then have to try and come to terms with some of this spinal cord injury stuff.
You know, there really are things I can no longer do.
I know that it sounds ridiculous that I’m even saying that or that it’s even taken me this long to figure that out and admit it, but it really has. I’ve always been the type of person who feels that if you want to do something, you just need to work really hard and you’ll be able to do it. It’s all about where you choose to spend your time and effort. In my mind, that’s how it is when it comes to school and getting good grades or how it is when it comes to being good at an instrument or sport. I mean, sure, some people are naturally born with some abilities, but you can really do anything you want to IF you work hard enough.
But now…Now….Now I don’t really think that’s always the case.
I know I could never work in that same role I did as a college freshman, climbing in and out of calf hutches for feeding, sorting calves, or all the other duties I had. That’s something I’m no longer physically capable of and that’s really hard to accept. I’d be lying if I said I’m okay with that, because I’m really not. I mean, that was something I loved and something I really am no longer able to do even if I wanted to. I guess I never stopped to really think about the things I can’t do anymore, and that became pretty apparent when at one of my speaking engagements a little dude asked me if I could climb up a ladder. You’re probably reading this going, well no, of course you can’t. But I actually sat there and thought about how I would climb a ladder now instead of just going, “No, I’d ask for help.”
It stinks, I mean it really does, to realize that there are indeed things I can’t and never will be able to do again. When you’re first injured, so much of rehab is all about teaching you how you can still do the things you love. It’s super important, and I agree that you often can, but that really isn’t always the case. I mean, if my passion was to be a flight attendant, that would be pretty difficult now. Just like no matter how hard I try to stand up, that’s probably never going to happen either.
But in my contemplating, I’m realizing it’s not about what you don’t have and what you can’t do, but what you can.
I can’t walk, but I can wheel. I can’t drive and accelerate/break with my feet, but I can with my hands. I can’t run and feel the pounding of the cement against my feet like I used to, but I can still race and even just did (I did a 2 mile race in my manual chair with my awesome coach and a new friend).
These things are certainly different then what they used to be and yea there are things that I simply can’t do.
But why dwell on “can’t” when “can” is just one letter away.