My Roller Coaster Day

It’s been an up-and-down sorta day. It started with a double-whammy: it’s been great having my mom here to help out while I recover from my surgery, but I took her to the airport bright and early this morning so she could hop a plane back to Michigan. It was a bummer to see her ago, and I’m man enough to admit that I already miss her.

Despite the circumstances, we had a nice visit (it also helped that the outcome of the surgery provided so much good news). We saw extended family a couple times, and before the surgery we had a nice meal out and saw “The Great Gatsby.” The other day we both wanted to get out of my place for a little while, so we turned a trip to Trader Joe’s into a pleasant scenic drive, where I pointed out a few celebrity homes and stopped at two very scenic overlooks on Mulholland, the road that winds across the top of the Hollywood Hills.

I only see my mom a couple times a year, and luckily for me, I’ll get to see her (and my dad) in about a month, so that will be really nice. Plus, she left behind presents in my freezer in the form of healthy food:

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The top shelf, and part of the second shelf, has containers of chicken barley soup (my version of this recipe can be found here), which is loaded with lean protein (chicken breast, black beans) and veggies. There’s also a couple of containers of chicken noodle soup, which my cousins Macrae and Erik brought over.

Macrae also brought over a vat (literally) of amazing homemade spaghetti sauce, which had organic lean beef, carrots, celery, and other veggies in it. It made for a delicious dinner, with enough leftovers for both my fridge and my freezer. Here’s the sauce over a bed of spinach (I also had some over pasta, but forgot to take of picture of that):

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Maybe if you ask nicely in the comments section, Macrae will share her recipe!

All this is to say that I’ve been making really smart choices and eating well since my surgery. I stepped on the scale yesterday morning and had lost a pound during the past 8 days, so my effort is paying off. I don’t expect to keep losing weight, since my recovery orders specify no exercise and prohibit me from lifting anything that’s over 5 pounds, but hopefully I won’t gain anything either. That’s a reasonable goal, and I think I can do it.

Generally speaking, my recovery is going well. I’m extremely bruised and swollen, but the pain and discomfort is very much aided by the pills I’m taking. I’ve worked from home the past couple days, and the plan is to go into the office today, for a few hours at least, because I’m getting a little cabin fever in my condo.

But I digress. The other half of that double-whammy was that my car was burgled, while parked in the gated garage under my building. There wasn’t a forced entry, which meant I accidentally left a door unlocked after that scenic drive to Trader Joe’s. The thief took my prescription sunglasses, a bunch of gift cards that I had stashed at the bottom of my armrest (including some that I won at a charity auction), and about 8 dollars in quarters (my parking meter money). Altogether, roughly $700 worth of stuff.

Ugh.

But the day got better. I had a great nap. I spoke with my doctor, who confirmed that the bruising and swelling were all par for the course. I got work done. I finished half of a project that I’ve been meaning to work on. Oh, and I won $5 in the lottery! (I reinvested it in more tickets.)

Then, I watched the finale of “The Office.” I’ve watched this show since the beginning, and stuck with it, even when I thought the quality was deteriorating. They pulled out all the stops for what I thought was a perfect finale: funny, touching, awkward, satisfying. Near the end of the episode, Pam, while talking about her relationship with Jim, said this:

“It took me so long to do so many important things. It’s just hard to accept that I spent so many years being less happy than I could have been.”

And that’s when I started crying. Right there, on my couch, with a package of frozen peas on my junk. Those two sentences really hit home for me. They reminded me of all the good things that I have going for me. I tend to dwell on the negative, but I’m in a really great spot right now. I have awesome family and friends. I’m smart and talented. I’ve taken control of my health and I’ve stuck with it. Oh, and I don’t have cancer!

Like I mentioned in a recent post, I used to think that I was destined to always be unhappy with at least part of my life. I refused to accept that I was worthy of anything more. And that’s so ridiculously untrue. I ended up waiting until I was in my thirties to take control of my health and start believing that I deserved happiness. I still struggle with a lot of things, but I’m in a much better place that I was a few years ago.

I try hard to not have regrets. I honestly believe that every decision that I’ve made (including the mistakes) has shaped me somehow and brought me to where I am right now, and where I am right now is a pretty great place to be. But when Pam said those words during the final episode of “The Office,” I couldn’t help but wonder what my life would be like had I had the strength and courage to take control of my well-being years ago. When I first moved to California. Or in college. Or in high school.

In the end, it doesn’t matter, because it happened the way it happened, and I love who I’ve become, what I stand for, and that I get to share my life with so many special people.

Pam went on to say, in the same speech:

“It’d be great if people saw this documentary and learned from my mistakes. Not that I’m a tragic person; I’m really happy now. But it would just… just make my heart soar if someone out there saw this, and she said to herself: ‘Be strong. Trust yourself. Love yourself. Conquer your fears. Just go after what you want, and act fast, because life just isn’t that long.'”

Now I’m crying again. Doing those things can be so terribly difficult, but the rewards can be so huge that they’re life-altering. And that’s something I should always remember.

You know what? So should you.

Keep it up, David.

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8 Responses to My Roller Coaster Day

  1. verabear says:

    I want to be so much happier too. I am happy now, but unlike haven’t fully taken charge of my well being -which led to my back operation three weeks ago. I want my fridge to have healthy food too, and exercise. Sigh. One step at a time, and i need to take that first step.

  2. Sylvia Hall says:

    You have done a wonderful job and that encourages a 61 year old grandmother to keep trying. I am walking 3 x a week after swimming and want to be strong for a wonderful vacation. Buying clothes in a smaller size will be such fun! Bless you, David, and heal fast.

  3. Felise says:

    I just am amazed by your thoughts, words and deeds. You are a gifted writer and a lovely man. Heal fast and know you a treasure. Thank God you don’t have cancer!!!

  4. Tavi says:

    Thank you for an amazing dinner last night! We had Macrae’s delicious pasta sauce over brussel sprouts! Macrae will you please share your recipe with us here on Keep it up David? 🙂

  5. Nurse Karen says:

    Your bravery in continuing on with a life well-lived, is So Very Inspiring, as well as a Comfort to others who suffer in silence; they can vicariously see through your heartfelt, vulnerable revelations that perseverance is a major key in achieving a satisfying existence. Life isn’t always neat, on-time, nor guaranteed to be happy every day, and it is a grand Adventure nonetheless. Thanks for sharing the adventure with us. Bright Blessings & lots of Love…

  6. Lucie says:

    Glad you’re doing so well! Have printed Macrae’s recipe & have given it to a co-worker & both of us plan to make it soon. Michigan is having a cold spell and it was only 42 this morning, so this sounds wonderful–especially as it feels like Fall here, not Spring!

  7. Kat says:

    I rarely ever watched the Office but I did watch some of the last episodes and what she said really hit home…I cried too. I thought I was the only goof that got emotional over stuff like that David….I’m so glad I’m not…. (hugs) new friend… 🙂 BTW…I’m a newbie and I’m a fattie (all my life) I have the before and after and during pictures of all sizes. I just turned 55 May 8 and plan on starting yet another weight loss adventure….I wish I could find a weight and just stick with it… 🙂 I’m also the only fatty in my family and was always reminded and teased about it..but at least I was the best lookin one….HA!

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