There is freedom in discovering your limitations.
About 9 months ago I wrote a post about my dreams of disability. Dreams of going about my life with less stress, less work, and an opening of the heart and mind. Little did I know this alluring gift was rocketing toward me like a silent freight train.
In April I purchased a home in Texas and made the plan to settle into a comfortable life of smothering humidity, salt-of-the-earth neighbors, and a continued sense of purpose in my remote finance job. To my unfortunate surprise, the owners of my company had other plans. Apparently finance work has to be in-person, even after 13 months of successfully accomplishing it remotely. Who knew?
So I moved to the Lone Star State and I am meeting these wonderful salt-of-the-earth neighbors and I live in this awesome new house with loads of mosquitos and humidity and it’s all exactly as I pictured it. Except for the unemployed part. And I am not yet at a point in my life where disability would make any sense.
So far I have been channeling all of this newfound freedom and time into my new home. Since one of my best friends bought her first house many years ago, I have been hearing about the woes of homeownership. These are all extremely privileged woes to be thankful for mind you, but woes all the same. As soon as you move in, you will discover exactly what is wrong with your house. It could be literally brand new construction but you will see.
That door that wasn’t properly weather sealed. That closet that is conspicuously missing a piece of its hinge. That tiny leak in the upstairs bathroom. That one ceiling fan that isn’t quite mounted right and scares the crap out of you every time you turn it on. That electrical problem that the inspector missed but isn’t an emergency but could someday burn your house down so you can’t ignore it completely kind of problem. Woes every girl dreams of.
But with a newly limited income stream, hiring experts to tackle all of these home projects is no longer my best option. Over the past couple of weeks I have learned that walls and doors and I don’t get along. That I can totally fix a small leak and I really enjoy mowing my own lawn. And when I say “really” I actually mean “ecstatically.” Mowing the lawn is my newest form of meditation. I have learned that cracks and seals can be handled without issue, but ceilings fans should not be touched. Except by the expert electrician who is also coming to your house to fix all of your wiring.
I liken this newfound learning curve to figuring out my limitations with MS. My diagnosis led me to learn how to run and love it, but my legs definitively hate anything more than 5 miles. Heat and my MS get along just fine, but the enemy lurks any place below 40°. Meditation and mindfulness are keys to survival, but my life depends on the experts for drugs and MRIs.
There is so much we can do and there are limits to most everything.
I suddenly find myself waking up every day with less stress, less work, and an opening of the heart and mind. An opening of time and space. Of what I can do, who I can be, and when to say when.
MS taught me how to say uncle with pride. I am eager and already grateful for the lessons an opening of time will bring.