Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Venturing Out

I have a whole new life. I didn't expect it, I don't know all the rules (I suspect they are made up as I go along), but I think it's going to be a heck of a ride.

The sun always shines in my new life. Sounds rather poetic, doesn't it? Or it could just be that I've moved to the desert. Well, I mean, I'm not really in residence yet, but I will be as soon as I heal up from the scary-but-turned-out-great colon surgery I just had. I'm recuperating in Washington State and will probably head to Indio, CA, in about three weeks. I flew down there and set up my household before surgery because I didn't know how much energy I would have post-op. I'm looking forward to the road trip with one of my adventurous friends, as soon as the doctor clears me for a long drive.

I leave behind: one husband of 18 years from whom I am amicably separated; two small dogs of whom I was ridiculouslyfond for five years; the home I thought was my dream home; 20 years worth of stellar friends and fond memories. I go to: a smaller but newer home in an upscale retirement community; one small dog who bonded to me over the course of the winter when I nursed him back to health after a near-death experience (his, not mine); proximity to family; sunshine 300+ days a year; and lots of new friends I haven't met yet. Oh, and a nice guest room to entice my Washington friends to visit when I have sunshine and they have rain, rain, and snow.

As a result of my surgery, I can eat fibrous foods I haven't been able to have for years and years. I don't have pain in my gut all the time. The sunrise looks more beautiful, and red grapes with skins taste like gifts from the gods. I am truly filled with thanksgiving and gratitude--for all the people who cared and the ones who prayed, and for the doctors and nurses with new technology who facilitated this miracle.

I'm pretty sure this new life will not be perfect. In fact, I'll be living on a shoestring, and I'm moving from a state with 9% unemployment to one with almost 13% unemployment. The last time I heard from a prospective employer was in an email this week telling me a job I applied for 3 months ago would never, ever be mine.

At 62, I have no illusions about who gets preference in hiring. However, being 62 also gives me perspective on myself I've not had in the past. I know I'm a survivor. I know I'm resourceful. I know I'm talented in many ways, and that working a standard job for a company is not the only way to make money. I am comforted by this knowledge. I will make something good happen, I just don't know what it is.

Wow. Amazing how much easier it is to have a positive attitude when I'm not in pain all the time. The nurses were amazed at how little pain medication I used from my self-directed IV pump. I explained that the post-surgery pain was only slightly more than the pain I've lived with for many years.

And now, back to bed with my Percoset to give the body a chance to rev up for the next jump forward. I'm thankful and grateful

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