Thursday, 7 April 2016

It is just a bump in the road

It was a Saturday morning and I had been a little lazy over the last couple of months, doing very little exercise and eating badly, so I decided today was new day.  Today would be the first day of a new leaf turned. I was going to get back into shape again. I decided to ease in by taking the dog for a walk.  It was a beautiful autumn morning. I was even clever thinking I had to drop something at my parents’ house, so I would take this opportunity to do this, as well as walking the dog (which was well overdue, I had been slack in this area as well). That was what I call “killing three birds with one stone”.  This was going to be a good day.

Well I get not 10 minutes down the track behind our house and clearly missed seeing “the bump in the road” and rolled my right ankle, fell onto the path hitting my left knee and gashed my left ankle in the process.  There was a lovely couple watching the episode and came running to help me. I am thinking... “Are you serious? I haven’t even worked up a sweat”. 

The man said, “that bump in the road! You should sue the council for that. It’s a bad one”. They helped me up and although my ankle was aching, I decided I would walk it out.  I hobbled a little slower down the track, trying to work out if I was being silly to keep walking, when my dog, who never does a poo while we are walking, decided it was time to do her business on the front lawn of someone’s house. Hmm ... seriously ... not a good time to stop and let my ankle cool down.  But when you gotta go, you gotta go.  I opened the doggy bag to scoop the poop to discover the bag had a huge hole in it. (Clearly showing that I very rarely have to use them as she never poos while we are walking). I tried with all my might to scoop while not getting anything on my hands and not bending too much as my knee was starting to hurt.

We set off again towards my parents’ house, when another 100 yards along my dog decides to do what she has never done in her life … stop to do a second huge poo!

Now I am starting to think she is punishing me for not walking her lately. But I have to tell you, getting the second poo into the bag with the huge hole was not going to happen without getting “poo” on my hands.

So, here I am hobbling up the hill towards my parents’ house with a full, holey, smelly bag of poo in one hand, juggling the lead and my water bottle in the other, when along comes a neighbour out walking who wants to stop and chat about what a beautiful day it is and to ask me how I am going!  I engage in the conversation as nicely as I can, but “pant” to give him the indication that I really must keep my heart rate up and need to keep moving. When I arrive at my parents’ house, wash my hands, stop to tell them what happened ... it becomes clear as I cool down that my dad will have to drive me home!

I spent the rest of the day on the lounge, with “ICE” oscillating from right ankle to left knee, watching movies and eating chocolate. Great start to “turning over a new leaf”.  Of course, I quickly saw the funny side to all of this and could laugh it off. Actually I could even make the most of it, seeing it as another excuse to simply relax for the weekend and do nothing, with all the justification in the world.

It is amazing how quickly your plans can be thwarted by just a “bump” in the road. It is where it all started and although frustrating, it won’t keep me down for long.  But it started to make me think; if only I could see some of the serious things that happen to me as simply “a bump on the road”, laugh it off, make the best of it and then keep going.

There have been so many “bumps” over the years that have knocked me right off my feet and I have never been able to recover or keep going. I have simply given up, got discouraged and never tried again. So many plans and dreams that I would have liked to see happen and because they haven’t come to pass, they have rocked my confidence and my ability to keep going. There are scars I still carry, which shape the decisions I make today, the way I view myself and at times the way I have viewed God.

Yet, the scar I got from that fall that Saturday, is now a good story to make people laugh. The series of events that happened after the fall is so typical when you are feeling down. It is never just one thing, yet the dog and the poo and the neighbour just made this story funnier.  Why can’t I view all the bumps in the road like that? Sure, some are more serious “bumps” than others, but in the end I still have a choice to allow the “bumps” to make me stronger or weaker, to let them stop me or make me more determined, to make me bitter or more compassionate, to make me sue someone or worse, blame God. Or I could stop, rest, recover, see it for what it is - the “bumps” that life throws at you - get up and keep going.

It is just a “bump in the road”. It may not be fair. It may not be nice. It may not be easy, but it is a “bump in the road”, and in this life they will happen no matter how wonderful your plans are.  The question is, what will we choose to do about it WHEN the bumps come?  Will we let them define us or will we choose to get back up, dust ourselves off and keep moving forward.

I envy those who can “easily laugh off” or “let go” of the serious “bumps” in life, but hopefully each day I am getting better at it.  I hope so because as I get older, I am sure there are many more “bumps” to come!