Friday, December 31, 2010

Not Just One Fork

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Life grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go" - Green Day

On this last day of 2010 it's fun to reflect upon the past year and there is always the temptation to put a label on it as if we were able to qualify it as good or bad. There are good events and bad events; scary, satisfying and joyful events, all of which make up each moment, day, month and year in our lives. How can anyone term a moment, month or year "bad" or "good"? Each moment simply is.

We are offered many amazing opportunities on a day to day basis and I am incredibly lucky to be able to take advantage of so much life has to offer. Everyone has limitations; some are mental, others physical, monetary or time-based. The trick is to learn how to work around the things that limit us and capitalize on the areas we are able to explore. I may not be capable of being as active as I would like to be, but I'm dedicating this next phase in my life to using my mind (what there is of it!) in different ways.

What to do? Learn another language? Study an interesting subject? At times I'm so overwhelmed with the possibilities I feel a bit paralyzed; there is an endless display of forks laid out before me and I'd like to go down each one. Maybe the biggest challenge for me is to choose which avenues to pursue and which to bypass, and not my physical limitations, after all.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


The first time my grandmother R held Wilson when he was but a week or so old she commented on the way he stretched as he slept, arched back and squirming: "that's how they grow", she said. I've always remembered that moment and her wisdom. I'm not sure if that really is how babies grow, by stretching, but it's a piece of old-time wisdom that makes much sense. How else to explain the miracle that is life, growth and change?

Even when we are finished physically growing, we can still stretch ourselves in order to grow. Having new experiences, trying new things, going out of our comfort zone and learning. Sometimes it is uncomfortable, for me anyway. How much easier it is to stick to the old, familiar, tried and true path. Yet there is something inside that prompts me to want to learn new things, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me. There is frustration at not mastering something immediately; it would be much easier to do something the way I've always done it. Yet the challenge beckons.

I've found it best for me to acknowledge the discomfort and frustration and push through it. Eventually, with practice, whatever it is I'm trying to master becomes easier and more familiar. The key is not to avoid new things because of the sensations they bring up. If I was to make a New Year's resolution, that would be it.

May 2011 be a year of stretching beyond old levels of comfort and full of new and exciting experiences.