It’s hard to describe how challenging the last week was for me—mostly because I can’t talk. I mean this quite literally.
A week ago I was rolled into the operating room for some long overdue orthognathic surgery, otherwise known as corrective jaw surgery, or slicing and dicing up the bottom half of my head.
“It’s just carpentry.”
While this procedure was necessary for me, and I’ll be reaping the benefits for years to come, recovery ain’t a walk in the park. The first week involved me eating food through a syringe, poppin’ plenty of pain meds, communicating via whiteboard, and wearing a jaw bra (ja, brah).
Although I’m sure the worst is behind me, I’m not out of the woods yet. All told, it’ll be 8-ish weeks until I’m back to my old talkative, steak chomping, gotta-be-active self. That’s a pretty scary length of time for me, and the thought of adjusting my lifestyle for that long is a seriously daunting thought.
During some of my toughest moments last week, I reminded myself of a man who’s been through challenges I can’t even begin to imagine:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
All right, cool, I thought. Just stay positive and push through this thing. It’s just 2 months.
That’s great, but something dawned on me today: I missed a huge part of the message. Leave it to my boy Ryan Holiday to post an article just when I needed it most:
“We are always so busy thinking about the future, we don’t take enough time to focus on the opportunities right in front of us. Especially when those things look like burdens and not like opportunities. We think the future is something that happens, rather than something we make.
We think, This is just a job, this is just a crappy couple of [months, minutes, weeks] it doesn’t matter.
Like Robert [Greene] says, if you’re going to think like that, you might as well be dead. Your mind apparently is.” Ryan Holiday
He’s absolutely right. Sure, I could just write off Fall 2014 as a crappy page in the book of Lloyd Alexander (as I honestly had prior to surgery) or I can do some really cool stuff despite my limitations.
Reading. Writing (check!). Cooking (soupmaster extraordinaire). Coding (HTML/CSS). These are things I wanted to do anyway.
I may have developed a pretty serious House of Cards (dat Kevin Spacey) addiction over the past week, but it’s time to be productive again. It’s time to get back on track.