Saturday, September 11, 2010
Oh, What a Day I Had
Before the surgery I used to walk with a group of friends every morning. They were all younger than I am and they walked at a good, fast clip. After the surgery and radiation the doctor told me not to exercise strenuously, but when I thought I was ready, I met them and walked with them one morning. About a fourth of the way I began to feel a great deal of pressure behind my left eye, the place Grizelda resides, and with every heart beat I could feel the pressure increase. But I kept pushing until suddenly with every heart beat my vision would go blank like when you blink only I wasn’t blinking. That scared me and so I slowed down and cut through the park telling the others I’d meet them on the other side. I was concerned but didn’t want to alarm the others so I just fell behind and walked slowly home, but it took three days for the pressure to go down in my head and when I told the doctor about this he chastised me and told me not to do anything that got my heart pumping like that.
In addition, I couldn’t put my head down because the blood would flow into Grizelda and build up pressure. This meant I couldn’t garden. For the past two summers whenever I tried to bend over and pull weeds I’d feel the pressure and the other problems. At first I thought, “Oh good! I have an excuse not to garden.”
But lately the pressure has been less and with the last MRI being so encouraging, I decided to work in the garden yesterday. And did I ever work! We have a large yard and I spent four solid hours clearing out an area that during the past two years had become overgrown. I cut back bushes and trees and pulled weeds like a mad woman. I did have a young man from the ward help me with the heavy things, but I worked like I haven’t worked in two years and it was WONDERFUL!
The interesting thing is that I found myself several times spontaneously breaking out in prayer and thanking God that I could work. If you had asked me three years ago if I’d someday be thankful to work I’d have laughed at you. I used to think having an excuse not to work would be the greatest blessing! How wrong I was. I loved feeling my muscles stretched to full capacity. I loved feeling the sweat on my body. I loved the feel of my lungs sucking deep and hard for air. I loved watching the insects up close, and even loved the feel of the rose bush thorns pricking my skin. I loved looking at a task and thinking, “Can I do this?” then after it was done basking in the satisfaction of knowing I’d done it.
It short, it was an amazing day filled to the brim and overflowing with pure joy. Hard work is a gift, and I hope I never again take it for granted or try to wish it away. What I realized is that when working hard at something good and with the right attitude, we are smack dab in the middle of the Realm of Truth where joy and peace abound.