Counting My Blessings

While I’ve neglected this blog, I have been a busy little writer bee lately. I hit thirty pages for the new version of my ongoing novel project (I lost track of how many versions there’s been so far). On top of that, a freelance gig assigned me new blog posts that are longer than the ones I previously wrote for them. All good things, but between that and recovering from my knee surgery, I haven’t had much motivation left for this blog.

As usual my recovery has been the standard roller-coaster of emotions. My knee is a lot less stiff than the other one was because the surgeon completed this procedure in half the time. On the other hand, I had much more trouble walking this time around. Before I wasn’t so concerned about walking correctly because I still had one knee left to do. When trying to “be good” over the past month, I could barely out-shamble a zombie and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. Thank God for the hospital’s physical therapist, who I saw for my belated four-week appointment on Saturday. Apparently I should be leading with the surgery knee instead of the recovered knee (wouldn’t you think it was the other way around??). The therapist made sure I had the technique down pat and showed me exercises to make sure my “muscles fired.”

I’m so grateful to be on the right track again. On Saturday night I went to my aunt’s house, my first social outing since the surgery (though I’ve had visitors every week). I’m still struggling a bit but I’ve improved more these last few days than I have the entire month. I’m also glad I didn’t miss dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house because I got to see my cousin and her new husband after their destination wedding last week. Although, watching their wedding video made me wish I could’ve gone to Jamaica! At least I wasn’t the only relative who couldn’t make the trip.

I’ve had a more positive outlook these past few months. Instead of cursing my misfortune of needing two consecutive surgeries, I’ve been grateful to have the opportunity to fix knees that have bothered me my whole life. Still living at home at my age turned into a blessing because I didn’t have to worry about giving up an apartment and moving back home post-surgery. I’m grateful for my two best friends who have visited me every weekend in the last month. I’m even feeling optimistic about my writing again. While I still doubt I’ll make a living selling books, I’m hopeful about eventually publishing my current work-in-progress.

That said, I still dread getting back behind the wheel of my car in a month or so. I just have to remind myself of all those hours I wasted taking public transportation.

Maybe It All Worked Out for the Best

This has been a favorite saying of mine since I heard my job was closing. It’s more than me trying to make myself feel better. If you look at all the pieces, you wonder how everything fit together without any planning. Some would call it God’s plan. Maybe that’s true, but I also think of it as unfortunate events leading to fortunate coincidences.

The transition began New Year’s Eve and Day. My 70-year-old aunt was turning in her car because she has Parkinson’s and can no longer drive it. While sitting in my other aunt’s living room on NYE, watching either the New York or Miami special depending on the moment, my family half-jokes that I should buy my aunt’s car. They know I’ve been looking but also know I’m seriously procrastinating. I don’t want to drive period. I’ve had my license for a while now, and I’m aware it’s a necessary evil, but I kept putting it off because I didn’t need my own car. I’d been planning to look for a better job though so I resolved even prior to NYE to finally bite the bullet. I could probably afford something decent too.

So, my family plants the idea, then the next day I’m like “well, why not? The four-door sedan has like 9K miles on it after two years and I won’t have to pretend I can find a decent used car on my own.” Problem solved. Within a month I’m at my uncle’s cousin’s dealership in New Jersey signing a stack of official documents.

I like the car. I really, honestly do. I just don’t drive it on a regular basis yet. Miraculously I passed the test to get my license, but I still need practice before I’m zipping around town by myself.

Soon after I finally made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon my stepfather’s sister recommended. My knee cap dislocated December 2014 but I’d been trying to…well, walk it off. I’d done it plenty of times before. This time my walking and balance didn’t recover fully, contrary to other dislocations in the past. My mom and I went to an orthopedic last year but we did not like him. Again, I meant to make an appointment with someone else sooner.  Again, one reason or another, I don’t pick up the phone to call until early February. My appointment is set for March.

Late February. Cue the announcement that the company I work for is closing. No one saw it coming, or at least, everyone expected to squeeze out at least another two or three years. Shock, anger, fear of the unknown, it was all there. Then when I calmed down I began to review the last few months.

Let’s put this into perspective.

If I didn’t buy my aunt’s car, I wouldn’t have gotten one. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get one from a dealership until I started earning a salary. I wouldn’t have a car to drive to the many interviews in my future.

As for my two knee surgeries, if I still had my job or started a new one, I’d be a nervous wreck about keeping it. If I’d found a better job, I might never have gone to the doctor. Getting this surgery is important to me because the aunt who has Parkinson’s also has bad knees like me, and can’t walk without her walker. Both she and my cousin have outright insisted I get surgery so I don’t end up like her.

Now I have time to recover. Going back even further, if I’d moved out of my family home (in a far-fetched alternate reality), I’d be right back there anyway because of this surgery. I’d have to give up whatever apartment I’d found and felt like I was taking a huge step back in my life overall. Instead I feel like I’m moving forward.

Divine intervention? Coincidences? Rose-colored glasses? I have no idea what any of this means but there’s a big silver lining running through it.