December 31, 2020. The day I found out I would need to take a blood thinner (for at least 3 months). The doctor apologized for calling me early on a Saturday (or maybe he said Sunday) to tell me, in fact, I did have blood clots. It was a Thursday - I did not correct him. I will not go into the details of the month long journey to this diagnosis, but I will say, I would not have even gone to the clinic in the first place had it not been for my best friend (nurse) who encouraged me to go after sending her pictures of my arm and telling her my symptoms.
Although the initial symptoms are gone, I can still see the mark that led to this call. It hasn't really sunk in until now. I feel a little betrayed by my body. I thought the worst thing I would have to live with is anxiety. But now there is this for the foreseeable future.
I spoke with one of my nieces on January 2, 2021. Near the end of our conversation she mentioned her sister had read her bullet journal. It was a passage from March (2020) when our world got turned upside down. She, like many, was worried she would never be able to see her friends again. Looking back on it she realized it was silly. But for an extrovert like her, this mattered. And whatever fears you had at the time mattered. You only get perspective once you have lived through something, like a pandemic. I was reminded that I have not journaled about this time. People say, "We will never forget this year", but I worry we will.
I have been trying to live in the moment - a remedy for anxiety. But in doing so, am I trying to ignore "the world is on fire".
My world hasn't changed all that much and for that I am eternally grateful. Coaching was put on hold early in the spring, but this allowed for some down time, time to really rest and recover.
I rarely eat out or shop. I spend quite a lot of time alone (self-proclaimed introvert). With evenings and weekends free I went on more walks and bike rides than most summers before. There was the thought of more camping, but when the initial restrictions were lifted it felt like it was too late to book anything. That being said, we (Kevin and I) spent one Saturday travelling the highway and gravel roads to small towns and attractions. We had no agenda, no time restrictions. It was just us and the highway.
I loved seeing photos (and still do) of the adventures my friends went on. Saskatchewan is such a beautiful place with so many hidden gems.
Although I have not been greatly inconvenienced, I know a great many have. Those who crave being around people, those less mobile (especially now that the snow has arrived and is here to stay), those who lost jobs, those with kids who had to “home-school”, those waiting for medical appointments and surgeries, those in care homes, those who lost a loved one. We are tired, yes even me – with all the rest I had. We make sacrifices for the greater good and watch as others disregard health orders. It is disheartening.
While we must live with this virus and navigate the new path that lay ahead, we also must live the life that is right in front of us. The one where we seek out connection (extrovert or not), help others who need a hand, and deal with the ramifications of job loss, a death in the family, or new medical challenges.
Both phone calls reminded me just how precious life really is. And I never want to forget that.
Sense of Calm
Confessions of a Coach
As always, be well
You are worth more than you know. It is sometimes hard to see. You feel forgotten, not respected, invisible. But know this, you are valued.
I don’t know exactly what the coming year will bring. But I do know, there will be setbacks, failures, and mistakes. I also know, you will laugh, be cheerful, and brighten someone’s day just by your presence.
Do not be so hard on yourself. Have compassion not only on yourself, but those around you. They may need it more.
Fight the urge to draw inward, this is when walls start to form - meant to protect you, but end up doing more harm than good.
Cry if you need to. But don't stay in this place for too long.
Celebrate your achievements, do not brush them aside. You worked hard to get to where you are.
If nothing else, know that you are a better person than you were this time last year. Look how far you've come.
All my love, mnd xo
I am mourning the loss of the forced stoppage of sport. It came at a time when our athletes were on their regular break after nationals. We pushed return to practice back by a week so that they could focus on final exams. After which it was apparent return to sport was not an option over the summer. Athletes were given workouts to do on their own. We had
no answers for them.
I used this time to slow down. Eat supper at a normal time. Do at home workouts. Go for epic walks and bike rides. I did not pine to return back to normal. I quite liked this change of pace.
I thought I might read more. That didn’t happen. I thought I might do some spring cleaning. That didn’t happen. I thought I might clean out my inbox. That didn’t happen.
When people asked the loaded question “how are you?”, I could honestly say “fine”. Anxiety has a weird way of helping you in these situations.
It is not to say I didn’t have ups and downs. They just weren’t as evident as the stories I read on Facebook or Instagram of people who were really struggling with all the changes happening so fast. I empathize, their world was turned upside down in a matter of days. And they didn’t know how to react or feel. I deal with upside down thoughts all the time. And I don’t always know how to react or feel.
Our program just started up again and I am mourning the loss of my slow paced summer. I feel as if I have gone from zero to 100 in a matter of days. I’m already signed up for more webinars than I have done all year. Practices are five days a week and I am back to eating supper at a late hour (even with prep the night before).
This time of year always brings challenges. It is dark by 8:30 pm. I am rushing from home to work to track to home on a daily basis. Fatigue looms large. I hoped I could bank the hours I spent napping for this very season.
Add to this the fatigue of hearing/seeing countless accounts of unarmed Black (mostly) men being murdered. The fatigue of reading people deny Canada has a problem with racism (or saying its not as bad as our neighbours to the south). Then there's the fatigue of watching your friends deal with this situation by sharing every single new thing they have learned about racism (as if these aren't things I think about regularly - not by choice).
Do I love coaching. Absolutely. Did I miss my kids. Absolutely. Do I want more space for myself. Absolutely.
There is no right or wrong in how I am feeling. I would not be true to myself if I did not acknowledge my true feelings.
I hope this gives people permission to feel what they are feeling. Wholeheartedly.
Today: Like most, I'm trying to figure things out. Sometimes that's day by day, moment by moment, and even breath by breath.