Everything Changes: Sink, Float, or Swim?


About a week and a half ago, I was in a car accident. I got the most serious injury I have ever had: my left ankle was practically shattered and there was a lot of damage to the soft tissue. (I also broke my leg a couple inches below the knee, but that wasn’t even a concern because the ankle damage was so severe.)

The accident was caused by someone else running a red light. I was in the hospital about 4 days. Surgery took a few hours to put the pieces of my ankle back together. I’m basically in bed for a while with my foot in “aggressive elevation.”

I’m very confused and overwhelmed. My house is a complete, disorganized mess. I struggle with feeling useless, ashamed of the state of affairs in my home. I think I need help, but do I deserve it? The chaos in my house is my own fault. If I was a better person things would be running smoothly and I would have no problems, right? I mean, after all, I’m in my 50s and have been sober for 29 years, so if I ain’t got it together yet, I’m a certified loser.

Hmmmm. Maybe It’s time to take stock. Let’s take a look at what has been happening that led up to this sad state of mind. It’s me, here, alone, in this bed. I can let an opportunity to ‘grow’ slip by by numbing out with computer games, no one could blame me for that, or I can take advantage of the down-time to make some real changes.

What better time to examine my life than right now? I will preface this by saying that I’m taking a strong pain-killer every 4 hours. This might color my words, emotions, and judgement a bit.

This was an incredibly difficult summer. Without going into other people’s business, I’ll just say that we started the summer with my son in a hospital about 5 hours from our house. He was there for about 10 days. I was lucky enough to have a friend to stay with up there. It was like life was on hold, and everything was surreal. Later in the summer, he was in the local hospital for several days, and either myself or my husband had to be there 24 hours a day with him. We were off-kilter and there was no rhythm to our lives.

In the middle of all this, our bank got sold to a different bank (the second time in slightly over a year) and the transition date was August 15. We were given notice well in advance, but with my son in the hospital I neglected to take suggested action ahead of time.

All my banking for the household is done through Quicken, and I have many online payees (such as Amazon, prescription drugs, and streaming entertainment) that I have to visit and change payment information for (some stupid easy to do, others were ridiculously complicated and NOT user-friendly).

Maybe I’m missing something, but having to get Quicken to accept the new financial institution account was nothing short of a nightmare (possibly made worse by the fact that the account #s stayed the same, only the name and routing # changed). It’s been about a month, and I’m still not able to pay bills through Quicken! Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love the software, and it helps immensely in keeping our finances running smoothly, but when it’s not working, things go downhill, fast!

Add to this, our home of 14 years went into foreclosure. We were to be out of our home by mid-June. The ensuing move was made much more difficult because of my serious clutter issues (a prettier name for “hoarding”). The combination of the disorganized move, life-disrupting hospital issues, and the bank change led to my financial situation and home environment deteriorating into horrible disarray.

With utility accounts changing due to the move, some with new account #s and others staying the same, getting everything paid on time was challenging. I got behind in some bills and overpaid others. This led to our new landlord being seriously not-happy with us.

Making matters worse, I was behind with changing our billing address with some services (credit card and car payment) because I was with my son who was in the hospital (and was so preoccupied that I neglected more than a few things). Bills arrived late, so payment was sometimes late.

So, any one or two of these problems on their own would be no biggie, take it in stride, that’s life on life’s terms; but taken together, it feels like I’m in the middle of the perfect storm.

That brings me to now, this moment. My life literally came to a crashing halt on Monday, August 28. Like in a train wreck where the cars behind keep coming, the devastation is piling up around me.

I can choose how I will view this period of convalescence. I can “sink”, take it as “free time”, binge on Netflix, play tons of video and computer games, catch up on reading (including books on tape), etc. I can dis-engage from life. Considering my intake of pain meds and how much I need to rest so that I can heal, I will certainly do a fair amount of those activities.

I could also choose to float. Keep up, get bills paid. I can continue living life the same way, paying half-attention to everything, forget about any latent dreams and ambitions, survive. Maybe I’ll live through my kids, who are starting fresh and can make something of their lives.

Or I can do more. I can take action, I can swim. Keep in mind the recent solar eclipse. Many believe that an eclipse is a time for endings and new beginnings. Other astrology sites talk about information being hidden, and that after is a time to uncover truth.

I struggle with, “What Should I Be Doing?” Late at night, I have deep insight like, tomorrow, I will start a rewrite of my novel; I will get my house organized; I will spend time daily reading meaningful material that speaks to my heart and aspirations. I will build my blog so that I will have followers so that a publishing house will want to buy my book. And yet… and yet…

Yesterday, I started listening to the podcast “You 2.0: Deep Work” from the “Hidden Brain” radio show. I declare that I  will take this time to get to know myself deeper. I will define and refine my goals and ambitions. I will design action steps to achieve them. I will fully live my life.

And I will practice gratitude. My hearts and prayers are with those who are dealing with the aftermath of storms, flooding, wildfires, and other disasters. My life is good… so good. May you forever walk in the sunlight of the Spirit.


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