Tomorrow at this time…

…it will all be over.

That’s been my strategy for dealing with stressful events for some years. It might be a speaking engagement that strikes terror in my heart, a dental procedure that has me cowering or some other dire circumstance. Instead of focussing directly on the thing I fear, I picture the period post-trauma and imagine, ” tomorrow at this time, I will be ______ (fill in the blank with something enjoyable) ” And the something I don’t expect to enjoy? It will all be over and well behind me.

So, tomorrow at this time I will be sleeping off the effects of anaesthetic, comfortably medicated and on the road to recovery. I’m seriously looking forward to finding out what the new ‘normal’ might feel like once I’m back up to speed. It’s possible that many of my recent physical limitations – things I have come to accept as part of aging – might actually have been consequences of the spinal stenosis that I’m about to be treated for. So, bring on the surgery!

I’ve been taken to task a few times since my last post for playing Pollyanna and downplaying my condition or the seriousness of the surgery. In conversation with my hairdresser yesterday (we had to make sure my hairline wouldn’t be disrupted by the incision!) Mel put it in perfect context. She’d asked why I was having the surgery – and when I told her, she said,” so…you’re lucky.” I thought I knew what she meant, but I asked her to clarify. “Well, when the surgery is done, it’s over.”

“Exactly!”, I thought. I was immediately mindful of family members and friends dealing with illnesses and limitations that won’t go away in a morning, that don’t respond to treatment, that offer no hope or respite.  Tomorrow morning I will have the surgery –  and it will be over.

So, yes – it’s a serious surgery.

Yes – I’m going to experience some discomfort.

But, yes – I am so, so lucky.