It was not the worst thing you could hear from the Doctor. The "C" word was not mentioned, nor some imminent life threatening issue. In the world of medical conditions hearing that you must have your gall-bladder removed; that you have crossed the line into "minor" non-insulin dependent type-2 Diabetes and that you have a "Fatty Liver" is not the end of anything. I suppose.
But what it does do is drag your mind to the life you have lived. The choices you have made. And the choices you will make. The cliché but entirely operative phrase is "wake-up call". In combination with yesterday's dental appointment that felt more like the prep work for a mission to Mars.--"Yes, Mr. Carver, we will need about 10 visits to do everything we want to do this year and about $5,000"-- I guess its no wonder I feel a bit broken down.
In the depth of that feeling, my mind can't help but wander back though to the pews of Riverside. The lesson that we often only elevate ourselves to a higher place by leveraging the bounce off the bottom. Although this is not really a bottom, it is definitely a bounce. Drastic reduction in alcohol intake. French Fries and Hamburgers gone. Pasta in most forms a memory, along with steak. And fried clam strips. And Ice Cream. Yikes.
Well, at least I still have my oatmeal. And my family. And my friends. And My boyfriend. And God. And road-trips. And Diners. And, as far as I can tell, Airplanes and Photography and writing are perfectly safe on my new diet. I can catch up on Tales from Lake Wobegon while living on the treadmill. Guess what Planet Fitness, I will be back.
Life is about change. Adjusting to the realities that we are faced with, powerless to change and thereby required to accept. That is our challenge. To move beyond the fear and the anger, the anxiety and the memory, to understand that the most successful of forms are the most adaptable. The least excitable. The least fearful. And the most loving.
So I will start my new diet. I will change my ways. I will loose this thirty-five pounds that taunts me each morning in the mirror. I will say goodbye to my second biggest enemy (the one that looks like a shriveled up raisin.. no, not that one, the OTHER one that looks like a shriveled up raisin) but the journey will continue. Informed on this day by the reminder that our choices do have consequences. That we must take care of our bodies, and that I am still able to make things better. For many who get that Doctor's Call, there is no action. There is no effort. Only acceptance. Thank God that call wasn't mine. So onward we shall go. More appreciative, more understanding, and perhaps a little more grateful.