This is a conversation I overheard today after a woman greeted a man she knew on a bus I was riding:
He: Hey! I haven’t seen you in ages. How have you been?
She: I’m fine. I just got out of jail. How are you doing?
He: I’m living the dream. Living the dream.
She: You are?
He: Yes. I’m not where you just got out of.
So I guess I’m living the dream, too. I’m not in jail. It’s not something I have ever considered as a measure of success, but it really is something to be grateful for. If it’s an accomplishment it’s worth celebrating.
As I have been slowly but surely recovering from my recent injuries, I have been getting frustrated about my slow progress and my lack of energy. I was bemoaning my poor stamina today as I had lunch with my younger son, and he reminded me that I have made a lot of progress.
He and I get together once a week and he pointed out that each time we have met for the past few weeks, I have been stronger and more mobile. I have gone from using a wheelchair to using a walker, to using a cane, and today walking without any aid at all. A few weeks ago, we needed extra space at our lunch table to accommodate my walker, and today we didn’t need that extra space. I didn’t even need to park my cane. I’m living the dream.
Last week my older son and I piled into the car all the health care aids that we had borrowed from the Red Cross: a pair of crutches, a walker, toilet safety rails, and a wheelchair. After we had returned them and thanked the good people who provide that service, it felt as though a milestone had been reached. I’m living the dream.
This afternoon I had a phone call from the person who supervised my home care after I came home from the hospital. I was able to report that I am no longer sleeping in a bed in my older son’s family living room, and I have moved back into my own suite. I also told her that I no longer needed help with bathing and that I didn’t need home care for physiotherapy because I am now able to go to a clinic. I’m living the dream.
One of my favourite pastimes is gardening, and I have been itching to get out there to do some weeding and trimming. This week I was able to do some yard work and it felt great. The first time I went out there, I turned on the hose and watered some of the plants. The second time, I got out the rotary mower and pushed it around our two little patches of lawn. The third time, I got down on my knees and did some weeding. Standing up was repeatedly a challenge, but I did it by pulling up on the fence. Our little flower bed is now weeded. I’m living the dream.
The city of Edmonton has recently opened a new funicular to take people down to the park and river walk. I have been hoping to check that out ever since I heard about it and today, after lunch, my son and I tried it out. It was a real treat. I’m hoping one day to be able to take the stairs down instead of the funicular, but for the time being this is progress. We took the ride down and then walked, without a cane, across the overpass to the riverside where we stopped to enjoy the view. I’m living the dream.
Celebrating success doesn’t require any accomplishments that others might envy. It just requires a recognition that you are improving in some small way and, hopefully, staying out of jail.