Living the Dream

This is a conversation I overheard today after a woman greeted a man she knew on a bus I was riding:

Edmonton Bus via

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.

Returning borrowed health care aids to the Red Cross

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.

View of Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley from the top of the funicular

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.





  1. I liked this post. Glad you are getting better. I just got rid of my walker a few months ago. It had been sitting in my basement. The friend who had found it for me needed it for another friend. I was so glad to get rid of it. It also took me a very long time to get over open-heart surgery, blood clots and cancer.

    • Thanks, Barb. It feels good to return or donate those things, doesn’t it? I’m glad you are over your health problems, but sorry it took a long time. Your busy-ness and activities are an inspiration to me. I still need to find new friends in Edmonton.

  2. Anne, I love reading of your amazing progress. You must truly be motivated to work to bring the strength back and chase pain and weakness away. I cheer for you as I spend summer in SJ. Carry on my friend! Mary Beth

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Anne, I love your writings the last paragraph made me lol for real and I was nodding in agreement.

  4. I am so pleased that you are living the Dream! It appears to me that you have worked very hard to make a full recovery. Congratulations my dear, you are made of the right stuff! Hoping you will come see us in the near future!

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