297 // Gloomy Friday

It’s a cold and gloomy day here along the Front Range Urban Corridor. We woke falling sleet and thick layers of ice on our cars and walkways, and as the sun rose we realized there would be very little improvement in the way of warmth and blue skies would likely not make an appearance. So much for a happy Friday.

As for me, things have improved in what ways it can since the last time I posted here. In some ways they are worse too. Every day brings new challenges and every day we discover new ways to be strong, or to fail. I suppose all life’s major changes and tragedies follow this pattern, and perhaps the peaks and valleys never will quite flatten out again, but only shrink toward one another.

Getting back to work has helped some, and being with my wife makes it easier, but even through the laughter and love, emotions of pain, stress, fear, and helplessness continue to be the predominate. My family is in an upheaval and we’re being forced to take not only our circumstances but one another on a day by day basis.

My health has not improved overall either, but the time for answers either way is fast approaching. More tests and a new plan are close enough to give me both hope and anxiety. I’m worried I’ll be told something else entirely from my original diagnosis is wrong, or, worst of all, I’ll be told nothing is wrong at all. I’m worried the answers will come too fast and I’m worried that I will have to wait, and suffer, just a little longer.

Still, I’m grateful for so much. I’m grateful for the family I have and for small victories. I’m grateful to be alive, to fight, to support the people I love and to receive support too. I’m grateful for what I can give, even if all I wish anymore is that I could give so much more.

What I’m learning though is that gratitude is not the same as happiness. It’s only a small part. I need more than gratitude and I’m at a loss as to what that thing is or how to find it right now.

Today is another easy day, and my mood is much improved from yesterday. It’s definitely a better day than yesterday. Time is moving along a lot faster and I’m much more inclined to speak to and even hold conversations with my coworkers. I’m not being as productive as I would like though.

But, there is a tradeoff between interacting with other people and working toward my goals. I can’t do both at once, but both are essential to my well being so how do I choose? I swing wildly between wanting to do one or the other and often regret whichever I end up doing. Perhaps that’s because I don’t know how to end one and switch to the other. I spend all day with others or alone, never half-and-half, never even a 90/10 split. It’s always all or the other.

Balance, boundaries, and having the courage to say no are all skills I have to strengthen.