As I wrote in my last post, my wife broke her collarbone when she was thrown from her horse. The bone required surgery to set as it shattered on impact. She now has a plate and several screws holding her clavicle together. Consequently, my wife has decided enough is enough with regards to horses. I cannot say that I blame her. While she is the most intuitive trainer I have seen, she has shattered a wrist, suffered a concussion, and now this last accident, all while riding or working with horses. Admittedly, the injuries have been spread over 15 years, but it hurts to be hurt. So, our lives are changing, mine as well as hers. I cannot in fairness demand that things go on as before. We are fortunate though in that we get a say in what choices we make going forward. If you have been following the news you no doubt have heard that Olympian Amy Van Dyken severed her spine, leaving her paralyzed below the waist. Her life changed in a moment, and while we might debate causation she had no choice; her life changed forever in the instant of her accident.
I admire Ms. Van Dyken for her spirit. While I know there must be private struggles she has announced her attention to build her new life and to be the best person she can be given her new circumstances. So it must be for my wife and I; we can wallow in what was, or we can embrace the change. We choose to do the latter. We will find another activity we can do together, and we will find another way to build emotional intimacy, and maybe in the change our marriage will grow a little stronger as we learn yet again that we can trust the other with our feelings.
None of us know what the future holds; we can only do the best we can and be thankful that we can rise above ourselves. There is a cliché that says that “yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, and today is the present.” Our task then is to live in the gift that today represents while making choices for what we hope our future will be.
How many of us live in the past of what might have been, entirely ignoring what opportunity is before us?. I know I do sometimes. The future can be scary, but ultimately we have little choice; we will live it whether we want to or not. Jim Carrey, the actor, said that it is just as easy to fail at something you hate as at something you love, so he advised to chase what vitalizes us.
Alfred Lord Tennyson in his poem, “Ulysses,” wrote, ”I will drink Life to the lees.” The “lees” are the dregs of the cup or the remains of the yeast as beer ferments. Should we not also live life to the fullest measure, experiencing pain so that we recognize the good? I believe that we are so that we might have joy, but I know that the joy I speak of is not the transitory happiness of the moment; it is instead the comfort and peace that comes with living a life of grace and of loving others. My hope is that we may all embrace the change life will surely bring and that each of us will bear the ancient Chinese curse of having an interesting life. If you need help as you life changes, contact us; we can help.