I am enjoying the fall weather, finally. As the summer months dragged along and scorched my soul along with our landscape, I feared relief would never come. A person can only take off so much clothing and still be fit to work out amongst the public. Now I can layer as needed, which is generally not at all. I love autumn's chill that is able to cool my churning mind.
It has slowly dawned on me that I am having some issues with stress and anxiety. Part of it is til residual fears from last year. I had some great moments last year, but also several that rather sucked, at least to me. I ended up having three surgeries last year, two of them for my kidney. They rather threw me for a loop. I think I am fully recovered, except for those moments when there is an inexplicable pain and one holds one's breath, wondering, is it over? Is it back? Is there another blockage of my kidney? I go for weeks now and don't think of it at all.
It was a shocking thing to have to change how I viewed myself, thankfully only for certain moments, at least for now. I had always considered myself healthier than my peers. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't, but I had avoided surgery of any type for my whole life until last year. Suddenly having to think of myself as sick was a huge blow to my ego. It is sad how as a whole, we do make people feel that it is rather somehow their fault when they end up ill. If only you had done this, or done that, or had the foresight to have different ancestors. Being ill is quite a discouraging process. And that makes the recovery process rather hard to begin.
I do feel much better than I did a year ago. At least physically. I feel a certain sadness that is partly cued by the falling leaves, the lengthening darkness of the days, and the inevitable markers of the passages of time-children bounding off to school, boats and bikes being put into storage. I have a greater understanding of the issues that plagued my mother's health since she was younger than I am now. I can now better appreciate the consuming despair that would encompass watching your physical health slowly fail.
This fall season finds me with the added difficult situation of again working for a large corporation that has managed to do things in a somewhat unorthodox way. The company I work for was the recipient of a lot of special funding. Even with that special funding, there have been great difficulties in keeping the business running through our struggling state and national economies.
When I first considered starting this new job at this brand new plant, the advice I received from almost everyone was, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Sadly, you still do miss some of the shots that you do take. We all just think that will never happen to us. That being said, I would still make the same choice. everything does happen for us to learn and grow from. I have learned a lot is this past year at a greater rate than I have learned in probably my whole life.
Yes, the excitement has worn away. When we first got our company coats with the name and logo of our company on it, I was thrilled. It was just like the old days when I had worked at another of the great automobile suppliers in our area. Now, I cringe when i put on the only winter coat I own with our company logo shining brightly on my left breast. Strangers now feel free to verbally assault me and belittle me for where I work. People that had no interest in helping me spread the word about the storybook I had published this year suddenly care what I might have to say based on where I work. Not about my book, mind you, about the company.
Well, my job is not my life. It is not who I am. It never has been. It just seems like it in this moment. I need to remember this will pass just has surely as the miserable heat of summer passed. But even in that heat, there were many opportunities for me to make it out to the big lake to swim.
Feeling like I need to defend myself from strangers has caused the type of anxiety that can rule one's sleep by creating frightful nightmares. I just need to learn to appreciate these for what they are, my brain's way of sorting out these issues for me. This way I can better enjoy pursuing my real dreams, using words to create colorful pictures that will make a lasting connection between me and my stories and their readers.
As I was saying to a friend of mine, whether the sky is a foreboding gray or a bright blue, the trees glorious colors are showcased either way.