I heard someone say the funniest thing today.
A man was talking about having to order specialized shoes. He used to have very small feet and would always pay a small fortune to special order shoes that he described as “being something his grandfather would wear.”
This guy is 80 years old. If these shoes were something his grandfather would wear… I can’t even imagine…
Buddy, you’re older than my grandfather… Were modern shoes even a mainstay when your grandfather was around?
Anyway, you may have noticed that I said this guy had small feet. He has bigger feet now. In fact, his feet are prostheses. As are both of his lower limbs. This guy talked to our clinical skills group in physiatry about his adventures after a bilateral leg amputation. He was so happy; joking around and making us laugh. He is entirely functional and self sufficient, and he said he can do pretty much anything he could do when he had real legs. He often said, throughout the interview, that throughout his journey, he could have chosen to give up and feel sorry for himself, or to make his situation some kind of adventure and see where it would take him.
I thought to myself: This guy is 80, he’s lost both of his legs, his wife is passed on, and he sits here making jokes about how ugly his shoes used to be.
What do I have to complain about when I have all my body parts, I am healthy, my family is healthy, and I have a whole exciting, successful (hopefully) life spread out in front of me? Nothing. I need to change my thinking. This needs to be an adventure.
I love to hike in the mountains. The air is fresh and crisp, the scenery is beautiful, and there is something so serene about the juxtaposition of the rocky mountain terrain with the crisp blue sheets of mountain lakes and the tall, dark evergreens. The only thing I hate about hiking: the bathroom situation. If you’re lucky, the trail will have an outhouse (but usually only at the bottom of the trail) and most times… well, it’s done behind that beautiful evergreen tree I mentioned a little earlier.
I’ll imagine my adventure as a hike in the mountains. And, I will rename this particular part of my adventure (this exact week, or few weeks) as the “squat behind the tree and piss on my shoes” chapter. Yes. That is fitting. Soon it will be over and I can get back to the beauty of it all.
This man’s story, and his joke about his shoes, and me blogging about it now… These moments have made my day much more enjoyable than I ever imagined when I rolled out of bed this morning. Funny how much pleasure we get from the small things in life .