Accepting the unknown...
It's much easier said than it is actually done... to find acceptance, or at least some semblance of it.
For a long time now, that's all I've been living in, the unknown. This space of having my feet in two worlds, one in the past, and one in a still very unresolved, and, unrevealed, future.
Sometimes, I feel very optimistic regardless, and strong, and that's my nature. It's easy to feel that way when I am having a better day and feeling fairly well. It's much harder to keep those feelings up when I am having a worse day with my illnesses, and feeling weak. Those days still very much out number the good days. My health continues to be a constant battle, and it will always be, for the rest of my life. Learning to truly accept that every single day and not just for appearances sake, is a constant battle too. I feel like maybe one day I'll find acceptance, or maybe, at least more than I have right now.
The truth is, on the outside often I continue to look bright and sunny.
Like a February day.
So deceptive. So beautiful. So encouraging, as clear skies and the sun return. But also, so cold, so bitter, so... unpredictable.
Like a February thaw.
Suddenly from the gray, dark, and, dreary, days of winter, the sun comes out, it's suddenly warmer than expected and everything just starts melting. It might even rain. And not freezing rain either - actual above zero rain. The creeks might flow, the ice might recede... the birds might sing more, the porcupines come out of their trees and caves to enjoy the sun, and fill up on food.
But there is always a hidden truth behind this beautiful diversion. And that is simply this:
Winter is not yet over.
It doesn't mean that you do not enjoy this time, or the returning sun, or the small and encouraging changes that this transitional time brings. It just means that you have to also be aware that the danger is still there, still lurking, and to recognize that, to try and understand it, and to still be prepared for it, so that it doesn't catch you unprepared, frolicking about without proper protection from the elements when you least expect it.
Finding balance has never been my strong point so I continue to push myself too far physically and mentally when I do not have the ability to do so, crash, recover, then repeat this all over again. I am almost 2 years on prednisone, a drug that saves many lives, but also simultaneously, (as anyone who has ever taken steroids long term knows) destroys them. My last TNF blocker injections (A TNF inhibitor is a pharmaceutical drug that suppresses the physiologic response to tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which is part of the inflammatory response.) failed. So I have been in a pretty constant flare since November again after a brief period of slight improvement. I have just started new injections along with of course the dozen other medications I already take. It's too early to tell if they will help, and I am also still trying to deal with prednisone weaning, adrenal fatigue, and the side effects of long term prednisone use, such as muscle loss, damage to my bones, eyes, all that fun stuff. I look pretty good, according to everyone I see. But the truth is, I also weigh under 100 pounds currently from not being able to eat, and I've lost over half of my hair. The good thing is, I had a lot to begin with. But as anyone who has faced similar battles knows, standing in the shower with a handful of your hair in your hand isn't exactly... motivational.
Aside from that I've had to fight several reoccurring different infections all caused by the medications, and most days I have enough energy for only one or two things. Some days I manage those things and feel better for it, some days my brain is ready to do things and my body continues to completely fail me.
But having said that, my world and it's view is not dark and threatening.
The sun is shining. And I see it, and I certainly feel it's warmth on my body.
The future of the farm, my future, is still very uncertain. And most days, living in that reality is a deep struggle for me. But it's one I must accept as I wander through this pathless wood, trying to forge my own way through it, using a compass I am building as I walk.
And I am continuing to try and get my health to a better place, a place where there are more good days than bad, which is the best I can hope for, and I feel strongly deep in my heart that place exists, it's just a very difficult destination to arrive at.
New and exciting things and possibilities loom in the background.
And despite the multitude of difficulties behind and ahead of me...
I trust very strongly in my ability to face them. In my ability to forge the best possible way forward, and that although my dreams and desires might have to take different shapes than I would have liked... they are all still attainable, still within reach.
In all of our lives, our path is bound to change. And sometimes, that path completely disappears and we are left without a path to follow at all.
When that happens you can stand still from fear.
Or start building your compass with whatever tools you may have on hand. Start clearing the debris covering your path, blocking you from movement.
And like February, you need to stop, let the sun warm your cold and shivering body, let the bird song fill your heart, and mind. Let the forest tell you her simple reminder:
The time for sleep is coming to a close. It's time to wake up, it's time to take notice of a new season approaching.
Do it slowly, and with caution... But with gratitude, and without fear.