Two years ago, following my 13th major operation, my dad told me to focus on April 1 as if it was going to represent some type of symbolic time when my life was going to start and all of the pain I had gone through would be put behind me. I had undergone kock pouch surgery February 11 of that year so the very beginning of April seemed like a good point to focus on. I would no longer need to have a tube in my stomach so that was a gigantic plus and it was also spring time; the proverbial season of rebirth and a time for newness.
However, that date came and went with no real change for so many reasons.
I need dates to focus on to help get me through the difficult times. It allows me to feel like there will be an endpoint to the madness that I am experiencing. I cannot tell you how many times I have chosen a certain date or time period to focus on because I so desperately needed to believe that it would represent some type of fresh start or new beginning. And sometimes it did. But most of the time, I was left feeling disappointed.
As I sit here days away from April 1, true to character, I am grasping onto the fact that this time period will represent a new chapter. And maybe I am right. I have made some big decisions recently which could signify new beginnings. I really don’t know. I do know that things have always had to progress gradually for me. I kind of look at this scenario similarly to when people make new years resolutions or believe that just because the calendar is changing that their lives will be completely different. It usually isn’t true.
Dates are symbolic and if they help you to set goals for yourself then that is fantastic but I do believe it is important for all of us to remember that with spring coming, it doesn’t mean that your problems aren’t still present, real and need to be dealt with. I tend to get tied up in the different seasons and all they represent. It often doesn’t leave room for me to acknowledge all of the progress that I have made, even if it isn’t tangible.
I also seem to lose sight of the fact that I am not going to wake up Monday morning (April 1st of this year) a different person. I am still me. I still have been through what I have. I still have the challenges I do. I still have made great strides in the last X number of months. ETC. Point being – nothing is different but the change of date between the time I go to sleep Sunday night and when I wake up this coming April morning.
I am really looking forward to this spring and the months ahead! I am just trying to wrap my brain around the fact that dates and seasons are symbolic and have really been more about my need to plan than anything else. Just like I had no control over what happened in April two years ago, none of us know what is in store for us in the coming days, months or seasons. It is all a process of living and while I may not be the most patient person when it comes to this, I am starting to manage my expectations and learn from the past a little bit.