After having a seemingly empty brain with my social media “Wee Internet Empire” since just prior to my surgery three weeks ago, over the last couple of days I found myself to be quite reflective. Ergo, a blog post appears.
During the past three years I have gone through several phases of doing the same thing, however each phase was for a different reason.
The same thing that I have been doing is staying home, keeping to myself, doing little or nothing with others and even, at times, doing little outside my home office, or at times, in my home office as well, by myself.
So… the first circumstance is probably the most obvious one to most of you. Covid, the pandemic, whatever you want to call it.
Upon returning early in March 2020 from our trip to Malaysia we went immediately into lock-down, or was it locked-in, or perhaps locked-up. Regardless, the aspect of any form of personal contact with others, even family not in the same domicile ceased to exist, we all became persona non grata, pariahs, potential carriers to be avoided or even shunned.
Sure, I could leave the house, but couldn’t go anywhere there were people. It seems that effectively narrowed it down. As the summer weather arrived I would go for the occasional solo motorcycle ride to nowhere, meaning I would ride out in some direction for a while, then turn around and head home. Later on I was actually able to ride with a few fellow veterans. On these rides we would usually remain on our bikes when stopped, maintaining a two metre spacing between us.
For the first year, the weather was pretty agreeable and I was able to ride from about mid May until December. Yes, my last ride of the year was 06 Dec.
Winter then put a kibosh on things, particularly as many restaurants were shut down and the usual family Christmas was by phone.
With the weather being accommodating, I was back on the bike by mid-March, with the summer becoming more or less a repeat of the previous year. Then the bike developed a serious ailment and was at the bike doctor for two months.
It was about this time that the first circumstance was winding down. Covid was still present, however generally society had adapted and some semblance of routine was beginning to emerge.
For me however, I was preparing to enter my second circumstance.
My hip was now bothering me more and there were often times when I would not even attempt to ride my bike as it was painful to do so. This resulted in the bike going into hibernation in September and remaining there until April of the following year, 2022. After that for the next few months, outings did occur, however were very sporadic and the bike was returned to hibernation in September.
At the same time, a combination of factors caused me to be in a very bad head space. On the medical side, I was going through some problems with my lower legs resulting in hospital visits and regular home care visits, all of which had placed my hip surgery on indefinite hold. Mentally, the aspect of not being able to physically do a variety of things I had been doing all my life, combined with the feeling of being a burden with others having to do things I should be doing, had me basically isolating myself at home and partaking in few activities. Interestingly, I knew that these events were part of life, and that I shouldn’t be having negative thoughts about what I was going through. The problem was, knowing that, but not doing that, made things worse as I would beat myself up for being such a dolt, and, as most of you probably know, nobody can beat me up any better than I can.
Anyway, that was basically the second circumstance.
The third circumstance is happening now, as I write this blog post.
On 27 April I finally went in for my total hip replacement surgery. The surgery was successful, I came home the next day, my recovery started, and at this writing (23 days later) is progressing very well. So I am required to use my crutches and walker, exercise and am instructed not to drive for about six weeks. As a result I am dependent upon Kim to drive me to appointments or any other outings, requiring her to take time off work or change her work schedule, to do so. This is something I try to avoid doing, so I am home most of the time with Otis the cat.
This was the point where I became reflective about the three times l was more or less isolated at home, each for different reasons. As an aside, while reflecting on this I was reminded of a 1963 hit song (Alone) In My Room by Willie & the Walkers, a popular Edmonton group that I enjoyed while growing up.
So… three times I did the same thing, staying at home for an extended period of time. Each time was the result of a different set of circumstances. The first time due to the Covid pandemic, second due to my mental state, and the third due to my surgery. Not only was there three sets of circumstances, I realized that there were three completely different sets of feelings.
Cue the feelings comparisons.
Circumstance Number 1 (Covid) – During the pandemic, collectively we had a most serious situation, and staying home was one of the ways that I could support addressing this situation. I wasn’t fussy about it, however I did feel it was something that could help. I was also introduced to the previously unknown term “Zoom Call”. Basically my feeling was, this is not great but it is necessary, so let’s deal with it.
Circumstance Number 2 (Head Space) – During this period I would have a variety of feelings. I would have periods of low self-confidence, low self-esteem and even low self-worth. I would have periods of self-pity, but more often I would be mad and frustrated because I felt I was causing a burden to Kim and others around me as they had to do extra work and I felt I could not do activities which I considered it was my responsibility to do.
Circumstance Number 3 (Post Surgery) – Physically after the surgery I’m feeling fine, I like not having any pain, I feel my mobility getting better all the time. I know that I need to follow the post-surgery instructions, and pretty much am doing so. So what are my basic feelings? I’m bored and lonely. Everything is in place for me to be out and about whenever and wherever I would like except for that one thing, post-surgery instructions.
So how do these three sets of feelings compare.
I much prefer Circumstance 3, as I know the future is good and I just need to be patient.
Circumstance 1 was not a fun time, however it was something shared between millions of people and, in my view, was most necessary. Let’s work on not have to do something like that again.
Circumstance 2 was an unpleasant time. I know it’s also a type of time that many people go through, in some form or other. To let people know they are not alone in that regard was one of the reasons for writing this blog post in the first place, and sharing some of my not so happy feelings. Thank goodness Kim was able to deal with my mood swings, it was difficult for her for sure but I’m blessed that she stuck with me.
Well, there you have it. A few snippets of my life over the past three years. Of course I have not done “chapter and verse” of absolutely all that transpired. I just wanted to pass along some basic circumstances and the feelings associated with them.
Thanks for reading. Catch next time. Please take care of yourself and look out of others.
3 thoughts on “Same Thing + Different Circumstances = Different Feelings”
Speedy recovery and hopefully, this is the last time you have to go through this!
Richard what a series of health issues!!! It is good to see you are coping or learning to cope. Having a partner who supports is so crucial in coping. One of the things I miss as Lee & I travel is not being able to join the Timmies coffee days!!! I consider you and fellow vets very special people in my world – which at the moment is void of any military connections!!! It may take me awhile to get back into it. I am having short term memory issues – very scary. Sometimes I am very frustrated because i cannot remember very simple tasks, and sometimes no problem!! Poor Lee, he has to figure out Jeckeline or Hydee is with him on any day. We will be back in Edmonton later this summer, still travelling. Please say Hi to the group if you see them!
so, its the same thing – only different. I have been saying that for years.