Day after tomorrow is the big day! Hazel the Hip gets her official eviction and I get a brand new hip joint and socket. Queue the ticker tape parade, ribbons, dancers and marching band.
I purposely went on a dating hiatus, deactivated my dating apps, focused on myself and my body, preparing my mind for surgery and completing all the required pre-surgical prep stuff. Hip pain, restricted movement and walking with the assistance of a walker isn’t exactly making me feel attractive. So in an act of Protecting My Peace (my favorite motto) I have chosen to focus on myself and my personal relationships with the people who I care about most.
The most curious thing happened. I’ve fallen in love with being single again. After a year of dating, sowing wild oats and some fun shenanigans, I have been re-introduced to what I love about being single. Taking care of me and only me, focusing on the relationships that mean the most and learning how to ask for help. While being single is the shiz, it’s also obvious that I can’t do everything and sometimes need to call in reinforcements. Almost two months of setting boundaries for myself to not injure myself more has helped me become a little more comfortable with asking for help. That has been one of the more interesting observations of this time of my life.
I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the people behind the scenes who have stepped forward to show they care. People near and far, both in real life and across multiple social media platforms have checked in on the regular. Asking how I am, if I need anything, expressed their desire to be of service post Hazel eviction if I need anything. For Miss Independent it has been a lovely discovery of care. I’ve been blessed with dog walkers, meal bringers, special folks who bring me paperwork and run errands so I don’t have to navigate my walker over long distances, people have prayed for me, talked me out of dumb decisions born of independent stubbornness (looking at you @Newmanin2018) and supported me emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
Switching from Candy Cane to the walker was an exercise in humility. I cried the first time I walked into my workplace using it, fearing I would be ridiculed for seeking attention or even worse, pitied. None of that happened. Instead, I got hugs, words of encouragement, and of course the playfull ribbing that my work family is oh, so good at. One coworker offered to put a lawn mower engine on it while another trouble maker offered to lock up one of the wheels so I’d just roll in circles. One of my best friends gifted me the pink clown horn and another coworker installed it. They love me, they really love me.
I did a fun poll on both Instagram and Twitter on what to name the walker, and the general consensus was split down the middle on the name, Twitter thought it should be Jimmy (Dyn-O-Mite) Walker and Instagram thought it should be Walker Texas Ranger. Through both medias, however, the underdog Johnny Walker floated to the surface and I love an underdog, so it seems Johnny Walker has stuck.
I was instructed to bring a pair of rubber soled shoes to the hospital to take my first post surgical steps in, so I found these beauties at a local store and they were pretty cheap. One of my girlfriends had the idea to have all my friends and loved ones write notes, or doodle on them as you would a cast and I loved that idea. My daughter was the first one to doodle on them and she free-handed a Crested Gecko because she knows I think they are adorable. I’ll be taking the shoes to work tomorrow and letting my work family and friends leave their mark on them as a way to send loving and encouraging vibes with me to the hospital and it will give me a lasting memory to save. I’ll have plenty of time after surgery to write an update on how it all went and I’ll try to remember to include a photo of the shoes once everyone does their personal artwork on them.
It’s been a long road waiting for this surgery to happen. A lot of people questioned why I didn’t demand to have the surgery date moved up, but I had a feeling there was a lesson to be learned in the waiting. Of course, there was. This last six to eight weeks have forced me to slow down and listen to my body. It’s offered me time to grow comfortable in the idea of replacing a large area of bone I was born with that has simply worn out. This time has given me the opportunity to let others love me and become comfortable-ish with accepting their generosity. I’m still working on this one but it’s getting easier. I’ve not been able to drink alcohol for the last two months because of the pain medication I’ve been on and I’ve had a few opportunities to get together with friends where alcohol would normally be the centerpiece, so it’s been nice to know I can have just as good of a time without a drink in my hand and thoroughly enjoy my friendships.
More than anything, I’ve learned to lean on other people emotionally. One in particular is my Twitter Crush Newman (@Newmanin2018). He has become one of my best friends and though we’ve never met face to face, he has been more of an emotional and spiritual support than I could have imagined. It’s so wonderful the way God brings people into our lives when we need Him to. It’s been one more way God has shown me he has all of this tied up with the perfect bow. I don’t need to navigate the ship, He’s already set the course and prepared the journey ahead of time. Once again, I’m reminded that I just need to get in the boat. This is all part of His plan and His time. My only job is to let Him steer the boat and have faith that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.
You may notice that this blog post has links back to very early blog posts in the Single & Selfish library. It is not lost on me that I’ve been re-learning a lot of lessons I wrote about in that first year after divorce. Almost as if I lost sight of those lessons over this past year and God needed a reason to make me stop and listen to His voice again. So, he revved up the arthritis in my right hip and put me on a course for surgery. Non-negotiable down time, in other words. It frankly was the only way I was going to slow down and give myself the attention I deserved and needed.
Very clever, God. I think I get it. Now I wonder what He’s got in store for me after I’m all healed up and ready for new adventure? What could be next? I’m definitely going to stick around to find out. I hope you’re going to come along with me.