Hands down, it was the knee surgery. Tore my ACL getting into a firetruck for the 4th of July parade and life hasn't been the same since.
What did it teach me? Never take your mobility for granted. I've actually been through something similar before. About 20 years ago I was in a car accident and ended up partially paralyzed on my left side. Couldn't walk, couldn't fend for myself and we were in a 3rd floor apartment with no balcony and no elevator. I was stuck. New to the state, hours from my family and my husband worked all day - luckily about a mile away. Talk about isolation! And boredom - I've seen every episode of Bewitched, Gilligan's Island, I Dream of Jeannie and about a zillion other 50s and 60s sitcoms ever made. Too bad I wasn't writing at that point.
I had to relearn how to walk. Talk about frustrating! And, here it is, almost 20 years later that I had to learn the same thing again.
I wasn't the best pupil this go-round. There was a lot of anger over how the whole thing happened that I had trouble letting go of (some will say I still haven't). Twenty years later, you're more aware of how easy things can break. Your muscles may not be in as great a shape as two decades ago, making recovery that much more difficult. LIFE is more complicated and hectic so finding the time for rehab isn't as easy... it goes on.
So, my biggest accomplishment? Something I had hoped to never have to do again: re-teach myself how to walk.
Did I do it in the most positive light? I'd love to be all heroic and say "yes," but the truth is, I didn't. I complained. I whined, I even told my physical therapist I hated him while he was stretching my knee (I later apologized - after we all got a good laugh). I was not the most enthusiastic patient.
But I did it. Around week three I had a serious talk with myself (always a fun thing to do - like you can really argue with yourself and hope to win????) and decided that I have too much life left to be crippled by this stupid surgery. I'd elected the surgery in the first place because I don't like body parts that don't work, so I could quit complaining and get my tushy in gear and make this thing work! I think that next day I had a 13% increase in bending in my knee and from that point on, things improved much quicker than they had.
Sometimes all it takes is positive thinking. So, that's how I'm going into 2007. Positive that this is my year. If not in the American Title III contest, then with an editor or agent who has expressed an interest in my other works.
And positive that I won't be riding in the 4th of July parade this year!
Happy New Year!