A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Computer

Perseverance ...  Never stop running forward (...

(Photo credit: marsmet547)

I started this post on Tuesday. Today is Friday! I just finished a blog about perseverance revisited. I ended it by saying, “Now I need to persevere about posting on this blog.” So here I am. First let’s go back to what I was thinking on Tuesday morning.

As I was beginning my day this morning, I was barely out of bed when the thought occurred to me: “I’ve gotten a lot out of the last three weeks of blogging. Maybe I’ll just take a break for a few days.” This idea would seem reasonable to almost anyone, unless you know the rest of the story. As you may (or may not) know, I’m participating in a 31-day blog challenge. This is day 22. As of Day 20, I was doing well: 19 posts, only one behind.

I had high hopes for continuing my streak of x consecutive days without adding any to my catch-up list. Then yesterday (day 21), I just couldn’t do it. I was too tired, I didn’t want to just put something out there to put something out there. I’d caught up before, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world to do it again. After all. just posting something for the sake of posting it didn’t seem to be in the spirit of the challenge.

What I found amusing—after I got over the shock of the thought–was the thought that went through my head on the way to the computer. “You’ve done `19 blogs in 21 days! Wow, take a bow! It’s enough. So what if you don’t go the whole month, you went 20 days!”

Other bloggers have, of course, encountered similar things. Taking breaks, starting again, recognizing moments of low energy, or the other interruptions of life. Sometimes, things have to go by the wayside. I realized for me that part of the issue is that when things get overwhelming, and I feel like something has to go, I am ALWAYS willing to let go of something that means a great deal to me. Sometimes, the most fulfilling thing of the moment.

So that’s where I was on Tuesday. I didn’t blog that day either. And if you read my earlier post today, you know what happened on Wednesday. Now it is Day 26, and with the post published earlier today, my October count stands at 20.  Not that I haven’t done well, but to just stop making the effort once day 22 comes along seems a little like dropping the ball when things get a little rough.

Up to this point, I have been learning so much from participating in the challenge. And falling on my past patterns, it would have been so easy to let this go, to let other tasks and obligations  become more important than taking care of myself. This is another case of perseverance. With less than a week left in October, I will need to regroup and persevere to meet the challenge. More than the actual number of posts I complete is  completing my intention to fully participate in this challenge is taking care of myself. If the bottom line of this challenge is that I learn to put myself first, then it will have been a major success.

Perseverance Revisited

A Sunny Wednesday Morning

The first part of my week is always the busiest. Part of it is because I teach 8 of my 14 weekly teaching hours by 10:00 on Tuesday morning. Then on Wednesdays, I gear up for another long one, four teaching hours with two office hours in between. Over the last few weeks, I’ve become accustomed to this routine, even if it is a little tiring. But on this Wednesday, I was beyond just putting one foot in front of the other. I was actually excited (on a Wednesday!)  because I had an appointment when I got out of class at 4:40.

Karen, a former student of mine, was going to be my interpreter so I could go check out Curves, the gym for women. My intention was to find out if it would work for me, given a couple of issues, and if so, then sign up so I can start working out three days a week. She made the appointment for 5:00, and I was psyched.

Sidewalks in Taiwan

DSC09166

(Photo credit: shrimpcrackerz)

Many of the sidewalks in Taiwan are actually tiled, different kinds of tiles. The ones you see in the picture to the right are common in downtown shopping areas in Taoyuan and other cities in Taiwan. Some tiles in less commercial areas can be larger. These “sidewalks” are quite nice looking, and they are very smooth to walk on, almost like a tiled floor. Except that there are places where things are not totally level. As a result, it’s common to find steps or a wedge to adjust to these differences. For example, when we leave our apartment, we walk up four steps to the “sidewalk,” which then goes to the corner and continues to one of the restaurants we like to go to. On the second leg of that trip, we step down two steps to get to the same level as the restaurant.

Of course, if you’re traveling in an area you’re not that familiar with, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the steps and inclines. You do get used to it after a while. It’s also important to use a little extra caution when it rains, because these tiles can become quite slippery–some more than others, depending on the type of tile used.

The Best Laid Plans

It had rained Tuesday night, but the weather on Wednesday morning was quite sunny and pleasant. A nice breeze. It was time to catch the taxi to go to work. We walked along the sidewalk from the entrance of our apartment to the street about half a block away. When I was just a few feet from the two steps down to the street where the taxi was waiting, I stepped into a puddle of water left over from the night’s rain, and pretty much hydroplaned and landed on my backside after first dropping to my knees. After I caught my breath, I tried to get up with some help.

An important fact for those who don’t know my history is that I injured my left knee back in 2004. After several years, it deteriorated to the point where I got the knee replaced in January of 2011. I even had the surgery done here in Taiwan. I’ve been so delighted with my replacement knee. But when I tried to stand up on Wednesday, the pain in the left knee was pretty bad. In fact, I wasn’t sure if my leg  would support me. Luckily, Dave had run back inside to get my cane. Just before he got back, I tried with Mac’s (the taxi driver) help to stand again, and I was successful. With the help of the cane, I was able to maneuver enough to get into the cab.

With ibuprofen and my husband’s help, I made it through my classes. (At our university, if you miss classes, you have to make them up, so I just wanted to finish them.) I did, and the students were quite cooperative. In the meantime, my colleague Jean was able to go online and make an appointment with my surgeon for the next day so that I could see whether or not I had done any damage to the artificial knee.

Off to the Doctor

Luckily, I was able to schedule an appointment with the doctor for late morning on Thursday. That allowed me to teach my Thursday morning class and head to Taipei for the appointment. Thankfully, the x-rays showed that I had done no permanent damage to my artificial knee. I also got an all clear to go back and try Curves as soon as the pain subsided enough that I wasn’t uncomfortable. Funny thing, the pain is much easier to tolerate knowing that I didn’t do any damage!

During the trip to Taipei and back, I was reminded how wonderful it had been to not need a cane, as I had before and immediately after my surgery 2 1/2 years ago. But Thursday’s news was wonderful. The x-rays showed that the knee was fine, and that once the pain subsides, I will be able to retire the cane again.

Perseverance

With the fall happening on the very day that I was planning to go to Curves, it would have been very easy to just give up on that project. After all, it requires a taxi ride downtown two nights a week (when my afternoon classes end). Then a 30 minute bus ride home. On Friday, it involves a bus trip both ways. But two weeks ago, I made an intention to check this out. Most other forms of exercise are currently not possible for me. Curves provides a different approach that I think will work.

Aside from enlisting Karen’s help with social support and interpreting, and working out a taxi and bus schedule around Curve’s hours, I had also worked in a reward for Friday’s (working a couple hours in a downtown coffee shop before coming home) and a productive use for my bus travel time (listening to MP3 files from Farther to Go!). Obviously, I had put a lot of thought and attention on this project; now it was time to persevere. So, I now have a tentative appointment for NEXT Wednesday at 5:00, and we’ll try this again.

Now, I’m off to persevere on other matters, like posting more on this blog.

570 days to 60.