The Recovering Farmer

Monday, December 22, 2014

To Be or Not to Be

Just in time for the holidays I have been walloped by a cold. Now I could suggest that it is the mother of all colds, worse than ever, but my wife likes to remind me that I always say that when I get sick. I probably do. Perhaps it’s my age. After all that clock reared its head this week again. Apparently, based on someone’s wisdom, I am now closer to the next decade than the last decade. Make sense? Doesn’t matter. I am older.

I had a grandiose plan on Thursday. Had one meeting booked for the morning and another one for the afternoon. Between the meetings I was going to go grocery shopping. Get ready for the party at our house on the weekend. By the time my first meeting ended I decided that my plans would change. I was hacking, coughing, and sneezing. I felt miserable. So I decided to call in sick. Cancel the rest of my plans. Went home and crashed. Didn’t even feel guilty about it.

So I crashed on the couch. Switched on the TV. Was going to watch some golf. That always helps. Almost as effective as Tylenol or Advil. However it is the time of year when even professional golfers take a break. But I did get to watch an interesting story. A story of a person who made it through a life altering, to say the least, accident.

Mike Labrie was a mere toddler when he was involved in a horrific incident. A water heater blew up near where he was playing. An incident that forever changed his life. He suffered extensive burns to his entire body. He lost fingers. His face was severely burned. He went through 74 surgeries to get to where he is today. He has one layer of skin where most of us have seven. What struck me is the way that Mike adapted to ensure that he would enjoy life to the best of his abilities. Where many would have given up he persevered. He has not allowed his physical handicaps to get in the way of life. He plays piano, remember he lost some fingers. He plays golf, how does he grip that club? He has an unorthodox swing. But it works. He is a 9 handicapper. Something I strive for. (you can see his whole story if you go to the golf channel website)

His story got me thinking. How often do I allow negative events in life to control my future? I look back rather than forward. I become so wrapped up in negativity that even positive moments pass me by. I don’t notice. I am too busy commiserating the bad stuff in life. Life is not fair. That person has more money than I do. His car is nicer than mine. She can go on extended holidays. I would rather have their job. I don’t like my boss. Why is he a better golfer after all I try harder? Why is all of this for naught?

Towards the end of the show the host made an interesting comment. Something along the lines of the fact that our obstinateness holds us back. (I still think it is obstinance but the dictionary disagrees.) Really? So what he is saying is that my stubbornness, my refusal to change or adapt is getting in my way? So if I do adapt things may never be the same. Based on that story I am better off if things are not the same. The same has not worked. I need to adapt to the new me. It may change everything. That may be difficult. Wait a minute. Mike Labrie did and look at the life he has in spite of his handicaps. I need to get on that. For my own sake. Make it a good one.

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