Just about six weeks ago, I had surgery to reconstruct my Anterior Cruciate Ligament. (ACL)
Having this surgery was a big decision. For one thing, I really wasn’t debilitated by my injury. I could still walk (straight ahead), I wasn’t in pain, I had full range of motion. However, pivoting even slightly caused my leg to give out.
I could have possibly gone on the rest of my life without have this ligament replaced. However, my life would be altered. Sports would be gone. I would also have to think about any lateral move I made. If I did the wrong thing, I was at risk of tearing my cartilage or tearing other ligaments. So although surgery was not REQUIRED, it was recommended if I wanted to go back to doing many activities.
Just after surgery, my knee was huge, I had to put a full leg brace on my leg even for getting up off the couch, and I went to therapy three times a week. There was a lot of pain, but there was also a lot of progress. Each day got a little better, and at this point, my knee is more of a nuisance than a ‘focus’.
My recovery process reminded me that so many negative things in life are really just temporary. When my pain medications wore off the day after surgery and I was miserable, I felt like I would never walk normal again and I questioned by decision to have the surgery. In less than four weeks though, the brace was gone and my normal gait was back. (Not that the knee was fully recovered at that point, it still was very stiff and I still had another couple months of physical therapy to go. However, day-to-day activities were manageable.) Sure those four weeks were not fun, but it was totally worth going through the pain and physical therapy to regain the ability to run around and live life again.
The Lesson: Difficult Circumstances (Usually) Don’t Last Forever!
Sometimes you might just have to bite the bullet for a little while to get through certain circumstances, and then life will return to normal. (Even though it might not seem so short-term at the time.) This thought doesn’t apply just to health, but to almost anything.
For example, imagine you need to come up with an extra two thousand dollars to pay down a bill. Maybe all it would take is working a second job for a month or two so that you can earn the needed money. Sure, it might not be fun, but again, it is something you would only have to endure for a short period of time. Next thing you know, the time has passed and your debts are settled.
Or, maybe you are considering starting a side business, but you keep putting it off because you ‘don’t have the time’. Well, think about how you really spend your time. Do you spend a few evenings a week watching TV? Would it be possible for you to give up some leisure activities for just a few months so you could devote your time and energy to your new venture? Sure, those few months might be tiring, but the payoff could be huge.
So, next time you think of something you would like to accomplish in the future, really think about what is stopping you from doing it right now. Do you really have a reasonable roadblock? Or, could you push through for a few months to attain what you want?