In this new chapter of my life, post September 2007, and living deaf for all intents and purposes, I do many things now, that I had little patience for pre-medical implosion.
Activities that I always wanted to do, had the noblest of intentions, but never followed through.
So what changed?
Most of my activities and disciplines that are part of my routine, are, for the most part, easy to do. Yet as I realized many years ago, what's easy to do, is even easier not to do.
Yoga, I do daily. I will skip one day a week to change it up for something new to try, but yoga is something that gets at least 6 out of 7 days in my mornings. Previous to my slow recovery, I always wanted to do yoga. I bought mats, DVD's, cool pants, and music to go with the theme.
As most things at the time, it got shelved, I always got busy, and then it got forgotten. I can remember quite clearly about five years ago, watching a Yoga work out video on television. I said to myself "That looks easy to do, I want to start that"
Easy to do I thought, but I found out quickly that it was easier not to do.
I started simple yoga when I got out of the hospital after a 90 day stay, back in December 2007. My body ached from lying in a coma at first, then recovering in a bed for months. The simple stretches took forever to come together, but man they felt good.
My diet was crazy in the "old hearing world". Busy, on the run, and living in airport lounges, airplane seats, hotels, and cars five or six days a week, dictated a grab and woof eating lifestyle. Oh sure, I always had the good intentions. "Starting Monday I will pack an apple and some tuna on a crackers for my lunch." I announced faithfully, with full intentions, every Friday night.
Easy to do, right?
Easier not to do.
Today I eat on average 4 to 6 fruit servings a day. Most of it through a morning smoothie. Vegetables get the same treatment. If I can't get fresh veggies from my crisper, I do a "Greens" drink mid morning or afternoon.
Exercise I was always pretty good on. Having run in a couple of half marathons in my past, and countless five and ten kilometer events, running kept me in good shape. Daily running, for the most part, was part of my life.
When I lost all balance due to Labyrinthis in 2007, I was afraid running would exit stage left.
Imagine my lovely surprise when I discovered that it was easier to run then walk, when one has no balance.
Picture a ten month old baby, who can only crawl. One day they stand up and pitch forward as they attempt movement. We, and they, anticipate the crash, but they just "give er" and run on a forty five degree angle, defying gravity it seems.
That is my running technique at present.
I am slower, but funny as hell to watch.
I found discipline that I never had before. Possibly out of necessity to survive, I structured activities, gave them time frames and goals. I became obsessed with getting as close as I could to "normal".
Being deaf, and having no balance were and are two things that I cannot change. So I pushed myself to a healthier body to compensate if you will. I have enough challenges with those two beauties, so having a stroke or heart attack, or other ailments that can be prevented, became my healthy preoccupation.
Being deaf, and out of work, I had time to read, work the mind, and learn more. Television quickly lost it's appeal with closed captioning, so I read.
I read topics that in past I always wanted to read.
In fact I had bought the books years ago.
I can even remember saying repeatedly years ago; "Next week I want to get a book and study 'Buddhism, zen, traditional Chinese Medicine, eastern philosophy, Mac computers, routers, chess, international finance, orchids, vegetarian recipes.......insert your pet curiosity here________"
Easy to do.
Easier not to do.
But time and change of attitude gave me cause to read these books. Re discover old novels, favorite authors and great literature.
Time and discipline allowed me to follow stories in the newspaper, and magazines that in past, would of been clipped and put into my "To be read" file.
We all have one of those right?
I had the thickest one I bet.
I read everything I could get my hands on, and developed new tastes as a result.
I bought books on ASL (American sign language) and DVD's to learn a new way to communicate. I worked tirelessly with speech therapists on speech reading (lip reading but more involved), and learning voice volume control, in my new world of not hearing one self speak. (Man at first I was soooooooo loud I was told!)
After my cochlear implant, I worked like a dog to hear again. This new world of sound was now "sound 2.1"!
A digital version of my old analog life, that required me to buy Dr. Seuss books with CD accompaniment, to learn the new digital way of words. That was, and is my toughest battle, and I have a whole new appreciation for "Hop On Pop"!
Today, my routine might scare away many. My discipline scares me, and I am first to call me "anal" about scheduling my reading times, my eating times, my menu, my exercise, and yes, my even more important family time.
Old David always said, "Dan, when Dad has time, you and I will play that Chess rematch"
Easy to do, I suspect.
Easier not to do. At least in my old world.
Easier to get so busy and lost in this world of "stuff" that it got put off. Living the "Cat's Cradle" song was something I never thought would happen.
Now, my little amazing Guitar boy is so busy, that I hear all my old excuses from him.
"Dad, I promise we will have that rematch on the weekend".
Then his buddies come over.
I pick up my chess book and study famous opening moves.
Perhaps I have a little more motivation then old David, and maybe even a little more motivation than most denizens some days.
My mindset now is to keep doing what I have been doing for the past fifteen months. Never to falll back into the "easier not to do" routine!
Today I my "day off" as I do a gradual return to the work world.
Today I kept the same routine as every day.
And you know what?
It is getting easy to do!