Friday, February 20, 2009

Easy To Do.

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.

Matters not.

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!




Life As I Know It Now said...

procrastination is the demon that afflicts us all. there is the ideal life we want to live and then there is reality. how to get them closer to each other is the path. you are on that path.

Anonymous said...

I am a terrible procrastinator. And you are right, with so many things, it is "easier not to." I've been told it takes 3 weeks to create a new habit (and with stubborn me, it might take even longer!) but you have intentionally created some wonderful new habits. And it is always easier to fall back on a habit, so why not fall back onto a better, new-improved habit!
You are an inspiration.

Sylvia K said...

Always inspired by your posts and they give me good reasons to take another look at what I am doing or not doing with my life these days. I fought getting old, didn't have time for it, was fascinated by too many things. I didn't retire until I was 67 and in the years before I did, I tried to cram everything, I learned to snorkel, dance the tango, lived in Mexico for a year, studied Spanish and then suddenly it was all over and I didn't know what to do with all the time. I've adjusted, but it sure as hell wasn't easy.

shrink on the couch said...

It's so inspiring to read the inside view, the daily pieces of someone's triumph over tragedy. You seem to be meeting adversity with a determination to do whatever you can to embrace the fullness of life. Go you!

Would love to see which of the great classics you recommend. I've read many classics and ignored many. So just wonderin from your perspective what you feel has been most worthwhile.

Karen Deborah said...

Nice to meet you Dave thanks for poppin in! I can relate somewhat to your trials with your ears I have Meniere's disease. Very interesting post will be back.

Lori said...

Thank you. I really needed to read this today. You have inspired me to keep going today.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

You are such an inspriration.... I need the drive you have... and the will power cause I can think a thing to death and then never get r done... sigh.

Anonymous said...

We discussed something similar at my Buddhist meditation group last week. When your body betrays you it's shocking at first. I always thought I was in control of my life. LOL

If anything, the discipline of daily meditation gives me a sense of control in the midst of chaos-- and also helps me to accept what is.

I plan to try yoga soon when I'm done with the Physical Therapy. For now my PT is against that idea.

Kim Ayres said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim Ayres said...

Hi Dave, thanks for taking the time to visit and comment on my blog.

I'm sure I've got a book about procrastination somewhere that I've never got round to reading... ;)

CDM said...

thanks for your comments at my blog. I was wondering how the AB implant was working for those who had ossified cochleas... Great to hear you're doing well with yours! :)

Government Funded Blogger said...

Drat! I sitting down reading blogs and procrastinating and then I read your post.

Now ,where did I put that to do list.....

K.Line said...

Genius way of putting it. It makes procrastination seem so much more comprehensible :-) I so agree that you have to find discipline in everything in order to get anything done. Or at least half of what you wanted to. Great post.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Ahh the 'put off today what can be done tomorrow' sickness that most of us suffer from. I have tried to correct this in myself. Sometimes I win. Somtimes not. I tell myself that 'if you do it now, you will have more time tomorrow to do ...' You are doing good Dave. You now understand what is important in life and what is not. Keep it up. Lisa

LegalMist said...

The procrastination habit is a tough one to overcome.

I'm happy for you that you have found the will to "do" instead of "do later."


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