Nine weeks ago I had knee surgery, and my life for the past nine weeks has been focused on the word bend.
It's shocking to me how the word bend could elicit such fear. Almost immediately after surgery I had to start working on bending my knee, but not past 90 degrees, and it was so scary to do that. After two weeks almost the entire focus was to bend it past 90 degrees, but without putting any weight on it. After six weeks I could start to put a little weight on my leg and the concern is that I am bending my knee slightly when I stand, which is not good. If I practice that too much I will have a permament bend, and you don't walk well like that. And you most definitely don't run. However, when I sit now, they want that bend waaay past 100 degrees, enough to do an easy revolution on a bike. I'm bending when I should be straight and I'm too straight when I should be bent. All of it hurts and the pushing in either direction is scary for some reason, and I kind of want to curl up in a ball and not think about it but I can't do that because my knee won't bend like that. Yet.
I figured out awhile ago that I learn best through experience--i.e. I have to feel it to get it--so the fact that the entire focus of my life revolves around bending is not only poignant but damn funny. I guess I needed knee surgery so I could learn to bend. And just like with life I can't attach any black and white rules to all of this because sometimes I need to bend and sometimes I need to straighten up, while engaging every possible degree and angle in between. I have to respond to what is required in the moment, and the more I do that with humor and the more I celebrate the puny little victories the easier it is to bend.
And if that isn't a metaphor for life...
So bring on 2023, where everything I've ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear. And all I have to do to get it is bend.