Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
By Robert Frost
I recently had back surgery. It wasn’t what I had planned for this fall season. I was looking forward to hikes, bike rides, visits to the pumpkin patch. I’ve not been able to do any of that and won’t be able to for a while. It’s not been a fun journey AT ALL.
Recently, I was walking outside with my youngest son. He said “I hate to tell you this, but you’re no fun anymore. You never run, play tag, pick me up or anything like that.” He’s used to having me at 100%. While he was glad to see me drive to his preschool to pick him up (after 2 weeks of me being confined to my house), that wore off and now he just wants his same mommy back. It broke my heart. I want nothing more than to swing him onto my back and run around the yard. I want to play tag football with both of my boys in the yard. I want to go on an afternoon bike ride after school to enjoy the falling leaves and cooler weather. I want to pick him up after he falls. But, I can’t. I’m under strict orders not to bend, lift or twist for at least six more weeks. No exercise other than my walking program.
I was feeling particularly sorry for myself a few days ago on my slow walk down by the lake I live near. You see, I’m allowed to walk every day. It’s not an easy spirit power walk, but a slow, careful walk. I typically go to the lake near my house. I was feeling so frustrated as I watched all these people run by. Then, I rounded a corner and saw this:
I felt a sense of peace wash over me. I realized that if had I not been walking slowly, I wouldn’t have noticed the sun peaking over the trees. It was more beautiful than the picture can portray. I stopped and took a few breaths. I realized how silly I was being. I don’t HAVE to walk slowly, I GET to walk slowly. All in all, my recovery is going well. I am still have some issues, but my Doctor is optimistic that they will resolve themselves. In the meantime, I GET to walk. I GET to take time every day to have quiet moments at the lake as I slowly round each curve. I’ve noticed new mushrooms growing, turtles sunning on logs, and birds fishing. I’ve had time to sip my tea and sort my thoughts as I walk. I’m not used to the slower pace, but it definitely has its advantages. Every time I become frustrated with the length of this process, I think about people who can’t walk on their own or who are fighting way bigger battles. I know that my family is ready for me to be back to “normal” (whatever that is), but they too will have to make peace in their own way with our slower pace. I think it’s good for all of us to stop and smell the roses or in my case, stop and watch the sunrise.
Your life and your journey with thyroid disease, whether it be yours or your child’s, may not have gone the way you expected. It may be tougher than you thought. It seems unfair at times. I get it. I have felt that way at times about my journey and about my children’s journeys. I want life to be easier for them. I believe, though, that we can learn from every journey. I pray that you all find your path to health and happiness. I pray that you all find peace with the road you are traveling and allow it to help you learn and grow and emerge stronger and healthier.
By Blythe Clifford aka Thyroid Mom