So much of my life seems out of my control.
This was one of the things that was hardest to come to terms with. I would wrestle with questions like: How could my body betray me like this? What did I do to deserve this? Why me? Blah blah blah.
Since the beginning of this journey over 8 years ago, my health has been on a series of plateaus and declines, so my being able to do all of the things I want to do with Nick, my friends and family has similarly changed. Since many of these activities are done after 8PM I have to either ‘save up’ my energy or decline outright, otherwise I will promptly turn into a pumpkin after a couple of hours (or as Nick lovingly calls it – I turn into a ‘mushroom’). Don’t feel bad for me – part of me actually enjoys the quiet time – Mushroom Jill has introverted tendencies. It’s a family trait.
Once I was over playing the victim – well, one is never completely over such things but you manage to realize that it feels far better to stand in the face of tragedy than be swallowed by it – I started to try and take control over areas of my life that I felt that I did have some power over. For those of you who know me, this is somewhat ironic since my PhD Thesis was on agency. I am not sure I consciously planned it that way but here we are. At first this control was entirely centered around what I understood best – how to research, how to study, how to bury myself in books. It must be some kind of karmic genius that the reason Nick and I moved to BC was for me to start my Ph.D and for him to start his a year later (did I mention I have the best, most supportive, caring husband in the world? #gush). It just so happened I got sick right at the beginning of it all. So, during all of the chaos of the diagnosis – figuring out medications, grappling with reality, not sure how to deal with the complex array of emotions etc. etc. – I turned to school. So – throwing myself into my PhD, I think, in many ways, saved my life – well, at least
most of my sanity (Nick can argue this point with you offline).
Now that I am done my Ph.D. and have my faculty job, I have turned myself to more practical, wholesome pursuits. Over the past year, I have discovered something that I am sure will bring my father great joy – I like growing things! Yes, I think I just may like to garden #OfficiallyAnOldLady. I have discovered that gardening brings me a quiet sense of joy because I LOVE that I can create the conditions where a plant can grow. I have also killed plants – that’s beside the point – I can make them GROW! I have that kind of power.
Witness – the garlic I am currently growing.
Ahem. Please ignore the half dead strawberry plant on the side.
I guess the point of my story is this: Ever hear someone say “it’s the little things that count”? and how trite that saying seems? I now realize that it is so close to the truth of it all that it makes most of what many of us do on a daily basis so contrary.