My illness finally got the better of me, and I had to have surgery this weekend. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I had a number of fibroid tumors in my uterus, and they were causing major problems with my health. So after months of kicking and screaming, I finally gave in and let them operate, taking out the fibroids and my uterus this past Saturday during a three-hour laparoscopic procedure.
I've been laid up since then—not exercising or eating whole foods (or much of anything for that matter), just trying to recover. I'm still in a lot of pain and expect to be for a few more days at least. As it turns out, a co-worker had surgery the weekend before I did, the father of a good friend of mine is having surgery tomorrow, and the father of another friend who was only in his fifties died last week—somewhat suddenly and well before his time.
So all of this—surgery, hospitals, illness, even death—has been in my head lately, swirling around and making me think about what's important. And when I realized it was time to sit down and write this blog post, it suddenly became very clear what is not important—what's not important is how much we weigh, what's not important is a little bit of fat around our middle. And what is important is feeling good about ourselves today—how we live our lives and how we feel about our bodies.
Not after we lose ten pounds.
I was originally supposed to have this surgery back in June of 2008, but I chickened out because, to put it simply, I was afraid of dying.
I'm still afraid of dying, but for some reason, I was able to go through with the procedure this time despite my fears. I still have lots of unfinished business—a memoir to complete, a novel to sell, pounds to lose, not to mention papers to grade—but for some reason, I was okay with leaving these things undone, something I wasn't okay with eighteen months ago.
So what was different this time?
I think it's honestly how I feel about myself and my life. I now feel as if I really have accepted myself and my life the way it is—unfinished, undone, a work in progress.