Blink blonk blink blonk, “Thank you for waiting, we’re doing everything we can to be at your service. Your queue position is 666,666”, blink blonk blink blonk …[time lapse]…[another time lapse]… blink blonk blink blonk, “Thank you for waiting, we’re doing everything we can to be at your service. Your queue position is 50. We will answer your call shortly”, blink blonk blink blonk.. blink blink peeeeeeep […] blink blonk blink blonk,”Thank you for waiting, we’re doing everything we can to be at your service. Your queue position is 10^20″…
How do you deal with the feeling that your life has been put on hold? I feel completely clueless. I LOVE being a smart-ass and giving advice to others, but now I can’t seem to give myself the same smart-ass advice. During the past 10 months, I’ve realized that I’m pretty good at handling challenges when I can tell that my work results in whatever small progress. I’ve also realized that I completely suck at dealing with situations when my body is what it is regardless of what I do. Right now, I’m in such a situation.
I have a perfect mogul field around my right ankle. And just as I find moguls to be a pain in the ass to ski, I also find them to be a pain in the ass to drag around on my body. The doctor told me that they normally refrain from putting screws where they had put mine due to the risk of complications (they had to put them where they did because of the location of my fracture). Fortunately, nothing went wrong during surgery, everything is normal aside from my body being really happy to produce scar tissue at the moment. Scar tissue that presses on to what ever it is that I need to use when I do what I want to do. The pain makes me feel completely handicapped. And there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.
My skis have arrived. Pelle at Utebutiken took the time to repair and mount my bindings in spite of being completely swamped with work. And snow is falling in the mountains.
But I can’t ski. The moguls on my ankles very effectively keeps me from wanting to spend more than 1 minute in my ski boots. They also prevent me from climbing more than 5 pitches, from climbing technical uphill on my bike, and from doing more than one one-legged squat on the bosu ball. I know that I’m being self-centered (one of these days, I’m going to publish my extremely pretentious epos on mindfulness and what you should focus on in life, but not today, and probably no time soon), but I feel like I’m going crazy. Ever since I started living a life focused on outdoor activities, my sense of happiness has been attached to performing those activities. Now I can’t, and I don’t know how to deal with that. I even tried spinning. What a horrible punishment to mankind! It nearly killed me. The bore (and complete exhaustion)! I’ve also tried being all girly and x-mas fanatic and bake saffron buns.
Both activities worked for a short while – spinning made me so tired (8 minute intervals – what the hell?!) that I didn’t have the energy to produce selfish thoughts and the saffron buns made me high on sugar for a few minutes – but neither worked long term. I’ve become stuck in the well again. If I can’t ski this winter, that what the hell is my life worth?
Ah, I remember last year, when I was skiing meter deep pow in Jackson.. when the sun kept shining on my head and the snow kept getting in my eyes…
What if the misery doesn’t end by the end of this year? What if I can’t ski this season either? What if…?
Yes, I know, if I WAS able to ski, I would probably be completely preoccupied with fear of traveling into the backcountry again. Of facing the risk of an avalanche, of not having learned enough (I have by the way made at least some progress in signing up for a NOLS Wilderness first aid course (not as easy as it sounds when you are located in Sweden), Wohoo!). But now I can’t, so I’m completely free to pine for the mountains. God damnit, I want to ski!
So what do you do when you feel as if your life has been put on hold, and when your brain has got completely stuck in a seemingly never ending downward spiral of self-pity?
If I was a good person, I would get involved in politics (God knows that it is needed in Sweden at the moment, not that my participation would change much), but I’m too far down. So I focus on my self, and my bike. At least, that allows me to catch a glimpse of the light outside of the well.
Admittedly, there is not much light in Umeå at the moment: yesterday I saw a person riding her bike with the light on at 1 pm. And it was called for … So to let some more light on my precious well, I today used a big chunk of my savings and booked a flight for me and Martin to Canary Islands. Terribly short term solution. And expensive. And not at all environmentally friendly. And yes, I am running away from all my fears and anxiety (both related to my body, and to the general direction of world development). But even though I am a Swede, and therefore should be very good at standing in lines, I hate queues. And I feel as if I’ve been in this queue for ever. I think I deserve some VIP treatment.