I monitor my body closely. Listen for the plump in my right quad — a feeling that is finally starting to replace the absence that was there. I can finally move that kneecap. My right leg is feeling used after my walks in my new brace. Warm and flooded with awareness. I am also in the middle of a very clear trend towards reduced nerve pain. I have long stretches of the day pain-free. What a release. Pain used to make my mind so restless, my body so particular. I needed my legs propped a certain way constantly. I needed pillows and chairs and laps and massages and couches for stretches. Not that I don’t crave some of those still.. but I’m laboring less. I can forget it all for half a day and do an experiment, renovate a van. And I’m sleeping so much better, now, too. Waking up early and rested.

Like monitoring my body I monitor my mind. I realize a shift has happened. I’ve added more happiness to the day to day. I found some of the old joys in my new routine. I think I’m more settled into my limitations. Work, right now, is seeming like a game: how can I reach this given I can stand up with that? I have a whole building of puzzles to solve. But, more stark now with this daily shift is my attitude towards the future. The is a widening gap between how much I want each day and how much I want all of them. The rest of them. There is clearly a underlying existential crisis. One grounded in a simple stubborn inability to humbly accept what has happened. I still think the world owes me something. I’m waiting for this story to play out to my liking. Not miracles, but compromise. To combat this, I have been trying to cultivate gratitude. I believe that’s the missing piece. Gratitude being the opposite. The opposite of a chip on my shoulder. The opposite of needing something.

I started this post with a list of details I’m grateful for. Right now this list feels like a spring board to a much bigger list — the list of things I still want to change. So, I am far from being grateful for this life. And I have only a very limited notion of how to get there. Unless making just the first part of a list will work. Unless you can stumble into it by simply persisting.

Or maybe I have what is a real first step. This experience has taught me to be kinder and more accepting of the short-comings of others. I used to have a much lower tolerance for foibles. But my gratitude towards my fellow humans and my constant butting into my own limitations have eased my exacting approach to relationships. I hope. In truth this journal is often aspirational. I tend to write half a step ahead of myself. But only when confident I’ll get there. I wonder what that says about me. …Ok, enough rambling!

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