When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

 I just returned from my first coast-to-coast trip of the year. I flew from Orange County, CA to Nashville to speak to the Portable Sanitation Association International at the fabulous Gaylord Opryland Hotel. http://psai.org/convention-trade-show/ But there’s far more to the story than that.

While many of you know that I had a major health challenge last year as my prostate cancer spread to my spine and impacted my right leg, leaving my right foot asleep, what you don’t know is that just as that condition was greatly improving, I got hit with a case of sciatica that basically did the same to my left leg. So my left leg is now considerably weakened and my left foot is totally asleep. Imagine what it must be like to get around on two feet, both of which are asleep. I walk with two canes and can walk about 15 minutes max at one time.

So how I made this trip work was as follows: I got dropped off at the airport in OC and was taken by a wheelchair through security to my gate. Another wheelchair took me from one plane to the other in Dallas and still another took me to baggage claim in Nashville. A limousine took me to the hotel where a motorized scooter was waiting so I could get around. After a reasonably good night sleep, I did my presentation the next day where my host provided me with a director’s chair as I couldn’t stand for a 2 hour presentation. Now reverse all of that and I made my way home.

Needless to say, this has created a major disruption in how I live my life and I’m now living in the question; what’s next for me? For someone who loves what he does, loves to travel, and flies at least 100,000 miles per year in a good year, those days are clearly over. The two travel days were tough, sitting for hours on a plane with my feet hurting. By the end of each day, I felt beat up. This was clearly not a fun experience, except for the two hours I spent on the stage. But was it worth it? Am I willing to endure the stress of air travel for the opportunity to do what I love? Where do I go from here?

The good news is that I don’t feel victimized by any of this. I know I create my own reality and this didn’t just happen. What I’m seeing is simply a result of my past thinking and emotions. So I spend a lot of time thinking about and journaling about what I must have been thinking about and how I must have been feeling to create these circumstances. Most people will never do that because nobody really wants to take responsibility for the “bad” things that happen in life. Fortunately, I don’t go there. This is not “bad,” which is just an interpretation of the ego. This is just what is and what I have created.

Thank God I understand this and know there is no answer outside of myself. What there is to do is simply accept what is, try and learn as best I can from it, and go from there. I don’t have to like any of it, but nobody guaranteed me that I would like everything that life sent my way. So I even try and let that go and be in the inquiry of what’s next. As I write this, I don’t know. I have another trip scheduled next week, this one to Indianapolis to speak at the International Door Association, and all I can say today is “we’ll see how that goes.” I’m trusting that the path will become clear on its own. I firmly believe that as one door closes, another door opens up. It helps to believe that we live in a friendly Universe, which I surely do believe. It helps to believe that we don’t always have to have the answer and with some patience, things will all turn out just fine. Stay tuned!