My last blog post on May 5 entitled, Pushing the Factory Restart Button, was my public confession to struggling with the transition from a pandemic to post-pandemic life and my commitment to intentionally resetting and restarting my life. I needed to find a good balance between life as I knew it during the pandemic and life as I wanted it after the pandemic. I needed to be intentional on how I planned to move forward and to find a way to merge the best of both lives.
I made an “embrace” and a “nix” list. I thought about life before and during the pandemic and the things that brought me enjoyment, inner peace and a sense of well-being. Those things made my “embrace” list and are what I planned to embody in my post-pandemic life.
I also made my “nix” list. This list included everything that brought me sadness, distress, anxiety or that I simply disliked before and during the pandemic. These were the things I planned to let go of and not allow in my life going forward.
There was one more list I made. It was the things I wasn’t doing before or during the pandemic, but wanted (or needed) to do in my post-pandemic life. This was my “no ifs and buts” list.
My intentions were genuine and my plans were concrete when I wrote about them on May 5. I was ready to push the factory restart button in my life!
Until this happened on May 24
by this garden tool
which required me to have surgery on June 3 to repair severed nerves, a tendon and an artery. The surgery ended with four of 5 fingers in a splint for 3 weeks. This was also the beginning of the longest medical leave for me in almost 30 years.
When the splint came off, my hand and fingers were very swollen!
I started physical therapy and when I was told I needed to bend my fingers, especially the injured one, I thought they were kidding. They weren’t. I left therapy with a new splint for just two fingers. Despite still having restrictions with the use of all five fingers, I was excited to have three fingers freed now!
Physical therapy continued for four weeks with some success at bending my injured finger. Unfortunately, my progress was short-lived. An infection set in requiring me to have emergency surgery on the injured finger on July 16. The swelling afterwards was worse than it was following the first surgery and all gains earned in physical therapy prior to the surgery were lost.
Every waking hour of every day after the second surgery I did 15 minutes of physical therapy exercises, in addition to two workouts a week with my physical therapist. I didn’t know there were so many exercises and movements you could do with a finger! I eventually graduated to a new splint for just the injured finger! I was making progress with four fingers now being freed!
Unfortunately, despite the spiffy, colorful splint and all the exercises and physical therapy the tip of my injured finger still wouldn’t bend on its own.
And it still doesn’t today.
While I am free of all splints, bandages and wraps, have feeling returning to my numb finger and have learned to type with nine fingers, my recovery is still ongoing. In late October I will likely have a third surgery to release the tendon from scar tissue in hopes the tip of my finger will once again bend without help.
It’s obvioius my initial “factory restart” plans did not go as planned. Yet, today, when I read my blog from May 5, these words speak even louder to me than when I first wrote them…
Real life stuff got in the way and derailed me this summer. But, I am fortunate to be given a second opportunity to reset and restart (and with all ten fingers intact!). My embrace, nix and “no ifs and buts” lists have changed slightly, my goals are re-adjusted, and my determination and will power to do what I need to do is stronger than it ever has been.
In my May blog post, I questioned if you, too, were feeling or experiencing the need for an intentional “factory restart” in your life. I invited you to do the same list-making, goal setting and work during the summer to start afresh!
Did you? Did your “factory restart” go as planned and offer you the refresh you needed? Or, were your plans derailed like mine? Maybe you didn’t feel the need for a restart or refresh in May, but you do today.
No matter your situation then or now, you and I have an opportunity today to push the “factory restart” button again, and again and again.
My words on May 5 are a reminder of this…
Whether it be accidental or intentional, a “factory restart” may be what we all need in life once, twice, or three or more times over. So, go ahead, and push the restart button and do it as many times as you need to.