Never too late…

booboo boxI’m one week post gall bladder surgery.

It hasn’t been easy.

I didn’t poop for three days after.

I’ve eaten more ice cream, pudding, sugar, processed foods in the 4 days post surgery than I did 4 month’s prior to surgery. I haven’t had a decent sneeze, cough or laugh since leaving the hospital and a 20 minute walk at a pace even my dear departed grammy could surpass requires a 2 hour lay down afterwards.

But it’s done.

And recovery is well on it’s way.

Since I am one week AGB (After Gall Bladder), that means I am also week without “social” media. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Instagram and small amounts of time on the intersuckyoursoulnet. It’s been fucking hard. I spend a lot of time sitting on the couch with phone in hand looking at manulife claims and the weather. I continually check my Canada Post app for mail I know only comes every two weeks but maybe (just maybe) they’ll send my paystub 13 days early and if that’s the case then I better check….hmmmmmm nothing.

Let me check again.

If I was able to work, many unoccupied hours would of course be occupied by lifting heavy bags of dog food or ginormous packs of toilet paper rolls and maybe this social break of the media would pass a little easier. But work is still many weeks away and I’m in no rush to push my recovery in order to take away the boredom of living in quieter times at the moment.

book readingI’ve spent a lot of time on my deck, on my couch, on my bed and at the dining room table doing something I used to do for hours at a time growing up and long before I owned my first computer: Reading. In 6 days (and really just 5 days since I didn’t do anything after the surgery but moan and groan and shove soft foods into my mouth in between doses of pain medication), I’ve already devoured one book (The Green Rider by Kristen Britain) and halfway through The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert with other books piled next to my bed waiting to be opened…

I miss doing that. Instead of getting lost in what other people are posting, what videos they’re watching and commentating on the world events, I’m getting lost in between the pages of books that have been pushed aside.

I thought I would really miss the media that is social but I think what I’m missing (though still not an appropriate choice of words) is just filling my time with something to do. I’ve got quite a few more weeks of practice before being released back to work so everyday right now is a practice in just being with me.

It also gives me time to get my food back in order.

I had all these “expectations” of what my food would look like after they poked me in my belly and removed my gall bladder. I figured I’d eat a few puddings the first day and call it good. Maybe throw in some toast here and there just to give my tum tums something to do while my brain was all fogged up with medication. Except that’s not really how it went. I ate things I just don’t normally eat (think mac and cheese / lots of ice cream / Greek Yogurt / crunchy snacky bowls of chips) and while it doesn’t sound that bad considering I did have a piece of my insides removed, I was eating to soothe the pain and probably in turn making the pain worse because now I was asking my body to process foods I’ve not had in quite some time.

eggplant chard and ham

grilled eggplant, ham, egg and swiss chard

But a week has gone by since the surgery and slowly I’m cleaning up my food again. I’ve been paying very close attention to calorie intake (lowering it for the duration of recovery) and am amazed at how much 1800 calories of processed boxed food compares to 1800 calories of local, prepared in my own kitchen food, and how badly I crave more food when it’s weaved with sugar and ingredients I can’t pronounce.

Life is quiet right now and I’m trying to enjoy the forced relaxation/recovery for the next five weeks.

The other day I was driving Mimi to work and as always we drive pretty much the same route. To know me is to know that I’m always looking out for the universe’s “little messages” on how to view life and how to keep moving forward in this life of changes journey. We drove past a private school advertising that it still had openings even though the school year is well under way…”It’s never too late to apply” is what its reader board said.

It’s never too late to apply.

I’ve been thinking of late how many times I wanted to make changes in my life that would lead me down a more congruent path of who I felt I was inside and yet each time I had those fleeting thoughts of change, I kept pushing them off to the side. Either feeling I was never going to be successful or that I would start later when I had more time. Be it weight loss, becoming an interpreter or exploring my gender identity. When I turned 30 and returned to school I thought I was too late to become an interpreter. My classmates 10 years prior were literally elbow deep in the field and here I was trying to get my foot in the door. When I turned 40 and seriously began thinking about weight loss, I thought I was too late. I thought I was destined to be morbidly obese for my entire life. I had looked in the mirror and decided that fat I carried on my body was going to accompany me to my grave. At 44 as I begin seriously questioning my gender I sometimes feel that I’m too late.

Funny thing about thinking it’s too late; You’re either right or your wrong but you won’t know unless you apply. As a certified interpreter (and a pretty damn good interpreter if I might toot my own horn), I don’t think I was too late. Going into my 4th year of 100+ pound weight loss maintenance I don’t think I was too late. Making small changes from Tara to T to Carver still feel a bit late but maybe never too late. These little changes of forward movement have brought me closer to the person inside and give me the courage to keep looking forward, to keep advocating, to keep changing…

To keep applying.

Applying doesn’t mean success. It just means trying. You can apply yourself to anything and fail. A job. A marriage. Weight loss. Running a marathon. Changing the food you eat. Changing the gender of the biological female body you are attached too. But the trick I think is to stop focusing on the “success” part of the process and focus on the applying part of the process. Maybe you’ll never run that marathon you’ve had your eye on but are you strapping on some running shoes and getting your heart rate up? SUCCESS! Maybe you won’t lose that 50/100/200 pounds you so desperately want to lose but are you whole-heartedly making healthier choices with food? SUCCESS!

I may never reach the full understanding of what my gender is supposed to look like but right now even the smallest changes feel like Big Big changes and in those small (big) applied changes I feel giant success. Just like in almost everything I do, I can’t keep pushing the “try” aside thinking it’s too late.

It’s never too late.

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