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One week ago, I had surgery. Recovering from surgery isn’t fun. It takes time to rid your body of the anesthesia, to heal, to regain your strength. Thankfully, I’d already learned a lot about recovery. I’ve become a pro at it. My expertise in that area has come from undergoing a horrendous experience eleven years ago: being hit by a car and sustaining a brain injury.

Recovering and stabilizing after that incident ended up becoming an important life lesson for me. I learned that if I didn’t manage my physical and emotional challenges with absolute precision, I’d end up in an utter mess. Thus, I had to master the art of balance: the balance between pushing myself to make progress and pulling back to rest; the balance between breaking out of my comport zone and maintaining a stable routine; the balance between unreasonable ambition and laziness.

I have learned that we never lose our ability to adapt to change. When one way of negotiating life no longer works for us, we can learn to live a different way.

We can ditch old habits that we’ve hung onto for years and teach ourselves new habits. I’ve always preferred sleeping on my side, and have had great difficulty sleeping on my back. However, my surgeon instructed me to sleep only on my back for the first six weeks of my recovery. I was sure I’d have to endure six weeks of insomnia, as I didn’t think I could possibly give up my habit of sleeping on my side. But I have, and am now sleeping comfortably and soundly on my back.

So, recovery from this surgery has been easier to navigate than I would’ve imagined. It reminds me again that every difficult experience can be used for the good.


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