Is Life an Obstacle Course?

JB November 30,2021

“No distance of place nor lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.”
Robert Southey, English Poet 1774-1843

I am fortunate enough to say that I have lived a blessed life. I met and married my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) at the tender age of 19 and spent the next 41 years being loved and cared for by him.  Then, some many years after his untimely death (is any unexpected death timely?) I met my partner.  Unfortunately, this was a short relationship lasting barely two years. But again, I was loved by this man.  

But. in any life, however long, there are obstacles to be overcome and during  this long life, I have met many obstacles. I have managed mostly to overcome them. But did I learn from each of them?

In a recent post Chris commented on Stuart Danker and directed us to his blog. Have you met him? He is an interesting young(?) man and his post How to overcome obstacles spoke to me.

In his words  – “You know what I always say: A bad life experience makes for a good blog post“.

So to obstacles in my way. As a young newlywed I had to overcome a couple of miscarriages and what I learned from them is it’s possible to try again and succeed – hence two very healthy, strong adult children and four grandsons.

I was stopped in the tracks at the sudden death of my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) and from that I learned that life could go on.  Not as it had been for so many years, but in a different way. And that new way could also be rewarding.

Six years ago, I fell over my feet while out walking with a friend.  No, there really was nothing in the way to cause the fall. This accident gave me my biggest learning curve yet.

When I came to in the hospital, I knew neither who nor where I was. I was diagnosed with TBI.

For those of you who don’t know TBI is Traumatic Brain Injury. Pretty scary, eh?

After several days I was transferred to a rehab centre. From day one lying flat on my back, over the coming weeks I progressed to a  wheelchair, then using a walker to walking unaided. And in six weeks was declared able to be discharged to my own home. Even the medical staff were amazed at the transformation.

From this experience, I learned so many things, including –

  • It’s OK to not be OK
  • It’s OK to ask for and accept help; though up to that time I was always the one offering and giving help
  • How lucky I am to have such a healthy and strong body
  • How lucky I am that I have this good mind
  • How very lucky I am that my family is so supportive
  • And how lucky to have a group of firm friends.

This experience also confirmed my belief in the power of positive thinking.  As soon a I was aware of who I was and of my surroundings, I determined I wasn’t going to live in a wheelchair or as an invalid for the rest of my life.

As a Life Coach I had instilled in my clients (and earlier in my children and grandchildren) that our thoughts control the outcome we obtain. And the power of positive thought is all overpowering. So apart from daily therapy where of course my thoughts were directed to what we were doing, all my thoughts were directed to achieving my goal of getting my usual life back again.

So that was a good outcome for me and as I said, I got my life back almost to where it had been before.  But this time with more awareness of my age and with the knowledge that I am not indestructible. I don’t have the ability to walk for miles as I once did, and I use a cane now if I am walking in town or anywhere there may be obstacles in my path. But how very lucky I am and I add this to my list of blessings.

At this point I should say that I have always been positive.   As children, we used to say “We don’t do negative”. This from my Father. And my children say, “Pollyanna is alive and well and living in Wellington, New Zealand”. Negativity has no place in my life.

So, I think I can truthfully say that I have learned from the major obstacles in my life.  I hope I can say the same for any errors I have made. But maybe that is the topic of another post here sometime.

And now, from Mary Oliver (who else?)
“Sometimes I need only to stand wherever
I am to be blessed.” 

And from Max Lucado, American Author and Minister. 1955 –

The next time a sunrise steals your breath, say nothing
and listen as Heaven whispers, “Do you like it? I did it just for you.”

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One is about 43 degrees latitude N. and longitude 80 W, The other almost equidistant south latitude and longitude 174 E. Two women, two minds, different personalities and experiences, choosing a life of meaning, continual growth and learning, at the same time negating ageist opinions of exactly what ‘an old lady’ should be.

20 thoughts on “Is Life an Obstacle Course?”

  1. I love this. I don’t do negative either. And there is so much around lately. I just won’t let it take over. I did love the Pollyanna books growing up. Keep smiling my friend, it’s contagious. Sending hugs from Spain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Darlene. I am particularly careful of whom I spend time with as I think negativity is contagious. Take care and enjoy the coming festive season. Can you believe the year has passed so quickly?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the things I enjoy while sharing stories and reading stories in the blogosphere is making new connections beyond the borders of the Unites States. I smile when I read renderings in “real English” versus “American English.” Spelling where an “s” is used instead of “z” makes me smile the most.

    Thanks for sharing this story. Yes. Life is an obstacle course. It has prove it to me quite clerly. I’m a 21-year survior of cancer. I’ve been living with Multiple Myeloma (blood cancer) for all this time, thriving and doing well. Talk about being blessed!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good morning from far away New Zealand. Thanks for the comment and yes we do need to feel grateful for the obstacles we have overcome during out life. Oh and I forgot that I did have breast cancer 21 years ago. How can I forget you say ? It’s over and done. Have a good day and thanks again. I’m sorry I can’t call you by name. I don’t know it.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I know we seem to be all over the place but are working to streamline things though must say that when we do it will be by accident or good fortune. Thanks for your patience

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Good morning oldandblessed. Somehow the reply to you has ended up to casual. Is WordPress playing up again? So I am now repeating it here. “Good morning from far away New Zealand. Thanks for the comment and yes, we do need to feel grateful for the obstacles we have overcome during our life. Oh and I forgot that I did have breast cancer 21 years ago. How can I forget you say? It’s over and done. Have a good day and thanks again. I’m sorry I can’t call you by name. I don’t know it

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh wow, am so honoured to be mentioned here, Judith, and this motto has definitely taken the sting out of the more negative experiences in my life. I sometimes couple that with ‘life happens for me, not to me’, and that makes facing any inconveniences that much easier. Anyway, thanks again for the mention!

    Liked by 1 person

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