CMD always plays relaxing music in her office. When I first started acupuncture I was going 3x a week and could anticipate every song on the CD that was then in favor. Lately we’ve been enjoying what I think are folk tunes from around the world. A few days ago I said, “I love this song!” as CMD was getting some equipment ready.
It was Simple Gifts – the classic 19th c. American Shaker song made famous as the theme in Aaron Copeland’s Appalachian Spring. My very American childhood had this song occasionally playing in the background, and I think I also learned about it in a music class in college. It’s a very “Americana” sort of tune that’s hard to miss if you grow up in the States.
CMD did not grow up in the States so she had no notion of the emotional connection I feel for the familiar melody.
It was a very strange feeling for me to recognize something that someone else doesn’t. It’s usually the other way around in my new life. I often have delayed reactions and my mind will be clicking and whirring away if you mention something – I’m trying hard to remember, did that happen before or after I got sick? Did it really happen in the first place? Does that apply to me any more?
I flatter myself that these internal musings are not prolonged enough to attract a whole lot of attention, but they happen all the time. If I’m having a really floppy moment I’ll pause the conversation and ask for clarification, otherwise I try to carry on as usual.
Carrying on is what I do every day. This train’s not a-stoppin’. But as I try to move full steam ahead simple gifts can make me stop in my tracks. I said a few weeks ago that I try to maintain a “game face,” “tough,” exterior – but the kindness of these gestures catches me off guard and I can be a bit of a sissy about them.
When I first woke up I was in the mindset that this might not be real anyway, plus the adjustment was so vast and the change was instantaneous (I don’t count the time I was asleep) that I was ready to spare no expense and secure every convenience. Now I understand that I’m in this for the long haul and I recognize the parameters I must live within. This new mindset aims at making my environment in RecoveryLand functional – comfort is a highly valued but often secondary concern.
I’ve received some things from people who have bypassed my criteria and gifted me in ways that attend solely to my comfort. These are not necessary items, these are extras that make my days happier and more enjoyable. To be the recipient of such generosity is always surprising to me. RecoveryLand can be a rather Spartan-looking place since the fewer items I possess the fewer items I have to learn how to use properly and clean. I know – if you know me you’re probably like, that’s a FEW?!?!? But in comparison with my Old Life I’ve pared down a lot, I promise.
I’m primarily concerned with making RecoveryLand a happy place. You don’t need a lot of things to laugh. But when people take the time to make RecoveryLand a more beautiful place I am taken aback. I recognize this kind of thing from the scenery of my Old Life. Could this be for me? Now? Yes. You chose it for me because I wouldn’t do so on my own, but you knew it would make me smile. Thank you <3.