We all have a little weird in our lives, once in a while, don’t we? Putting together an overnight bag for the hospital stay lies in that category, as I’m sure it would for most. The weird comes embracing you when reality is close by. And packing a bag for the hospital isn’t exactly one of those overnight stays most of us would relish.
However, after a semi-casual 65 mile bike ride this morning, got to thinking that, as harsh as it may be, I’m lucky to have the availability of rad/chemo. The absence of this treatment at this stage wouldn’t be pretty. So as I’m peddling to meet a friend for my last road-ride of the year, I’m thinking, after passing a mountain of people preparing for the start of the MS ride in Manhattan, that the fact that I’m cold is weird. As I got further away from the crowd, out over the GW bridge and north, my toes got colder and colder. It was only in the low 50’s. Why was that weird? Well, a large portion of riders I passed were in short-sleeve shirts and shorts. I was wearing leg warmers, two pairs of socks (inner socks wool), a short-sleeve shirt, a long-sleeve medium weight wool jersey, and a windbreaker. And I was cold.
How could the 1/2 mountain of people who were wearing significantly less not have been cold? At 25 miles out, after joining up with my friend, I had to stop, take off my socks and hold my toes between both hands for a while. How could I be caressing my toes under two layers of socks when there are scads of other riders out there with much less body coverage? I was thinking ‘this is downright weird.’ Then a little voice whispered to me, “no Freddie, weird is when you get home and must start preparing your little overnight bag.” So my friend bought me some toe warmers (I wouldn’t have blamed him for slotting me in the sissy category) and we were off.
So, is it weird being cold when others are not? Is packing a bag for a hospital stay weird? Maybe. Or maybe not. Weird is only weird when something tends toward the unfamiliar or the unpleasant. When something is enjoyable, exciting or satisfying, it’s not weird.
I was lucky to be out there biking. And I’m lucky to have this opportunity for healing. So when reality encroaches on weird, the challenge is to somehow erase the lines that border weirdness and reality and embrace weird. Embracing weird can magically dissolve it into a harmonious reality. I am so looking forward to packing my little overnight hospital-stay bag.