Vivaldi in Rehab

I feign rapt attention while the occupational therapist explains to me how to conserve energy.  Only part of my mind is available for today’s session on “Caring for your Body during Daily Activities”.

While the OT explains how to “Rest before you get tired”, in my imagination I am playing the solo violin for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in the Sydney Opera House.  My performance is note-perfect, from start to a standing ovation!  I am a gifted daydreamer, so it’s not at all difficult for me to do this.  It’s quite untrue that men can only do one thing at a time: I can think about anything at all while I’m meant to be doing something else. 

I snap back to reality because I appreciate what I’m learning.  She’s good at her job and she knows that I need to hear this stuff, no matter how much I’d like to escape it.  It’s all about tasks and time, and it’s all timely and true.  Everything takes me an awful lot longer nowadays.  There is the same amount of time in the day, but I get so much less done.  I unpack the dishwasher in stages, putting all the things from the high cupboards in a pile so I only have to stand up once.  Plastics have to be carefully piled up on my walking frame and pushed over to their cupboard last of all.  (There! I’ve said it. I also have a walker).

“Keep to your plans and targets as much as possible”, she says. 

I’ve been having some odd thoughts lately.  As I struggle to produce much from day to day I find myself reviewing and judging the years past.  How well did I spend my time, back when life was easy?

The next topic, “Utilizing special equipment”, makes my skin crawl. 

I’d like to live my life just like the Four Seasons performance currently going on in my imagination: note perfect, from my beginning to a standing ovation!  I want to get it right, to live well. To succeed. To earn approval. Bravo!  “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  And, candidly, I’ve done OK now and then.  For example I think I’ve done rather well with some of my wife’s birthdays.  (In fact, I’ve done such a darned good job that I’m grinning as I write, planning the next one).  And I’ve done one or two other things quite well also; things that are, perhaps, even more important than my wife’s birthday in the grand scheme of life.  But the honest, cold-hard truth is that much of my life so far has been frittered away in pointless indulgence. Self-satisfying pursuits.  Time wasted rather than invested.  I joke that the reason I don’t shave is that I have been using the time saved to earn a degree.  But, truth be told, I’ve been working on a degree for many years and yet it lies incomplete; like so many other good endeavours.   My train of thought is regularly anxious and unproductive.  There have been too many words and actions I deeply regret.  I’m pretty sure comparison is a dangerous mistake, but none the less when I compare my achievements to those of my peers I come up wanting. When I compare myself to the great men and women in this world … well there is simply no comparison. 

Sit whenever possible” my O.T. intonesNow that’s something I can relate to! 

There are, for some reason, people who actually read my blog.  So if you are reading this, please don’t rush to reassure me; don’t post a sugary comment to mollify my observations.  Like it or not, confronting as it is, this is the truth.

God I need help!

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Thankfully life is not lived in just four movements.  How bleak it would be to have just one chance at sowing a harvest, to have only one summer drifting into one endless winter.  I am grateful for the simple fact that each day brings with it a new opportunity to live well.  I’m immensely grateful that Paul – a New Testament writer that I appreciate more and more – wrote these words:

 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3).

 “Establish your priorities”. Yes, I think I will!


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