articulate - adjective
1. having parts connected by joints, as in "articulated"
2. made up of distinct words joined together in such a way as to convey meaning
3. able to express oneself clearly and distinctly
4. well formulated, clearly presented

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mile Markers and Milestones

While searching for a great photo to illustrate this post, I made an interesting discovery.  Although I have always viewed a milestone as a way to look back on how far I've progressed, apparently that's the purpose of a mile marker.  A milestone points the way ahead, showing what is still needed to reach the final destination.  I never noticed that before.  Anyone with an etymology passion care to contribute the why's and wherefore's?

Today is the 5-week anniversary of my SCAD-induced heart attack.  Looking back, I can tick off 5 major mile markers to correspond with those weeks.

Week 1:  I survived the initial stages of a very rare and potentially fatal attack!  Major achievement!!!

Week 2:  I adjusted my daily schedule around pill times and nap times and began to wrap my brain around what has occurred in my life and in my family's lives.  This week is when I began researching the SCAD condition and joined support groups.

Week 3:  I became very aware of what my inner organs are doing at all times.  Having never really felt my heart muscle aching before, this was an intensely self-aware time.  This was the week I realized how very rare this diagnosis is as I educated my family doctor regarding my condition.

Week 4:  I learned that no one is "too young" to have their own cardiologist!  I also began to realign my perspective to hourly achievements rather than weekly, monthly and yearly goals.  Getting the dishes done was a great accomplishment.  Taking a nap was another.  Spending an entire evening awake with the family... priceless!
Week 5:  I passed the 30-day survival mark! (Raspberries to the ER doc who told me I'd be lucky if I did!) I also had my first-ever stress test and began a cardiac rehab program.

Overall, I've learned to appreciate each day as a gift and to treasure the friendships I've been blessed with!

Know what?  That's a lot to accomplish in 5 weeks.  God has truly brought me far and I am grateful. :)

But what about milestones?  Where am I heading? 

1.  I've learned that I'm aiming for a "New Normal."  This condition doesn't have a quick fix, like the attending physician in the hospital led me to believe.  No "just one or two weeks and you'll be back to normal."  It's time to adjust our sights for a different destination than what was expected.

2.  I want to be more involved in the route planning of my own health, rather than just coasting along the highway of life and coping with the minor detours caused by colds, flus, and dental checkups. 

3.  I'd like to take more bypasses around major stress centers.  None of us can plan those traffic jams and roadblocks in life, but we can make the effort to not let them affect us so much in a personal manner.  Or when someone decides to unleash their road rage on us, we may have to deal with it before we can move on, but we don't have to invite them into our car and take them with us.  

4.  I want to drive deliberately, accomplishing what is truly worthwhile in each day.  Sometimes it's going to be only the dishes and a nap.  Sometimes it's going to be a whole day's worth of achievements.  But I want to do more of what is important and less of what is wasteful.  More of what impacts eternity.  Less of what just "spends time."

5.  I'd like to stop more often for the scenic overlooks and historical markers, to soak in the beauty around me, to celebrate the accomplishments of everyday life. 

Sounds like something off the "Cars" movie, doesn't it?  Sure, it seems sappy, but there's a valid point here.  

You only have one life.

Live it on purpose.

Live it now.

  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 2:13-14