Today in class, I gave my students a writing prompt, “Tell about the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do.” They struggled to come up with something and I explained it could be big or small. They still struggled. So I gave them a lengthy retelling of my initial ACL injury and some of the struggles I had over the last year. At the end, I explained that the hardest part was not the physical pain and suffering, but more the mental anguish that came with giving up the things I was used to and learning to live a new life.

Then they wrote like the wind.

As they were writing, I thought, “Wow – after all that, it’s really over…” And now that I’m coming to the end of a tumultuous year, I’m stuck in a crisis of “Now what?” Do I set new goals? Review the ones that didn’t pan out? 

One of my favorite movies is “Swingers” and there is a scene where two of the main characters are in a diner talking about break-ups. One guy tells the other guy that it hurts a little bit less everyday, and then one day it doesn’t hurt at all, and in some twisted way he actually misses the pain, “…because you’ve lived with it so long.” In some sick, dysfunctional way, I miss my knee pain for the same reason. It gave me something to shoot for; a goal of getting better. 

I have an inkling that my 2013 blog might be very similar to this year’s experience, but the form has yet to take shape because I am wrapping up the year. I know that this year I had some pretty fun times trying new things despite my knee surgery…but perhaps my goal will be bigger, more intentional, more meaningful.

Or maybe I will just go cheese tasting.

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