Lessons My Surgery Taught Me Coming Back With Intention in Times of Challenge
Around two years ago, I was just coming out of my recovery frommajor hip surgery for fractures. Before the surgery, I had suffered from increasing pain that went undiagnosed for several years. I consulted with and called upon numerous experts and looked at every resource I could find, without any answers. While you’re living an experience like that, you’re at rock bottom. After my surgery, I underwent months of physical therapy. The stress of the process was overwhelming, but at some point, I had to findmy path forward.
Nobody else can do it for you.
I remember one day in particular, I was with Fred, and I was off of my crutches. We took our first little walk together in our neighborhood— it was probably only a fraction of a mile, but I realized and told him “I can’t go any further or I won’t be able towalk home.” It was so sad to not even be able tomake it down to the cul-de-sac. But recovering from injuries or chronic pain is a sustained effort. It’s a practice, and by definition, a practice involves failure. It involves a whole bunch of minor failures, and you just have to keep going back to your original intention or goal to get to where you’re trying to go. While I typically don’t think“everything happens for a reason,”I do think that you can consistently learn and grow from the things that happen and apply those lessons to other situations you come across. And the lessons that I learned during my recovery — the importance of trusting the process and persisting—have been useful to me in so many other areas of my life. Recently, I’ve started trying to develop a meditation practice. Like many people do when they first start meditating, I wanted to jump in headfirst. But just like the recovery process, meditation is a practice, and the best way to get better at it is by bringing the mind back from distraction.
Things will happen in life that are disruptive and upsetting, but if you can keep your sights focused on your original goal or intention, you can manage life’s stresses to a much greater extent. The lessons I learned frommy surgery were helpful to me professionally, too. Not only can I apply those lessons to help me better empathize with my clients, but the lessons have helped me navigate merging two law firms. When you have two teams who have worked separately and you bring them together, there’s always growing pains associated with it. We’re constantly finding a process that is redundant, or a systemwith room for improvement. It can be overwhelming, but we meet once a week to address these issues. And once a week, we come back to the processes we feel we need to work on. We’re constantly asking ourselves what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and where we can improve. We’re not just doing things because it’s the way we’ve always done them or the way other firms do them, and we just have to keep continually checking in on how we’re doing. Life can be chaotic, and when your professional and personal lives are impacted, it’s important to realize that growth and recovery take time. My hip surgery taught me to trust the recovery process. I didn’t heal overnight. I healed slowly, with sustained effort. When you’re working towards any accomplishment, whether it’s merging two law firms or developing a new skill set, you just have to be consistent and take it slow. You have to figure out how to remain centered and not to allow yourself to be bogged down by any misfortunes you may encounter. And hopefully, you can find a way to appreciate the wonderful things that are happening right in front of you. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Wednesday, April 8 from 9:30–11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 14 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 29 from 2:30–4:30 p.m. ESTATE PLANNING WORKSHOPS
Wednesday, April 22 from 12:00–1:00 p.m.
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