I write lists all the time. Shopping lists… grocery shopping lists… building materials shopping lists…. birthday present shoppings lists…. lists of recipes to try… ‘to do’ lists… lists of upcoming committments… wish lists… lists of names I like… lists of cool quotes I’ve heard… and it goes on and on. My iPhone is also stuffed full of notes that are basically lists of ‘stuff’ – movies that I want to see, books I should read, music that I want to get.
I think it’s what compels me to fill out so many of those internet memes that pop up all over the place. They’re questionaires, but they feel like uncompleted lists. Must answer to complete list. I have my own TO DO LIST… you know… the one of all the cool stuff you want to do in your life. It largely incorporates lots of cool stuff I have already done… but I also have a list in the back of my head of all the stuff that I always WANTED to do but never did because of my ‘bad back’ has been holding me back for years.
I never went waterskiing again after 1991.
I never went sky diving with my Dad.
I never went white water rafting with my friends in Austria.
I never joined the army which was my plan for ages.
I never got a motobike license.
I never went paragliding in Ouldeniz.
I never went scuba diving again.
I never walked up the Spanish Steps.
I never took up martial arts.
I never played basketball again.
I never bought an old Charger to do up.
I never built the Small Child a cubby house.
I never took up target shooting.
I never went canoeing or kyaking again.
I never climbed Cradle Mountain.
I never swim in the surf anymore.
There’s been so many things over the last 17 years that I just didn’t do or I avoiding doing because my back hurt or I knew it would hurt me more if I did them. Only now (all things being relative) I’m look back and thinking… "You stupid dumb bitch." I had a window. I had a window… and I didn’t even see it.
My back pain started in 1991. I left working in an office in 1994. Retired on the grounds of permanent and partial incapacity in 1997. Studied until 1999. Got the court case all finalized in 2000. Had the Small Child in 2001. Got back into part time work by 2003. Was doing IVF until the end of 2005 and then got back to full time work in 2007.
And that was my window… between quitting IVF at the end of 2005 and starting full time work in 2007 was my window. The window where I had learned to manage and alleviate my back pain to a point where it wasn’t affecting me every day. I was at my fittest, I wasn’t taking ANY medications, I had a positive outlook for the future, I was working full time even managing dodgy shift work, dancing for fun and fitness, gainfully engaged in the SCA and for the most part… I was doing okay. I was having pain issues – but they weren’t overwhelming. In hindsight the back pain played a small bit part in my life, but it was not the depressing, debilitating, all encompassing, inescapable and pervasive animal that it is now.
That was my window… I might not have been able to race back to Austria, to Cradle Mountain, to Rome or Ouldeniz, but I could have joined a social basketball team, I could have taken up target shooting again, I could have taken the time to hit the beach occasionally, I could have gone canoeing with my Mum, I could have built the Small Child his cubby house… but I didn’t. I didn’t because I didn’t want to ‘stir up my back’.
I had a window fuck it … and now it feels like I missed it.