These words were sent to me on my FB page, I don't know the author but damn did they resonate.
Just two weeks ago, I was almost in tears because I couldn't get the big truck's oil dipstick back into the reservoir. Today, I am the happiest I can remember being.
I was pre-tripping the truck and trailer, getting ready to head to King George, VA. and DC Dirt Camp for the weekend. I had been hired part time as part of the coaching staff and this was my first real weekend with kids ( ages 6-11). The lead kids coach was moving to Texas, and there were three of us trying to learn as much as we could from him before he left.
I was nervous, not feeling confident - physically or mentally. While I lost weight, I had also lost muscle over the Covid winter. And I was losing my mind. The Prevagen commercials got my attention. My body was letting me down - I was letting my body down. Even transitioning my health insurance was confusing, overwhelming. I was depressed. I was talking to my grandfather, Mom and Tommy almost every day as I walked our dogs on our beautiful farm, thankful and grateful but scared I could no longer take care of it. It was a rough winter.
So back to the truck, the oil stick would not go in - it would get half way in, if I gently pushed the thin metal would bend. I spent a solid 15 minutes trying different angles, directions, battling with my self talk asking me what the hell I thought I was doing. I'm old.
With head held low, I walked into the house, into Todd's office and before he said anything, I said, " please don't say anything loudly or I'll just collapse into tears, I can't get the oil dipstick in Nellie, can you please help me". He must have seen the desperation in the tears welling up in my eyes and to his credit, stopped what he was doing and walked outside with me. He too had trouble. Relief, it wasn't just me. He called our favorite shop - W & W Auto and talked to Tim. We wanted to see if I could drive the four miles to him with the dipstick out. Yes, just cover the hole. As I was grabbing my wallet, Todd got it back in, pulled it out, oil good, and slowly, very slowly got it back in again. There was def. a crimp in the tube. The dipstick was in, oil was good, I wasn't going to worry about it until I got back from Virginia. In hindsight, I think part of my total lack of confidence was due to the fact that I didn't have confidence in my rig. The last two times I had driven Nellie and the trailer anywhere, I either had to be towed home or had to white knuckle it home due to engine issues. I wasn't sure I had the energy to calmly and safely deal with a breakdown. I was scared to be by myself. That is a huge thing for me to admit. I have always loved being by myself, doing things by myself.
I was in the driver's seat, ready to pull out of the driveway. My husband walks up to me, "Mind if I say something"? I nod, "not at all". He said, " Believe it or not, I understand your depression. I've been there. It's hard to admit that we can't do some of the things that we used to be able to easily do. Once you recognize it, it becomes easier to adjust and accept your limitations". I shot back, " I get it, I have - I don't even try expert sections of trail, anymore". He smiled. I melted, realizing just how right he was, that he wasn't just talking about motorcycle riding, and how lucky I was to have him in my life.
I had an uneventful drive to camp, arrived with plenty of daylight to set myself up, hook up the generator, cook dinner, review notes, and prepare for a 5:30 am start.
Friday was a long day, I learned a lot, contributed a lot and was feeling good. I could do this.
I realized the Universe was talking to me on Friday night when I received a message from an old friend letting me know that my scouting mentor had died that morning. At the time he died, I had been at the edge of the Potomac River, watching new adult riders learn how to traverse a hill. It was windy enough that there were whitecaps on the Potomac. A huge bald Eagle came into my view, he soared, he dipped, he circled, and he circled again before he sailed off. I knew Bill had come to say goodbye. It reminded me of the time when Niner and I were on the Sisters Ride. We were somewhere in the middle of the country and she found out one of her army brothers died. It was unexpected. It took her Mom talking to her before she settled down enough that we could ride. A couple hours later, we came down a forest canopied hill into open sky and there in front of us was the biggest, fluffiest cloud in the shape of a heart. Dave was saying goodbye, I'm with you.
The magic continued on Sat. and Sun. with the kids classes. To watch little kids go from being scared of their motorcycle to riding figure 8's - to "the best day ever" was what my soul had been craving. I used to think that my soul's mission in this life was to help people find joy after loss. That may be partly true, but the joy I have found in my life from being involved with kids in scouting, the kids on my school bus, and now with these kids in dirt camp is beyond coincidence.
My vision is no longer 20/20. I can't see as far down the road as I used to. So I just drive a little slower. I can't pick up my GS by myself anymore, so I don't ride it off-road alone. I bought a smaller bike for when I do. I can't lift hay bales anymore, so we hire kids to move hay for us. I have started wearing my cashmere sweaters everyday, instead of "saving them for a nice occasion". Tommy once asked me why I didn't use my silver everyday, what was I saving it for? I didn't have an answer. I pulled it out that very day, have been using it ever since. So to answer my original question - where am I? Just where I need to be.