Lessons of life learned

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, September 20, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
It's amazing what a person can learn when they take the time to slow down a while. As you all know I have been slowed down to a snail's pace for five weeks now with my injured right knee.
While I have continued to write, my pace is certainly much slower than if I were working from the office. Even with going to physical therapy, I am experiencing a lot of free 'learning' time.
And according to my last doctor's visit, I must have a lot more learning to do! At the end of next week, I am looking at the reality of facing surgery, which will keep me away from the office for a while longer.
I have certainly had my share of pity parties since being confined to my home. Not being able to drive and do as I please has been frustrating to me. But through this I have learned something.
My confinement has come at a time in my life when I needed it and there is a purpose behind it. I am learning to be thankful for what seems to be a devastating situation as I watch it evolve into a blessing.
I have also learned that I am not the only one. People all around us, maybe in your own front yard, are confined to the walls of their homes with no hope of ever seeing the outside.
Just as you will read about the home school students participating in the Character Project in today's Lifestyles, I too, am learning about a few character traits myself.
The biggest of which, is probably attitude. I learned the first day of physical therapy that my success, or recovery depends a lot on my attitude.
If I go through those doors with a negative attitude, my experience is not going to be a good one.
And believe me, having a good attitude when you know that you are going to be inflicting pain on an already painful situation is not easy! For anyone who has ever suffered a knee injury, you know that physical therapy is not a pleasant experience.
The therapist, by the way who is wonderful and works as the trainer for the Pensacola Pelicans, has to put a device on my knee that emits an electrical shock to block the pain and has to ice my knee down for 20 minutes before he can even began to work with it due to the extent and pain of the injury. That routine follows each session as well.
But in order to regain use of my knee this therapy is crucial, painful or not. My attitude and willingness to cooperate with the trainer as a team during therapy dictates the success of my recovery.
My attitude about my situation is vital in many ways. I have to keep a sane perspective on things and steer clear of despairing thoughts. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I have to be objective, positive and even enthusiastic about my situation.
Would I have rather learned these character traits with the home school kids Friday at the First Presbyterian Church? Definitely. I have to admit that the green-eyed jealousy monster came out in me when I found out that my bosshad the opportunity to watch some of the activities the teens were performing Friday as he took pictures for me.
But apparently, I have been chosen to learn them in a different, much slower pace.
Janet Little Cooper is editor of the Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123.

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