Dung Beetle

We are who we are, and sometimes, we get to be who we aspire to be.

I had this random thought this morning. I’m not sure what was the cause or context.

I am home now, from the skilled nursing facility. I am no longer poked and prodded by nurses and CNAs. I poke and prod myself now. I prick my finger to test my blood sugar, I organize my medications for twice a day intake. I’ve counted the pills, some twice a day, some once a day. I take eleven pills!

Good grief!

I don’t use a walker, I can climb stairs slowly, I sit out in the backyard and enjoy the sunshine. It is all good!

Mostly I’m surrounded by family, and I can’t express how wonderful that feels! Much has been done at the home to make accommodations. A bed has been installed in the office so that I’m not isolated downstairs, and can easily slip in for a quick nap.

The big change was driving home into the garage! Actually room in the garage for a car! This way I take a short cut through the laundry room to take the stairs to the living area. It’s a real blessing.

It’s strange, because, while some things are different, most things are the same. I move through the house almost like a stranger. I wonder why that stack of books is on that shelf? There is a collection of random items in a bowl. Why hasn’t someone put that camera away? Wait, that would have to be me? The evidence of my eclectic sloth is overwhelming.

I recently gave an analogy combining the Myth of Sisyphus and the African Dung Beetle. The Dung Beetle moves about in his environment carefully rolling an ever increasing ball of crap. It’s very important to the Dung Beetle, so he tends the ball of crap and keeps it nicely organized. It that regard I am not like the African Dung Beetle.

And, like the Myth of Sisyphus, there is a hill to climb, and the ball must go before you, pushing, wedging, making sure the ground is gained. The trouble is, that it all comes crashing to a halt.

At some point, all the crap in your life breaks away and rolls to the bottom of the hill. The truth is revealed concerning the relative importance, and I am freed from the unending burden of pushing my crap in front of me.

Yet, I am now back from the hospital, back from the reality of what is life and death… I see all the little piles of crap all over, and I am oddly comforted. I don’t quite have the strength, but I am working hard to collect the little piles in order to push them ahead of me. Life goes on.