I’ll admit it. I cheated on the picture of the orange skipper. I got frustrated, I switched my camera to — gasp! — sport mode, and I shot a picture of the thing. Why? Because like most butterflies, it was flitting back and forth in a frenetic and seemingly random pattern, like a Southern CA driver in a snowstorm for the first time, trying to avoid the flakes. Also, I’m still learning how to use my most excellent camera.
I’ve always been a bit indecisive, but even if I couldn’t always figure out what I wanted, I usually knew what I didn’t. And I was game for the big picture. Go to the opera? Sure! A day at the beach? Absolutely.
Pain has changed all of that. I’m now the epitome of that dratted skipper. There’s days when pain can slam into you like a cold sneaker wave when you’re bodysurfing in the ocean, and you’re freezing and spitting sand through your teeth in a heartbeat. It’s not the sort of experience that makes one prone to commitment. So instead I flit, dodging an invite to this, postponing that, nearly landing on one engagement only to skip to a different one seemingly randomly. That’s because it’s hard to figure out if a day is going to be a good day or a bad day when dealing with something like never-ending pain. Some days I’m just better at dealing with the pain than others, no matter the level. Other days are inexplicably more painful, or I know I’ve overdone something the day before and now can’t handle doing XYZ activity today. But because that pain is so variable, so am I. I really can’t say if I’m going to be up to going to a baby shower, a birthday party, a concert, a movie, dinner, a convention, or even a car maintenance appointment. Don’t even ask me about major holidays.
At some point, though, the only thing to do is to make the plans, figuratively aiming the camera at a likely blade of grass and pushing the 1000-shots-a-minute feature, and hope for the best. Sometimes, amazingly, it works out okay — maybe not great, but, really, okay. Grace sufficient for the moment.