May 24 - Last day of Seminary. Emergency trip to dentist. Emergency trip to endodontist. Try not to cry during root canal.
May 25 - Meet with foot doctor. Watch grandchildren. Post blog entry. Take pain pill.
May 26 - Return to dentist for permanent filling. Attend nephew's birthday party. Last minute shopping for trip to Europe.
May 27 - More shopping. Workout at gym one more time before trip to Europe in hopes that I can get away with eating pastries, gelato, and schnitzel. Pack backpack.
May 28 - Homecoming for niece. Time with family. Teach Primary. Print boarding pass.
May 29 - Arrive at airport and begin Power Tour 2017 with daughters Brittany and Kati.
May 30 - June 9 - London, Paris, Frankfurt, Schwangau, Munich, Rome, Florence, Venice, London.
June 10 - Arrive home.
We hiked more than 110 miles according to the fitness devices my daughters wore. We traveled by plane, metro, buses, train, and boat. The most steps walked in one day came to a little over 29,000. We even got to see the Pope! I cannot lie. One evening I ate an entire pizza by myself and enjoyed gelato every day we stayed in Italy. Upon my return, my sweetheart met me at the airport with flowers and a great big kiss.
June 11 - missionary homecoming for a friend. Sleep. Or at least try to. Jet lag is real.
June 12 - Up at 3:00am. Time to face consequences. Work out and weigh-in with trainer. No way. I lost four pounds! Maybe I should look deeper into this whole pizza/gelato/pasta/pastry lifestyle. How can I fit walking ten miles a day into my schedule? Give in to jet lag and go to bed at 7:00 pm.
June 13 - Up at 4:00 am. My last shift in the Gilbert temple. Clean house. Prep for foot surgery.
June 14 - Check into surgical center at 6:00 a.m. Get dr.'s signature on my left foot. Wheel into OR. Take a little drug induced nap. Wake up. Sit up. Vague memory of getting into car and world spinning. Stand up. Throw up. Take two steps. Throw up. Repeat. Shoot me now.
June 15 - 19 - Emerge from post anesthesia brain fog. Develop mad skills using crutches. Melt my brain watching Netflix while on pain meds. Attend seminary inservice with crutches and pillows.
June 20 - I love my writing family. MM chapter met at my house since I can't drive. For the first time in months I want to write again. I need my brain back.
June 21 - sleep Until 7:00 am. Take that jet lag. Foot doc declares surgery a success so far. Brain fog clears. Try to take things slow so healing can continue, i.e., postpone today's appointment with trainer for a couple more weeks. Try not to curse at crutches or boot.
June 22 - Plant backside in chair, prop up foot and write.
Going back through my journal, I found this entry before our trip.
May 19 - Seminary. I stood at the door waiting for students to arrive. I had prayed for the Spirit to direct my thoughts and tell me what the students needed to hear today. I pondered. I listened. I searched. Standing there at the door, a new thought came clearly to my mind. I knew in that moment what I needed to share with my students. I watched out the glass doors. I felt prepared. I could relax. And at that moment a silent "alarm" went off in my head.
Don't tune me out now! Keep listening. I know you feel like you got your answer but that doesn't mean you should turn off the receiver. You don't have to save batteries or worry about an energy bill. Our line of communication needs to stay on and tuned in every moment. Never stop asking. Never stop listening. That way you will always be able to receive the assurance and encouragement you and your students need to keep going. Remember to always stay tuned in.I realized in that moment that I have a bad habit of hearing part of the answer and then in excitement "taking off and tuning out" without taking the time to fully grasp what the Spirit is trying to teach me.
As much as I dislike having my activities restricted, I am grateful to have an excuse to slow down. My eyes have been opened to some things I've been taking for granted - like being able to wash my hair - and I realize that challenges I face help me become more compassionate. My experiences can teach me how to help others in their time of need, particularly as I keep those lines of communication open and listen to the quiet promptings of the Spirit.
Taking that trip helped me face three of my biggest fears: 1) fear of getting lost 2) fear of heights 3) fear of closed in spaces. But that's a blog for another day. My foot is telling me I've worn out my welcome and yammered far too long. If you read this far, thank you for stopping by.
Live your dreams my friends. Listen to the Spirit. Life is magnificent.