Sunday, October 4, 2009

Construction Zone

Tonight I figured out the perfect analogy for my current life. I am currently “under construction”. For anyone who lives here in the great state of Utah, the word construction may bring bad memories and feelings to mind, as much of the state has been under construction for years (the freeways, all of downtown SLC, etc). A "construction zone" is an interesting situation to be in, as it is a temporary state, on the way to creating something much better, however, it can be very difficult to navigate through while it is happening.

In Utah, you may drive downtown, only to find out that today you can’t turn left on this road. Or, you get on the freeway expecting your commute to be 45 minutes, like it always is, only to realize that because of the construction, it takes double the time. Perhaps your usual route is totally closed to traffic and now your only option is the train. Your travel to the hospital may stop, only miles short of your destination, due to a truck blocking the road, making you late for your appointment to see the doctor. You notice new lines on the road and struggle to follow the new "traffic pattern" which will likely be new again, tomorrow. Then the giant "cones" are put up, which narrow the lanes of travel and even the slightest movement on the road could send you crashing into concrete barriers. Ahh, the joys of construction.

Well, this is very much like my life. I don’t know what to expect from day to day, there are speed bumps, “slow down” signs, and broken roads all over the place. Some days it is a headache, other day it is the loss of strength and energy that derail my plans. Yet on other days, my sight and depth perception keep me from completing my tasks. Sometimes it is the hearing, or the taste, the paralysis or hair loss and itchy head, and sadly, sometimes, all the roads are closed and everything shuts down at once. Most of the time, I can navigate around these issues, but sometimes I get stuck on a road that just doesn’t go where I want it to. My roads have been closed a lot lately, and I am trying to figure out a "new route" for my daily life.

The wonderful thing is, construction always means something new and improved is on the way. I feel like that is true for me, too. I may not be new, but perhaps recycled into an improved state is more like it. I am not the same person, though it may appear that I look and act the same on the outside. I am different on the inside. I am more whole on the inside than the outside. I have a new lease on life and a new strength that only comes from facing challenges head on. I know when my re-construction is complete, I will have safe, solid roads to drive on for years to come. Sure, they will still get potholes, but the construction crew has been retained for years of maintenance, so as to avoid major delays or mishaps in the future.

So, what is the point of this whole analogy? Well, today was a wonderful day and I feel inspired by the leaders of my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, see for more info) who spoke to us and gave us revelation on how to lead our lives. Their words made me want to become a better person, a better version of me. Today, the construction crews were off for the Sabbath and the travel was light and good. Tomorrow may not be the same, but at least I know that when the big project is complete, my life will again be navigable, with smoother sailing and blue skies ahead! So, bring on the orange cones, to me, they are a sign of progress and innovation!


Anonymous said...

You do not know me, but I ran across your blog through a friend. You are doing a great job, have a fantastic attitude, and are healing more than you may know. I have MS and have been through many "reconstruction" projects and can deeply relate to your challenges. The good news is that with faith, prayer, good judgment, taking one step at a time, and prioritization, it will all work out. Never, ever lose the faith and the power of prayer is the key. You are an inspiration, even though you didn't ask to be. Just be yourself and take good care. It does get better and I can tell you that the brain and the body have an amazing capacity to heal. I'm a living example and I have been at it, living very well (despite some road bumps)with this illness for 12 years. In the beginning, I wasn't sure if I could survive day-to-day. Now, I am amazed at what I accomplish.

Best wishes,
An anonymous friend

Jason said...

Boy was I in need of that post. I read your blog religiously, even though I may not always comment. Every time I am inspired, saddened, elated, etc., etc.

But back to this one- as you already know, I fit into your analogy of being "under construction" myself. It's such a unique connection that you can have with someone who is also suffering, as you also know. Not to sound like a jerk, but boy am I blessed that you suffer :) Not sure if that came out right.
In life, everyone suffers some. Your ordeal woke me up to all the things that I appreciate about living. Thank you for that Jodi.

Conference was so so good, and I'm thrilled that you were able to go. I was joking that for some reason I never sleep better than I do when Conference is on. Not that I'm bored, but it's more the calm, comforting, and soothing demeanor's of the speakers. It feels so....soft and warm. I honestly think that it's the Spirit more than anything. I woke-up during Hollands talk though. I loved loved loved how direct he was. That directness is something that I need to hear, and I really appreciate.

On a side note, my drive to the hospital today for my infusion was the quickest ride I've ever had. No construction to deal with had to be an answer to prayer :)
Take good care of you, Tolan, and your sweet kids.
We'll talk this week about that "idea."
Love you Jodi

Perla said...

great analogy, jodi. i have no doubt that as we work our way with patience and faith, enduring gracefully through the construction, that we are definitely much improved afterwards.

i was telling you about stephanie nielson the other day (who was burned over 83% of her body a year ago). her blog is she has the same outlook and is a great inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Very good analogy... even for people that dont have health problems.
Hang in there dear, and know you are in our prayers. And thoughts....
I stay amazed at all your courage, and your great attitude. Man...i am such a wimp. But i do learn from you. thanks for that. With my love...els