I Will not Evict the Devil from my Shoulder

Sometimes I am my own worst enemy. I know I am not the only one that has said these words to themselves, however, I have thought these words more often than I would like to admit. You must be wondering what I have done. The answer is a very simple one, too much. You see I have 2 very small invisible creatures with each one living on my separate shoulder.

If you were to picture these creatures, the best description is that one is a goody-two shoes, straight-laced no risk kind of angel, while on my other shoulder lives the creature that is totally opposite. This devil takes many risks without thinking of the possible consequences, feels it is possible to do everything because age is just a number, and doesn’t know the meaning of “isn’t that a bad idea?” While I do have to admit I like my fun loving devil, it sure does get me in more trouble.

angel-489524_1280These spirits of mine seem to fight for my attention when they realize I am whiffle-waffling a physical activity that I really should not be doing but really want to do it. For example, 13 years ago our family was vacationing in Breckenridge.  I used to ski, but I knew it would be a bad idea for me since I was just diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis and many of my joints were inflamed and painful, plus, I already had 2 back surgeries. I knew I would want to ski so I purposely did not take any of my ski apparel. Our children, on the other hand, were planning on skiing for two full days.

My older son had only been on skies a couple of times. He decided to snowboard the mountain because he knew how to skateboard. He did just fine. My younger son also wanted to snowboard but he did not skateboard and  had only been on skis once.  I tried to talk him out of it since I knew it would be easier for him to learn by having a ski on each foot but to no avail. Let’s just say even after lessons, he butt boarded the entire day and refused to go out again even though he still had a ski lift pass.

The two creatures living on my shoulders immediately started to talk to me. The devilish body on my right shoulder said, “Let’s go skiing, remember how fun that was? Hurry, find some clothes and let’s go. Don’t let your illness run your life!”  The angelic one on my left shoulder quickly chimed in, “What, are you a frickin idiot, you’ve had 2 back surgeries, inflammatory arthritis that is not under control, and you haven’t skied in 15 years!” The third body, my husband, just rolled his eyes because he knew what a poor choice I was about to make and nothing he said would be heard.  Well, I am sure you know which person I listened to. I have not skied since and I will never ski again; the memory is still too painful.

I have gotten better at listening to my sensible shoulder being but sometimes my bad-ass shoulder imp becomes quite persuasive–such as talking me into painting a bedroom. To be fair, I just didn’t paint, I fixed the popped nails, repaired the cracked dry wall, and even caulked the windows. The room looks beautiful, my body, however, feels like I have just skied in Breckenridge. I forget, at times, that I cannot always do the things that I have enjoyed. While I have thought about evicting this devil from my shoulder, the truth is, I need both of these beings to live a satisfying life. Will I make mistakes? Absolutely, but that’s okay, after all, I am only human.

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    Nancy Chodash

    I am a nurse practitioner who not only treats patients, but has had chronic illnesses including cancer so I understand how frustrating medicine can be. But through all this, I have never lost my sense of humor and my ability to make people laugh. I love to cook, and since becoming gluten-free a year ago, I have recipes for everyone's tastes whether it be healthy, decadent, vegetarian, or gluten-free. My philosophy is all about health, food, laughter and life!

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