Throughout the uncertainty of the last two and a half months, I have tried to focus on the blessings in my life. Our home is perfectly remote for social distancing. Without children, we don’t have the added pressures of home schooling. Both of our incomes are dependent on an essential industry. I count myself lucky and am thankful for all we have.

However, human nature always finds a way to plant the seeds of desire for something more. Some people might call it ambition; I prefer to think of it as hope.

When these ideas take root, my mind is filled with what ifs and thoughts of how life could be better. When my desires get a little overly zealous, my partner Marc is always ready to help ground me with a gentle reminder, “wants are unlimited.” This is our way of taking a moment to reset and appreciate what we have right here and now.

Two weeks ago, my wish list was fuller than I realized.

I was waiting somewhat impatiently to start the first real upgrades we have done to our house and increase our level of creature comfort. Last Memorial Day straight-line winds broke several windows on our porch and house. Since we were bringing in someone to work on the house, we decided to refinish our old, splintered hardwood floors and modernize our bathroom to include a shower-tub combo.

My body was in almost constant pain because of an injury to my lower back. I dreamed of what life would be like when I could just get it fixed.

Living 800 miles away from my childhood home, I always miss my family and am constantly dreaming of reasons to visit home or get them to Kansas for a visit.

Even at work, I had dreams about how much I would be able to accomplish over the summer when my new intern started.

Like I said, my wish list was full, and you can probably guess where this is going. The cliché, “be careful what you wish for,” has summed up my life in the last two weeks.   

It has been a perfect storm so to speak.

First, I received a fast-tracked approval from the insurance company for back surgery. One of the tradeoffs for the procedure meant I had to stop taking anti-inflammatory medicine a week before the procedure.

We got a surprise call from our contractor, the day before this cut-off, letting us know he could get us in early and wanted to start in two days. This meant moving all our possessions out of two-thirds of our home, without the comforts of medicine.

The day before surgery, I welcomed my summer intern and informed her she would have a chance to prove her independence and initiative right off the bat because I would be out for a week.

Additionally, my parents offered to come spend the week after my surgery helping care for me and working on some smaller projects around the house to compliment the construction crew’s efforts.

The last two weeks have been full of activity, painful at times, and a great reminder that life rarely works out in a convenient or easy manner. However, if you can weather the storms and get through all the chaos, things typically work out in the end … or at least you have a good story to tell.

A good sense of humor and a healthy amount of gratitude may be the secret to a life well-lived.