Sometimes We Need a Kick in the Pants

melissa curtin Sep 02, 2021

I had rotator cuff repair surgery on my left shoulder last Friday. So I write to you this week mostly with my right hand. A good brain challenge for sure. (I think I have typed the equivalent of one page in just the first three paragraphs between deleting and retyping.)

I had squeaked under the wire for my first rotator cuff repair surgery on my right shoulder in mid-February 2020 before the COVID-19 shutdown that second week of March so I’m somewhat familiar with this road. 

I put the right shoulder off for way too long and regretted it. Then, when the left shoulder took its turn, I said I wasn’t going to wait. But it’s a long recovery and I’ve dreaded going through it again.

It took an unexpected phone call that we could potentially be without the health insurance on which we have been fortunate to rely for many years for me to take action. 

This two-by-four across the side of my head lit a quick bonfire under my dragging feet, or in this case, shoulder. (A weird mix of metaphors, but they all fit.)

In just three weeks from the day we got the call to the day I went into surgery, I had an MRI scan, a physical, a pre-op visit with the surgeon, went on a week-long vacation, got any outstanding business work done, and scheduled other appointments I’ve been putting off. 

I’ve used every excuse under the sun not to move forward with this surgery even though it’s been disruptive to my life in countless ways.

  • I want to plant my flowers in the spring.
  • I want to go on vacation this summer.
  • It’s not that painful...I can live with this.
  • I don’t want to spend the money.
  • I can’t take that much time away from work.
  • I don’t want Mike to have to take care of me. 
  • Bla, bla, bla...

Sometimes we need a kick in the pants.

I’m a firm believer that when we drag our feet on a decision that needs to be made for our highest and best good that the Universe will take care of it for us, one way or another. 

And it did. 

And now I’m grateful the decision was “forced” upon me because not one of these excuses is good enough for not taking care of my body. 

My gratitude will grow as I get to the other side of this and both shoulders and arms are strong and healthy once again.  

What important decision or action do you need to take that will help you to be healthier, stronger, and make your life better? 

I have a hunch that if you have something, it already came to mind as you were reading this and that your list of excuses about why you can’t/won’t/haven’t taken action on it yet are rolling through your head. 

It may not be a medical procedure. It may be that you need to drink more water, exercise more consistently, or better manage your nutrition. 

Write down, on paper, with a pen/pencil, down the left side of the page, the excuses you use not to do “the thing.” 

Dedicate some time to sitting with and examining these excuses, not just taking them as they are and moving on. 

On the right side of the page, write down a solution to that excuse and make a plan around that solution. 

I find more often than not that we take our excuses at face value because they stem from long-held and unexamined stories. 

Say your list out loud to someone and I bet they will tell you that none of them are good enough, and may even laugh (with love) at/with you. 

Need some help? I’m offering five 60-minute Kick in the Pants exploratory sessions for $149 (normally $250) through September 21 while I’m in this sling.

Sign up here

P.S. I’ve consistently been asked why I’ve now had surgery on both shoulders at age 51. If you are wondering too, simply, it’s from wear and tear from a life well lived. These shoulders have carried a lot and they’ve participated in many great adventures through the years and I wouldn’t trade any of it. And I’m not finished yet!


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