The Impact of Observation

I struggled to find a topic for this post. I thought that with so much going on in the world this week I would have a wealth of material to draw upon. The Olympics and Valentine’s Day both provide plenty of opportunity for reflection and opinion, yet I must say, this year I have barely noticed their occurrence. I love the Olympics, truly I do. I feel proud when I hear the Canadian national anthem and I enjoy hearing stories of sportsmanship. But this year, the games really haven’t impacted my life. I missed the opening ceremonies. I watched a couple of events while sorting my laundry and was perhaps inspired to persevere despite my aching arms as I witnessed our athletes pushing their bodies to the limit, racing down snow covered mountains. But so far, the games haven’t ignited any strong opinions or emotions within me - the Olympics have made my week no less ordinary.

Moreover, Valentine’s Day, an extremely controversial holiday that tends to inspire alarmingly high rates of chocolate consumption, passed almost entirely unnoticed in my life. In fact, I had actually mixed up the date and been under the impression that the 14th was on Thursday. I realized my mistake on Friday itself when I saw a number of bouquets pass beneath my window and watched my Facebook newsfeed fill with a variety of statuses ranging between sarcastic, entertaining, sickly sweet, and touching. I did get a couple of laughs from some Buzzfeed articles, but other than that, there was nothing special about the day.

And yet, I must say, I had a great week. It was better than great. It was extraordinary. This week, I made a sizeable dent in the laundry pile that has been steadily growing for over a month. This week, I went for a walk and managed to make it all the way to the water by myself. This week I discovered some new dreams and made plans to achieve them. This week, I sang, and when I stopped it was not because I was forced to by pain. This week, I applied for university programs.

All week I have tried to figure out why. What was it about this week that enabled me to push that little bit further? Because if I can find the special ingredient, maybe I can incorporate it into every week. Maybe, just maybe, I can make this my new norm.

Pharmacologically, I can perhaps explain this sudden upswing in energy. I recently reintroduced a medication back into my daily line-up. A perfect explanation. Yet for some reason, I find it lacking.

I do think that the medication is helping. The specific intention of the drug is to help reduce my chronic migraines as they have recently become more of an issue. Since restarting the medication I have been experiencing less migraine headaches, although they have certainly not been eliminated. And that’s wonderful. After constant, intense pain, any lightening of the load feels heavenly. But I have experienced similar situations before. And I have not felt the same inspiration and motivation that I have felt this week.

Maybe it’s a coincidence. Maybe it’s simply the right time. But I can’t help noticing that my extraordinary week has arrived just as the Olympics transcend their current location and spark international messages of equality, pride, and love - perhaps the very words that can be used to define Olympic spirit itself. As the #neknominations on my Facebook newsfeed are gradually outnumbered by #feedthedeed videos. It was Valentine’s Day on Friday, and to borrow a line from one of my favorite movies, love actually is all around - for now at any rate.

I haven’t directly taken part in any of these acts of love. But witnessing them from a distance has not isolated me. It has not made me feel lonely or prompted me to bury my woes in chocolate. It has warmed me. And I have had an extraordinary week.