I haven’t posted anything in four months. I thought about it, a lot, but no matter how helpful or cathartic it may have been, I couldn’t bring myself to put into words the weight of what I was carrying around.

I also knew I’d eventually have to start writing again, and then struggled with how to handle processing all of the crappy stuff so it didn’t take away from the good things. So I guess this is what I’m doing, writing a separate, total bummer of a post so I can get it out of my system. Still, I’ll try to restrain myself.

As many of you already know, my ultimate, and pretty  much only, goal for this year has been to complete 60 hikes based on the book I kind of made my husband get me for Christmas (I don’t think I’ll link any of my previous posts to this one, but there aren’t very many, you can refresh your memory if necessary :)). I was right on track, having completed 5 hikes in January, when it all came to a screeching halt after sustaining what I came to learn was a Lisfranc fracture in my left foot, an injury that required surgery to heal properly.

Talk about a punch to the gut. I absolutely thought I was going to burst into tears when the word “surgery” came out of my doctor’s mouth. Of course, that could also have been because my dad had unexpectedly passed away just 3 days before. So, I injured myself the 4th, my dad passed the 11th, I found out I needed surgery the 14th, my dad’s memorial was the 23rd, and my surgery was the 24th. February was a terrible, terrible month.

It was, however, in very good company with March, April, and May! It seems something detrimental has happened every month since. Since our company was finally forced to switch to Obamacare in December, we sustained significant changes to our healthcare coverage, paying a little more monthly for what we thought was the same coverage. Now, to put this in perspective, my husband had major surgery in 2015 that included completely knocking him out, cutting him open, removing his spleen, and a night in the hospital, to say the least. My surgery involved twilight sedation, a cut on my foot, one screw, and I was back home in a matter of hours. My surgery cost about 10 times as much out-of-pocket, leaving us with upwards of $5,000 in medical bills. Five. Thousand. Dollars. Because I wore shoes I never should have worn to a class I never should have gone to. March was also fun because disability, as many of you know, doesn’t pay much, so I had to go back to work a few weeks early. Two of those weeks I was still in my cast and on crutches, and it suuuucked.

Another fun thing that’s happened is that our car won’t pass smog because of a busted computer, which isn’t worth it to fix. So Chris was going to take advantage of that program that gives you money to junk it or something and put it towards a replacement. Then he tells me that program ran out of money, and he has to reapply July 1st. The big problem there? You become ineligible after 120 days of your registration being due (or expired, or something), and that day is June 30th. *He informed me after reading a draft of this post that he did the math wrong, and we should be able to take advantage of that program, so there’s something!* Then just for fun, we’ll throw in the fact that we have two other major monthly payments set to increase in just a matter of months, and a majority of our savings has already gone to help with my dad’s services, and to replacing the car.

All the while, I am dealing with the emotional crater, and denial, of losing my dad, and the devastation of losing four months of hiking time towards a goal that is truly my own. I do not want to fail. Oh! And I have two different feet now! My left foot is still swollen all around the middle, making shoes with laces difficult to wear, so I also have to buy new shoes and insoles with orthopedic support as I continue to work my way back to 100%, without the certainty of knowing I’ll ever really get there. I have managed to used this time to get more involved with my church and making that a priority, which has been great. However, I also keep hearing the echoes of “handing it over to God” and, honestly, I just don’t know how. I don’t know how not to take all of this on myself, or how to sit back and trust that everything will fall into place before it falls apart, because it seems I’ve had the latter happen far more than I care to recount. I am trying, though. These are truly dark times, and I need something to look forward to.

This is why I decided to keep going for my 60 hikes goal. I’ve been stewing in grief and depression and frustration and fear for months…I need something attainable to work towards, something I can feasibly accomplish. I need this goal.

Of course, this means I now have to average 7 hikes per month. I’m going to need more hiking buddies.