The world was Sandi’s playground—until she was scared into changing her waysThe world used to be my playground.

I would jump in my car and drive the 200 miles to Dallas for dinner, a concert, or to catch flight to Cozumel, then return home either the same night or directly after the plane landed. 

The 90 mile trip to Tulsa? Nothing.

Those were great days with few limits on me at all.

Sadly as the years passed, I discovered borders.

I didn’t say barriers. Borders.

Yes, I discovered there were limits out there, even for me.

I fought those borders with everything I had but eventually I had to admit they existed.

I had dealt with tiredness for so long I didn’t notice when it made the jump into fatigue and then exhaustion.

It took actually losing time — not remembering a series of events that happened while I was actually awake — to scare me into realizing I had to change my ways.

I fought pain so long I didn’t notice when it became a mortal enemy. The first time all my meds failed and I was crying because there was nothing else I could do, I understood I was not immortal.

It took hidden depression. I never let anyone get close enough to me to notice I wore masks all the time. It was a Christmas Eve, driving home and seriously thinking about crashing my car into a bridge abutment so I could have peace to know I needed other people to take care of me.

The world was still the same size, but I needed to draw my own borders.

I had to be careful not to draw them so small I would get bored, or so large I would do more damage to myself trying to reach them.

I sound like Goldilocks, I know, looking for “just right,” but I think I’ve just about got it right.

I can make plans for a trip to Dallas. Now, I make plans, maybe take the train. I don’t overplan my day. Sometimes a shopping expedition will be the only thing happening. After some rest, maybe dinner out.

It has helped me to be way more flexible when I’m going to a concert or taking a longer trip. If I don’t feel like doing the activity du jour I don’t do it. I’ll reschedule.

I’m more relaxed and will ask favors of just about anyone if it makes my life easier. Most airline, hotel and event employees will gladly help. I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was.

Yes there are times I think about sneaking past the border but just as many times I consider drawing them closer.

This probably means they’re in the right place.