I have realized that I will not be for ever.
Many years ago, myself and a friend began very long vacations together. Mine didn't bother me at all and, in fact, to me, it was going to be an adventure. My friend, however, was distraught with not only why he was there, but for how long. He began calculating how many days were in 5 years and how much older he was going to be. He marveled at how relaxed I was about how many days were in (well over ten years).
I enjoyed my time out from society. For the most part. It went by in a flash, actually. But that's not my point. While I sat in the summer's heat each year, bounding around the track during the winter's cold each year, or just dabbling in interesting projects all the time, I realize that the years were slipping by quickly. For the longest time, because I enjoyed it so much, I was planning to stay right where I was. I was considering what crime I could commit to induce the State to keep me. My family eventually changed my mine. So, for several of the final years, I contemplated my navel, watched the trees wave in the winds, counted the clouds as they passed, and wondered what I would be like once I was on the street.
I was going to be old. What good was my life (and its new adventure) going to be? I realized that each day I lay in the grass watching an ant climb a piece of bread, was a day that I could put things into those final years of my life. The good times I had where I was, needed to be taken with me and continued on the streets.
And so, with no real plan to speak of, I began my next adventure. I could have easily fallen back into the 9 to 5 computer systems work or found a teaching gig (no, not what you're thinking), but that was not a fun thing to put in my remaining life. I needed a sailboat -- a hobby that I had enjoyed fantasizing about.
The work I first got was just to pay bills and feed my ugly face. The next string of jobs were relatively low paying (compared to a systems analyst's salary) but unbelievably fun to have. I looked forward to each day getting to work and having a blast.
I met and (common law) married a beautiful but very emotionally young 20-year-old who needed me terribly. And I got my sailboat.
I forgot to count the days as they passed, and realized that the fun I was having was going by fast. But I didn't want to count days. I just wanted to enjoy fun things.
I am probably considered elderly, now. I'm up to three pills per day of chemicals to keep my alive. Whereas I had been able to run 7 miles in one hour each day, today I am lucky to climb out of a car seat. Rather than flashing flirting eyes at me, young women now look at me to see if I need help crossing the street. Little girls still look lovingly at me, which is nice, but I must stay distant for their sakes.
The average life expectancy here in Toronto is 82 years. How many more do I have? I don't know and I keep it that way. Tomorrow, I go to walmart to pick up a torque wrench to work on the motor on my sailboat. How long will it take me to tune the engine and tighten the bolts? I don't know. I do know what the book says. But I don't think that way. It is just a project that I wish to do.
How long will it take me to sail from the Toronto Islands to Niagara-on-the-lake (the actual name of the town there!)? I, as a sailor, know generally how long the voyage is. But that's just math. How long will it take me to sail from here to there? My reply, "Yes."
I don't take one day at a time. I just go.
I hope this helps you endure your shoulder difficulties.