I woke up tired, sore and grumpy this morning. My deepest apologies to anyone who has had the displeasure of dealing with me today. Fortunately, I’ve not yet been released, physically, upon unknowing clerks, other drivers and the rest of the world. Only those who venture past the porch are subject to the rants of my frustration and boredom.
After a little venting to friends… hopefully they're all are still my friends… I hobbled out to the porch where I reflected on my plight and came to the bold conclusion that as much as it sucks buckets to be laid up, unable to drive, unable to prepare even the simplest of meals without it being a complete pain in the foot (ha ha ha), and completely dependent on your husband, kids and friends… I realized that it could always be worse. I pulled myself up by my knee brace and hobbled back into the house.
Determined to figure out a way to turn my mood around, I hopped around the house on my crutches until my poor shoulder complained loudly and promptly gave out. Fortunately, I was in my bedroom and landed on the folding chair in the corner of my room. I honestly don’t remember which awesome member of my family was responsible for putting the chair there, but I was grateful for it today. Each member of our home has done so much, to help me out; things like carrying my lunch plate or bowl of soup to the table so I can sit to eat. I often just eat at the stove leaning on one foot as it’s easier than trying to get my food to the table without feeding it to the ever-present and ever-hungry, four-legged members of the family.
I came down pretty hard into the folding chair and was even more grateful that it was the padded kind and not plain metal. I spent a few minutes holding my shoulder and cursing my own stupidity. Wishing for more upper body strength to manage my crutches better, but knowing it’s futile. I have calves of steel and arms of cotton fluff. Sitting there, looking around the room, my eyes came to rest on my favorite picture; it’s a picture of my happy place. Our pond and cabin in the mountains. Just looking at the photo calmed me. I stopped holding my shoulder and began to gently massage it. The pain started to ease and I noticed my breathing had slowed and become deeper. I miss yoga. I miss my mountain pose, my downward facing dogs, I miss lying on the floor and meditating and I miss feeling my bare feet connect with the ground.
So now my mood has gone from just plain ornery to full on pity party. I guess that’s a bit of an improvement – at least the washer repairman who is coming this afternoon is safer. I stared intently at the picture on the wall and started to focus on my breathing more. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. Forcing stray thoughts away, I continued to breathe slowly and with intention, encouraging that breath to go right into my shoulder, breathing deeply and exhaling with purpose. Within a few minutes I felt lighter, my shoulder pain had diminished into the dull ache of an overworked, pulled muscle and I felt my arms rise over my head into a modified mountain pose. From there, I moved into half-moon and then onto five pointed start – or 3 pointed start as the case may be today. Suddenly, the realization came to me that I need not give up the daily practices that keep me sane, I need only modify them to suit my current situation. Who knew chair yoga could be so fulfilling. Okay family, it’s safe to come home now.
Today's view is from the back porch... a quick scan of the yard and my eyes settle on the tired and well-loved swing set. Every time I suggest passing it on to another family with young kids I'm met with that look of shock. A look that states, what could I possibly be thinking. I guess it's difficult to think about putting away one's childhood things.
The brisk, winter wind is encouraging the swings to dance on the end of their chains. If I close my eyes I can hear the high pitched voices of little ones playing. Laughing and giggling as they share a tea party in the treehouse. I remember asking them why they call it a treehouse since it's not in a tree, their response, "But Mummy it doesn't need to be, it's next to a tree, so it's a treehouse." Oh, good to know. I also remember in horror the sound of little Anna, at age two, falling backwards out of that treehouse. Her little body hit the ground with an enormous thud for such a tiny, little person. Thankfully, she was fine. Me, not so fine. This one is my daredevil, this one has fallen backwards down the basement stairs - not once, but twice. This one has knees that tell the story of a childhood filled with adventure and many boxes of Band-Aids!
This morning I sat on the front porch in my rocking chair looking at the beauty all around me. Yesterday's ice storm left the trees sparkling in the morning sunshine. The sound of crackling ice as the branches moved gently in the breeze made me think about how little time I actually spend looking and listening to all that's around me. Although my world seems pretty limited right now, I'm realizing that it's not really, it's just a different perspective than I'm used to.
Today marks three weeks since my silly accident which has me laid up and dependent upon my husband, kids and awesome friends. Who knew one could break four bones in one foot, fracture a knee, mess up both the ACL and MCL, and sprain the other ankle all from a standing fall. Turns out I have brittle bones – a lovely side effect from chemotherapy four years ago.
One would think I would be really mad, okay, I was at first, but only for a little while. Instead I realized that my fall was a blessing in disguise for several reasons. First of all, I am a very active person and given that I was supposed to be skiing in Stowe two weeks ago, I can't help but wonder how much worse a fall on the slopes would've been. Now that could've been really ugly. Instead, a simple fall in the bathroom... yes, the bathroom - which is the most dangerous room in the house - enlightened me to a very serious condition. I consider this a blessing because now that I know, I have begun working with my favorite herbalist, Kenyon Keily and my Functional M.D., Dr. Sarika Arora, to create a wonderful plan to rebuild my bone density (naturally of course!). It will take a couple of years to increase my bone density to safe, pre-chemo levels, but knowledge is power and I like knowing that I'm able to take control of this issue and remedy it without expensive injections of synthetic materials.
So that's the first blessing - pretty awesome stuff. The second blessing is what all this forced time off my feet has done for me... the ADHD girl who can't sit still! This last three weeks has been an incredible opportunity to just be with myself and do lots of soul searching. As a busy mother of five, there's not a lot of "me time" in my life and this last three weeks has been a gift of time to just think and ponder. Since my office is downstairs and I can't navigate stairs... I've given myself this time as a vacation from work-related responsibilities i.e. end of year accounting, inventory and boring business stuff that I really dislike anyway.
I've come to the realization that I'm feeling very burnt out and ineffective, struggling to juggle too many things and accomplishing little. I've been an integrative health coach for more than 20 years and have spent the last few years building a for-profit business and a non-profit business. Too much, too busy and I'm not happy. I've decided to streamline my life a bit, get back to what makes me happy. I've decided to limit my coaching practice to just a couple of clients at a time and to focus more on the non-profit business, Pay it Forward Club.org, which is something that gives me great joy. I've also decided to get back to writing. So I'm going to use this blog space as a way to flex my creative muscles and expand my writing... who knows where it might lead.
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