5.4 Slowing Down (Up Again)

Posted: May 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

I used to think I was in shape. Then I got crutches.

This morning was tough. Not in that earth-shattering, mind-bending way, but in the physical way. I was scheduled to take a screen-printing class this morning — something I’d signed up for months ago, and had been looking forward to since long before that, so I was on a bit of a schedule. I packed my stuff (for the next move), cleaned the house I was housesitting, hauled everything out to the (gratefully borrowed) car, hauled my crippled ass up the hill twice to feed and water the chickens and let them out, fed the dog, and then did my foot exercises and ankle massage. By the time I was done, I was a sweaty, stinky, dirty, exhausted mess.

I couldn’t wait to get in the shower, and wash away the process. But as I sat on the edge of the tub waiting for the water to get warm, I was seriously questioning the sanity of going to a four-hour class in my current state. I was already behind on time, my foot hurt, I was exhausted, and more than a little grumpy.

On the other hand, the stubborn me refused to give it up.

So, shower and driving, and I landed at a coffee shop nearby with a few minutes to spare. One woman held the door for me. The women in line behind me commented on how impressed they were by the fact that I’d parked a block away and hobbled my way here. Someone offered to help carry my stuff.

Here I am. I’m heading off to the class in a few minutes. I don’t know what the lesson is here. I’d like to say something smart and wrap this all up as tight as my ankle. But the truth is I know that I’m just hobbling along, trying to make my way through this, through days, through life. Trying to make the best decisions I can, without letting fear or anger or pity or exhaustion step in and make the decision for me.

I take a lot of inspiration from those people in my life who are battling much worse things than a broken ankle. Three of my favorite people in the world currently have cancer, and in their own way, they’re all dealing with it with so much courage and strength and honesty. They’re what gets my ass up when I think I can’t, they’re what makes me realize this is nothing, minor, incidental. Life changing, but certainly not potentially life ending. I can be strong for them, even when I am not sure I can be strong for me.

One slow, panting step forward at a time, s.

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