A Painful Reminder to Slow Down
I felt it coming for sometime now.
I was waiting for it like the way you wait for seasons to change or like the way you wait for something to arrive in the mail. Never knowing exactly when it will arrive, but when it does, your life with be somehow different.
Maybe it was the stress of spring that caused it.
Long work days punctuated with paper plate dinners followed by carting my children to soccer practice, baseball practice, and birthday parties. Maybe it was the hours I invested in building Write on Fight On LLC.
Spring, the season of renewal, had left me suddenly drained.
For weeks a tangible tension grew in my legs, as if the muscles were giant rubber bands being pulled by the antagonistic hands of time, of stress. And despite the efforts of yoga, bike riding, constant stretching and hot showers the tension only grew.
The fall happened this past Tuesday around 10:30 pm.
As these incidents often happen, I was doing something pedestrian. Something I do almost nightly. I was walking toward the front door to see if it was locked, so, like my son says, “The bad guys on the news can’t get in.”
Before reaching the door I bent down to move a misplaced car seat and something happened in my brain (this often happens when I make quick movements…a result of my brain damage). Sometimes it’s as if my brain is a snow globe on a shelf and some excitable kid snatches it, smiles and shakes. And my legs, the two overly-stretched rubbers bands, simply couldn’t move fast enough to help me out.
I went down. Hard.
The house rattled and Cindy came rushing down the steps. She wanted to take me to the hospital, but my bruised ego resisted.
The next morning, after we got the kids to school, I agreed to go the hospital.
A few x-rays confirmed I had fractured a bone in my left foot and bruised my left femur.
Later, lying on the couch, foot elevated and crowned with a bag of frozen broccoli I told my dad, who turns 63 this week, what happened. After listening he said, “Well, maybe that’s your body’s way of telling you to slow down.”
Now I’m strapped with a walking boot for the next 4-6 weeks. Now I’m forced to take it slow.
I know, it sounds funny, “forced to take it slow.”
Parenthood, adulthood can be a merciless wave of urgency. Of deadlines and commitments. Of huffing and puffing and straining your way through each day, racing so much that you can’t sleep at night, worried about all the stuff you have to do tomorrow.
Life is our best teacher.
Life begs us to take it slow. To watch its beauty bloom. To listen to its mysteries hum. To absorb the majesty of momentary living.
For the next 4-6 weeks I don’t have a choice. And despite the bruises, despite the break it’s humbling to know that life cared enough to consider me.
Despite popular belief, I’m fortunate.
Life took time from its busy spring schedule to discipline me, to force me to take notice, to force me to slow it down.