One year ago today, I stepped out of my front door to call the dogs in for the night and landed exactly the wrong way on exactly the wrong part of my doormat on exactly the wrong part of my foot and broke my 5th metatarsal.
I was devastated. I’d only a month or two before refound my love of working out hard—after several years of wimpy yoga and woods-walking with my dogs, that came after several years of working out like a maniac and hurting myself badly. And then, WHAM—or rather SNAP, BREAK, Sidelined.
Because I’m often a black and white thinker, my initial freak out (made worse by the ER doctor’s prognosis that I’d be in a cast for 12 weeks) sounded like this:
- I’m going to be obese….probably within a couple of days.
- I won’t be able to be a mom…if I can’t pick up the children, they will write me off.
- My writing will suffer…because this whole thing reeks of sufferment.
- The world will end…see #s 1 thru 3.
There were tears. There was a massive amount of feeling sorry for myself. I wrote about it, of course.
I had this friend who said, “I wonder why you did something to yourself that would make you sit still for awhile?”
At first, I guffawed. “I didn’t do this on purpose!” I sneered. “I’m miserable, I hate this and I don’t want it. There is no LESSON. There was NO doing this to myself!!! The doormat did it to me.”
And, then, forced to sit on the porch all by myself—while my family went 4th of July parading and pond swimming and all kinds of other things that I really detest—I read 3 fantastic big books in a row. (Something I hadn’t had the space to do in a looooong time.)
And I thought…hmmmm. This might not be quite so bad. Then I started looking around for other worthwhile things I could do from my ass down, foot up position…and there turned out to be quite a few.
- I could ride a stationary bike and get my sweat on.
- I could get out of many distasteful chores like laundry since I couldn’t carry the basket.
- I could work more hours than before…because I couldn’t do much of anything else.
And, as it seems to always do, time passed and my foot healed. Life went on.
Questions and Answers
But it wasn’t until this morning, when I realized that it had been an entire year, that I remembered my friend’s question…and saw how brilliant it had been. And how loving. And I was finally able to hear it as she meant it—not as an accusation, but as a thing of curiosity and excitement.
And, thus, I was finally able to answer it.
I broke my foot so that I could hit a wall at the end of a path of blind, mindless motion that was so mechanical and cloudy and trafficked that it allowed no room for new or pure or insightful thought. And I hit the wall, so that I could stop doing what I’d been doing and doing and doing…and create the ‘action’ of something else. Entirely.
I think it was something about the bounce. You know, off the wall.
Image credit: karenwithak