I am trying to lay low these days. Honestly I am. It’s just not hard wired into my DNA to take it easy, go slow, think things through, or allow myself to give my body a moment to lose ground.
I fight hard for the ground this body stands on everyday. Mobility and an absence of pain are not always options for me. I wholeheartedly embrace the philosophy “use it or lose it”. In fact I am so accustomed to pushing chronic pain and limited ability into the background of my days, attributing it’s rising or falling levels to my fibromyalgia, that I managed to let this thing with my arm go almost three full months.
I let it grow from a nagging discomfort into a monsterous rage before driving in blinding agony, (and a fair amount of nausea) from my shift at the book store (which I insisted on finishing of course) straight to the hospital.
After several hours, and tests, and exams (and a welcome shot of something very strong and laced with antihistamine to mitigate its effects on my system), the Doctor explained that I was an imbecile for ignoring a potentially serious injury for three months, and that I had tears in the bicep and tricep of my left arm. He didn’t really call me an imbecile but it was definitely implied.
I was sent marching with strict orders to get rest, take my medication regardless of how much I hate to, follow my care plan, and see my orthopedic guy ASAP. Yeah, at this point I have an “orthopedic guy”. He’s done my right knee, my right shoulder, and now my left arm, and in return I’m buying him a boat. Or partially financing his retirement. I have an orthopedic guy, a rheumatologist guy, a pretty much everything guy. If my body were a car, I’d say the warranties were all expiring roughy around the same time. Life’s a laugh that way.
So now I find myself in a partial straightjacket of a sling, designed to immobilize my left arm and allow my torn muscles time to repair themselves unimpeded by my usually hard driven escapades. It’s both a boon and a pain in the ass. It’s forcing me to slow my roll but it’s seriously cramping my style.
This evening I grabbed the pups leashes and schlepped 3.8 miles with my them. Thankfully they don’t mind the wandering pace of my loopy body as I try to detox it from the course of meds keeping me from having enough stamina and coordination to do anything sincerely stupid, and worsen the muscle tears.
This is not to suggest that I intend to do anything stupid, but I really have an embarrassing track record for poorly considered, wildly impulsive, “push myself past sensible limits” activities that leave me breathless, grinning, and oddly confused as to why I am flat on my ass again. My fledgling self control grows stronger each day, but my “bad idea” game is strong. MAD strong. Yet still I persist.
I am the girl with the injured wing. Since I was a very small child, I dreamed of flying. Not on airplanes or in gliders, but in the living of my life. I would lay still on a large flat rock that jutted out into a small pond near my house, and stare up at the blue, the sounds of insects and birds and water filtering through my fantasies. I imagined all the things I would do as I grew, every adventure and each novel task. I couldn’t wait for my life to start. Being so young, it never occurred to me that it already had begun and my youth would find it’s way into the telling of my stories in much later years.
In truth, I am always in flight. From place to place, and time to time, both to and from myself. I am happiest in a flurry of wings and sky, endless horizons and the thrill of it all. I thrill in small things and interactions, I delight in massive undertakings and the ways in which each thing in turn pushes me, enriches me and challenges me to be more.
For so long I have lived around the edges of my limited body. I leap into the abyss without thinking, I run and fly at life until I drop. I gave up waiting for a cure and I learned to block out the pain that accompanies me so I can fully encounter my world, instead of waiting on the sidelines and wishing.
I hate that. I don’t like the feeling of being vulnerable and limited, but that is a part of life. Some days we can fly to the moon and leave footprints behind us. Other days we must content ourselves with nursing broken wings and leaving soft traces in our wake. Sometimes even my fiercest face can not keep me in the game and I am forced for a while to be still and heal. Yes, I am the girl with the injured wing. For now I’ll try to be peaceful and take the lesson in this moment. I’ll lean back into the softness of my swing, let the air around me fill my senses and stare up into the blue. I am the girl with the injured wing and one day I’ll fly again.
I have curly hair. Actually, my curly hair has me. It’s definitely the one calling the shots. It’s summer, it’s humid, there is a rainforest developing somewhere south of my ears. Every time the weather shifts into high gear like this, I have two options: shave my head, or find a way to deal. It’s come razor close many times. Figuratively and literally. The thing that has held me in check from giving in to the attacks of the crazies is that I’m 98% certain I do not have what it takes to rock the cue ball look.
Right here is the part where I lay a little science on you, so get your pencils out because you’ll need to hold your questions and comments until the end.
Humidity measures the amount of moisture present in the air. Usually, you can measure this with a hygrometer, a simple meter that tells you what percentage of water vapor the air contains. Isn’t that word fun to say? I like to roll the r’s and feel fancy. Go on and try it. Roll those r’s and fancy it up. You’ll be a total hit at parties. This is all super fascinating stuff isn’t it? See? It’s true, learning CAN be fun.
Take a deep breath because here comes a little more knowledge. If you don’t have a hygrometer or you want to figure out the humidity without one, there are other ways but the simplest way is to look at my head. You will notice that my hair appears several inches shorter than it actually is on days when it rains, or when it feels like it damn well SHOULD hurry up and rain and let the dry air, well behaved hair, and a tiny bit of sanity return.
It finally happened. It’s true. All those whispered and hushed stories told reverently around camp fires, and late at night drum circles where bare chested men and women gather and chant the old tales of lore to the rhythmic beating of the ages….
Giant marshmallow fields as far as the eye can see.
I was on my way north, headed home after an oddesy meant for another blog, when the field appeared. Magnificent. I pulled over and jumped out, leaving the car running, not a care for the consequences, and arms spread wide I ran towards my personal field of dreams. S’more heaven.
A whole FIELD of enormous sugary confection. Imagine how heavenly it would smell if the grass caught fire…
Now all I need is a fence post, a match, and one of those 10 pound novelty bars of chocolate…
I am so very human. So very human and struggling these days. I am wrestling with my demons instead of just cuddling them, and keeping them distracted and at bay. I’m struggling, but I am also so very good at hiding it all behind my smile. So good in fact that I can fool whole rooms full of people into believing that the very sun shines inside me.
In a way this is true. I’ve had my share of joy and delight, and plenty of tears and soul weary times too. While I have discovered that I actually have no control over life, I have also uncovered a truth even greater than this. Through the worst of these moments, through the anxiety and sadness, I have the power to create sunshine. It starts with directing my gaze both inwardly, and then out into the world.
Though I may feel lost and limited, I am still in possession of gifts. We all are. Looking inside myself I search for what is worthwhile in my own reflection and I begin to see ways I can give those gifts away. The more I reach out and touch others in small ways, the more my own smile starts to stretch from only my lips, into my heart. It’s warm and it tingles. It begins to feel like I am standing in the sunshine after a long winter. I have learned to hold onto that power, and to bring daylight into my dark moments. I struggle through my dusk and dawn until the very sun shines inside me.
Today was a nice break from the 98 degree hell hole that kept the pups and I from really getting out there the past couple of days. I’m at work crazy early every morning so I’m stuck with mid to late day time slots for hitting the street (and no, not in the way that might help defray the kids college tuition payments) which I’m not thrilled about during the summer.
I’m stubborn (a shocking revelation i am sure) and will NOT give up my walks and runs because they keep me from feeling all stabby and murdery and thus out of jail, so despite a tangled and confused start, walks on the face of the sun it is.
The girls took a million and three shady stops and one super impromptu and equally long “lake break” right in the middle of our trek that almost landed me ass over teakettle in the water with them.
We somehow managed an over all time of 18 minutes a mile for out 4.5 miles so clearly, we are not QUITE ready for my Smuttynose half marathon in October. As soon as we got home the pups sacked out. On me. I guess I’m napping right where I am.
As it turns out, dogs ARE the most “faithful” companions. They dragged me over for a shade break at the grotto of Mary, so at least I don’t have to worry about their state of grace….🐾🐾🐾🐾👣
True story. Tonight, afer a very, very long (albeit lovely) day of work, errands and life in general, I made my way upstairs to my bedroom to climb out of my clothes and into my jammie’s.
I stripped down to the skin God gave me, and stood for a moment to take a deep breath when the thunderous sound of feet racing up the stairs was followed immediately by my door bursting open (as I faced it wearing only surprise) and two of my children exploding into the room.
We all screamed (for different reasons I imagine) and my daughter shoved a brother out into the hall, locked the door and fell on my bed laughing and yelling at the banished boy. They were arguing over who was my favorite. They chose that particular moment to settle the debate since my daughter had made grandiose claims that I texted to her that SHE was the most favored. Their arguing continued while I stood naked, and stunned. And naked. Completely naked. Did I mention that I was naked? Because I was. VERY NAKED. And yet they persisted in debating at full volume, the standing each had in my heart. The heart inside my very naked body.
It is hard to maintain a sense of dignity and decorum in this household under the best of circumstances.
“GET OUT!” I yelled into the vacuum of my children’s attention.
“GET OUT AND LET ME GET DRESSED! ALONE! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY, GET OUT!”
She scrambled off the bed and out the door, slamming it behind her while they continued to argue about who I loved best. Finally my son called loudly through the chaos “JUST TELL US WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE!”
That was it. I snapped.
“SWEET BABY JEEZUZ! GO AWAY!”
I heard my son say quietly to my daughter as they retreated:
“See? I TOLD you it wasn’t you. It’s Jeezuz.”
And now for a drink. A strong one. But first, CLOTHES.