A friend and I were discussing the other day about various health issues I've had lately. The most recent event was my falling down my cement porch steps about a week ago, resulting in a sprained ankle and lots of bruising. (My daughter had been playing with some rocks on the steps and I did not see them there in the dark when I went for a walk in the misty rain.) Anyway, being the good friend that she is, my friend let me rant and rave of the unfairness of it all.
Within the past year I also severely sprained the same knee twice -- just doing average things like canoeing and playing basketball. I didn't have time for those injuries (who does?), and now this. I suppose I can take comfort in thinking that the odds should be in my favor now. I’ve condensed a bunch of bad stuff in one year, and so the rest of my life should be smooth sailing! (No? Okay, well then, maybe just a few years in a row, perhaps?)
Anyway, the day after I fell down those very hard, unforgiving cement steps, I was in a lot pain. Oh, and also in a lot of PMS. The combination gave me powerful incentive to feel sorry for myself. Thank God it was a Saturday and my kids could help me while I iced and elevated my sore spots. (Picture me attempting to levitate on the couch. I hurt all over.)
Midday, I hobbled to the kitchen for medicinary purposes and thought, well, red wine sounds more enjoyable than popping a couple ibuprofen. And so I, who rarely have more than a glass or two, had half a bottle of red wine that afternoon and took a nice, cozy nap on the couch. (Thanks to my lovely children, who stayed relatively quiet.... I think.)
Sunday came and I felt somewhat better, but was still hobbling around, frustrated by all the stuff I should be doing and by all the rooms I should be cleaning, and by the kids who really are not bothered by dirty dishes and clutter at all.
It was that afternoon when I got the call from my friend. We talked of all sorts of things, including how hockey mom Sarah Palin can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan ... how she simultaneously looks composed and beautiful, with young children and a husband in tow, while campaigning for the country’s Number Two spot. How can she do it? Here I was that weekend, looking at the crumbs on my kitchen floor and thinking, hmmmm, should I endure the pain it would take to hobble over and grab the broom and dust pan or use that pain endurance to go to the bathroom? I opted for the bathroom.
As my friend and I continued to discuss our lives, with its diversions, distractions, and various frustrations, she said, “You know, Pat, a sprained ankle doesn’t have to keep you from writing.” Alrighty, I was caught. I had a choice to make. I could waste time continuing to feel sorry for poor me because of all this stuff. Or I could acknowledge that, although I don’t get to choose what life throws at me, I still can choose how to respond. In doing so, I give myself a level of control over my life that I want...that I need. So, would I respond with a right attitude, or would I continue to wallow?
Maybe simply continuing to put one foot in front of the other, even when I’m hobbling, can be my forte? It won’t win me any accolades, but perhaps this is the lesson I can teach my children. Just to keep going. If it is, then these recent events will not have been in vain.