Archives for July 2017

6 Bittersweet Blessings From My Crushing Experience in the Winepress (Part 3)

[In answer to my last blog post called ‘Prisoner in a Minute,’ Part 2 ‘: Is this the proverbial winepress? Am I the grapes? Is this where all the good stuff comes out?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what’s emerging from my summer break on the Isle of Immobility, after fracturing my ankle in two places in the middle of a big move to another state.

1. Removing Options Has Simplified Life.
I like things a certain way. More than I knew. I’ve been forced to be a whole lot less particular about everything. Dirty toilets, packing strategies, cream in my coffee, personal appearance. Daily organic green smoothies are a distant, tearful memory. Staring down my Fitbit and bathroom scale, I began living like a prisoner, eating whatever was offered me whenever it arrived, with a grateful heart. Lots of carbs plus digging in the box of Sees candy because I could reach it from my rolling chair. Don’t judge.

2. Unnecessary Toil Is Eliminated
Hubby says I create work for myself. It’s hard to hear, but it’s true, dangit. (Back to liking things the way I like them, which always requires more toil). I’m hosting overseas guests for breakfast in the middle of all my dust and boxes this morning. I want things nice. But I don’t have orange juice, enough tortillas or a pastry to serve with the meal. I can’t thoroughly clean on one leg, or make a quick trip to the grocery store to add all the bells and whistles. Oh well. So I cut the tortillas in half to make them look like more, added toast as an option and pulled out whip cream for the sliced fruit salad instead of serving a coffee cake. Good enough has to be good enough and something about that seems like a healthy adjustment to this driven perfectionist sitting in her chair.

3. Life’s Not So Bad from My Laptop
In case you haven’t heard, online shopping rocks. In the past 2 weeks I’ve ordered everything from t-shirts, sticky tack, and shower curtains to homeopathic remedies and birthday gifts. Free shipping, free returns, to my door, stat. #Thumbsup. Grocery delivery makes perfect sense even if you’re not injured. I’m currently using a mainline grocery store in addition to a local organic delivery service to stock my kitchen. Urban eats is available, too, and has some good options for the occasional splurge. (When all else fails, begging from and co-oping with the neighbors fosters relationship and great conversation.)

3. I’m Learning Patient Endurance

 

 

 

As I sit here typing, surveying all around me that needs ‘doing,’ the simplest of tasks I am currently unable to accomplish; the flies buzzing around my head I can’t chase, the stacks of boxes I’ve yet to unpack and organize, my delayed errands begging to be done, that gadget I cannot reach! ad infinitum,  I feeeeeeel the burrrrnnnnn. I painfully acknowledge my inability to control my circumstances toward my preferred outcome. And I surrender. Several times a day. And pray. And today I wipe away a few tears. And I recall a statement I made in my May 24th blog post, “Patience is produced by painful endurance.” I’m sure all this delayed gratification during my move is working something good in me, somehow.

4. Humility and Friendship Has Been Highlighted

 

 

 

 

 

 

And suddenly my whole life depended on someone else. The day my ankle broke, I felt myself sinking to the bottom of the ocean as I surveyed the moving detail needing attention in the following 6 days. My friends instinctively knew and they texted, emailed, and showed up to help. (Why is it so hard to accept help??!) I honestly didn’t know they loved me enough to serve me so selflessly. We had played tennis, celebrated birthdays, enjoyed happy hours and Bunco….but this??! No one wants to pack someone else’s crap. They saw me at my weakest point and threw me a lifeline as I was drowning in desperation. Hashtag bonding.

5. Unspoken Sentiments Emerged
People often don’t say what they’re thinking until a point of crisis when life as we know it comes to a screeching halt. I was dumbfounded at the verbal expressions of love and friendship I received throughout my dark tunnel from friends and neighbors. Time stood still long enough for hearts to be bared, stories shared, and precious words spoken that might never have been heard, had I been walking on two healthy legs, not moving to another state. Priceless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Daily Life Revelations
Without significant interruptions, it’s easy to live on auto-pilot. But with the formidable barricade of immobility constantly placed before each of my daily life habits, patterns become very clear. I’m being forced to ask, “am I happy with the habits of my life and where they’re taking me? Are my daily choices leading me to where I want to go?? What needs to be adjusted?”

One of my daily habits is to brew a perfect cup of coffee (emphasis on perfect 🙂 are we seeing a pattern here?! LOL) and read/meditate on a passage from my Bible first thing in the morning. This week I bumped into Philippians 4:11-13 for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (OUCH!) I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” 

I’ve reflected on those words throughout my days, my tears, my groans, and my long waits. Until next time, you’ll find me hanging onto that hope!

Make it a great week. (Click here for Part 4, ‘No, I’m Not Psychic’)

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Prisoner in a Minute (Part 2)

I’m kind of like a Jack Russell Terrier. Perpetual motion. Fitbit freak. Perfectionist. Until I broke my ankle in two places seven days before the moving truck arrived.

In a minute, I was banished to the Isle of Immobility at perhaps the most inconvenient time Providence could have allowed. I became a prisoner of my physical limitations.

Crutches. Handless. Left foot only. Carrying stuff around my neck, in my pockets, held between my teeth…determined, yes, but decidedly deterred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Messes everywhere.
Sticky counters, clutter, crumbs, moving boxes, bubble wrap.
I hobble past the mess and groan because I can’t fix it.
So I sit, powerless to handle things my way, the only way I do things, my preferred methods and outcomes no longer my reality.
Deep sigh.
Asking for Every. Little. Thing.
“Calling Strategic Command Center…I just want my supplements…to get the mail…change the sheets…shower…pack that closet…do 3 errands in 20 minutes…tidy the house…need COFFEE!…get my cord, NO! NOT THAT CORD….my crutches….I’m thirsty… I just want to ________________” times a million. Hurry up and wait. I’m aging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most basic tasks have become tedious brain busters; complex and time consuming. I don’t give up. I have crawled, rolled, hopped and scooted for hours. On moving day my Fitbit registered 6.7 thousand steps on one foot. (clapping)

At moments I’m like a toddler who can’t move her blocks. I’m ramming a box furiously with my crutch and it’s not budging. I want to run away but I’m stuck so I fume and fuss and scream inside.
And I cry; a good cry or three or ten might help.
Tears in front of my friends, my children, my husband. Tears, tears, tears.
What’s wrong with Mama?
Help me, God.

Silence.
No one can rescue me.
No one can relieve the pressure inside and comfort me.
Venting brings relief, but then I feel guilty for ‘complaining.’

I’m not depressed. I’m hindered.
Activity is my personal drug of choice.
Serving is what I AM not just what I do.
I am being denied my SELF. My identity. My very wiring is being blocked.
I’M SHORTING OUT. LIKE AN ELECTRICAL IMPLOSION.
Poof.

“Oh, Denise, enjoy the rest, read a book!”
As if I’m in my home where everything is in its place. No. I’m sitting in the middle of chaos where my stuff is out of reach, still in boxes – in the vast unknown – in my storage unit across town.
My body may be ‘resting,’ but inside I chuurrn.

This temporary double break in my foundation is not without purpose.
Introspection.
Thinking. Asking hard questions inside my head. What is this about? What am I supposed to see and change that needs to be addressed? I don’t waste experiences. I need to know. Is this the proverbial winepress? Am I the grapes? Is this where all the good stuff comes out? Some good stuff next time.

Stay tuned... (Click here for Part 3 ‘From the Winepress’)

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