Sometimes when I look at my life, I feel like I am reading about it in the paper, or in one of those sensationalised magazines: ‘My bridesmaid is having my fiancée’s love child’ or something.
Maybe not, but now that I am sort of on the outside looking in, it looks kinds Jerry Springerish.
A single mum to two teenagers, who works FTE (1.2), runs a household, looks after 4 animals. She is renovating her house; the stove breaks down, leaving the family without a kitchen. Then she falls over and breaks her foot, which requires surgery. As a result, she is unable to stay in her house because of her ridiculous driveway so she has to stay with her mother. On top of this, she was due to start a new job just prior to the injury, so she is under pressure to return to work asap, but can’t drive, because it happens to be her right foot. And she is unable to return to one of her jobs due to the circumstances.
It just sounds like something someone made up for fooks sake…..
Nevertheless, this has been an interesting opportunity to review my life from the outside. After all, the universe simply granted my wish to have a holiday from my life. Given that I am so busy, I never really have the time to sit and contemplate whether what I am doing is sustainable, or whether there are other ways I could be doing it. Plus, I often find myself with few alternatives anyway.
The weirdest thing, and one of the most valuable lessons for me is the fact that I don’t think I will ever be lazy again about things that I need to do. For example, washing the dishes, doing the washing. It seems that the perceived effort when I was healthy seemed over the top. Everything takes so much longer now, given that an at least a 6 point turn is required in order to get around any corner in the house. Walking to the shops, or cooking a meal just doesn’t seem onerous at all. The other thing I have discovered is that I love driving, and being able to have the freedom to come and go as I please. And also, no matter how much free time I have, I don’t spend all of it doing crafts or reading, I do find myself looking at medical journals (which I never have time to do) and writing.
I haven’t been short of things to be grateful for, and that feels great. My friends and family have been so nurturing, and helpful, and altogether awesome, and I feel so very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life.
What seems clearest of all is that Wi-Fi is evil and will need to be restricted when we go home, and that my children need to do more around the house, not because I say so, or because it happens to be their dish, but because it is a lesson they better learn now, about living in a community and helping each other out. If I only ever did things for myself, I would still be in my backyard with a broken foot and no one to help me.
People are veritably strange, and I have greater compassion for people with a disability now. The number of people who are irritated by the fact that moving takes longer, or that I need a ramp or take up more room in a lift or on the bus is unbelievable. The number of people who roll their eyes at me, or tell me that I should be more careful or whatever is also astounding. What do they think that I am ecstatic about it? Losing my independence, using a shower chair to wash, a toilet raiser to pee and take two buses to work, not to mention calling in favours all the time and being unable to pick my kids up from school?
Maybe my foot will heal and I will forget these lessons, but I doubt it.
Christmas will be a time to reflect on the 3 months prior to it, to be grateful, to regain all the losses, including a tall order of Rehab and further surgery to remove pins. I sincerely love my right foot despite all the challenges.