Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday Reflection: The Next Step

Yesterday was a big day. I had an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon's physician assistance as a follow-up to the surgery for my broken ankle two weeks ago, First, there was the challenge of getting me out of the house and into the car and out of the car and into the office. Trust me, you don't want to know all those details.
Then there was the removal of the cast and a new set of X-rays.
How thrilled we were to learn that healing is going well and is progressing on schedule. Very good news. That is the most important thing.

However, I am still at the "no weight bearing" stage, even though I have graduated from cast to boot and I have at least 4-6 weeks before I can drive and have more of a normal in and out, out and about kind of life. Going upstairs to my office garret area and downstairs to our family room are activities not yet on the allowed list. Disappointing, for sure, and last night I permitted myself to give into the blues and to sink into the exhaustion from the day.

A New Day
Today, however, is a new day, and I am figuring out how to manage this next step. Without the cast, for example, I can get myself dressed without Bruce's help and throughout the next couple days we will determine what else I need in order to function in the house on my own as much as possible. I will attempt to look with fresh eyes at this stage --how can I best use this unplanned time? In what ways can this be "found" time for me?

I don't feel trapped, but I do feel limited. Therefore, within the given limits what are reasonable expectations while I keep my eyes on the prize of total healing? The lesson is to let things take the time they actually need. I hope I can keep Richard Rohr's words in mind, "Your concern is not so much to have what you love anymore, but to love what you have right now." 

Right now I am re-evaluating what exactly it is I have right now. Obviously, I am fully aware of all I have in terms of the support of family and friends and that my injury is totally fixable etc. etc. My gratitude list is very long. Now that the initial two weeks of healing time have passed and I have a better sense of what is ahead, however, I don't want to take this time for granted. I know there are ways I can deepen my spiritual practice during this time and ways I can use my gifts as well. 

Recently, I spoke with a friend and former spiritual direction client who is in the midst of a major family crisis and I passed on to her words the writer Sarah Orne Jewett wrote to her friend and fellow writer, Willa Cather, "We must be ourselves, but we must be our best selves." How can I be my very best self during this next stage of healing?  Just as Bruce and I are figuring out how I can move easily through the house and what I need in order to fix myself lunch and do the other basic tasks of my life, I am listening to the cues in my heart about how to best use this time.  Stay tuned!

A Story
Such wonderful help we have received these last few weeks, and I am so grateful. Reminding myself to be a graceful receiver of help, I remember a story from many years ago when our children were young. The mother of a neighbor and good friend died unexpectedly and when I heard the news, I put together a breakfast meal--muffins and orange juice and I don't know what else. When I delivered it to our friends' home, the babysitter, a lovely college-aged woman who babysat for the family regularly, came to the door. I told her what I had brought, and she sighed and rolled her eyes. I could tell she was irritated with the interruption and was probably wondering what she was going to do with yet more food. 

I started to leave and then I turned back to her and said, "I want to do you a favor by sharing some advice. Someday you will lose a loved one and people who love you will respond with tokens of their support and sympathy. This is what people do for others. This is what we do for ourselves. The appropriate response is to simply say "thank you." 

Thank you everybody! 

An Invitation
When have you needed to move at the pace of your body and what did you learn? In what ways have those times deepened your spiritual practice and allowed you to access your best self?When have you needed to just smile and say "thank you"? I would love to know. 


  1. Love you, Mom! Keep healing! I love that Richard Rohr quote.

  2. I am so grateful for all of your help!


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