The world is a busy place. Just look at the traffic, the long lines at the gas station and grocery store, or my daily To Do list. Often we find ourselves tackling our lives and our schedules as if we were on autopilot. Sometimes we don't even think about what we are doing or how we are doing it ... we just do what needs to be done. It's very easy to take things for granted; a computer or car that works when we turn them on, the lights turning on when we flip the switch, or the fridge having food in it when we go to make our lunch.
This week I have been sorely reminded of something I clearly took for granted; having two hands that work. My life is usually pretty busy - sometimes too busy. I've trained my body to get by on little sleep. Sometimes (actually more often than we'd like to admit) we find ourselves not having as much control as we would prefer.
For about a year I have been attending a weekly Zumba class at my local parks and recreation facility. At first I was leery about joining. I am in my middle 50s and am pretty mobile and active (if working and running errands count). I like to garden, take walks, and do sidewalk chalk drawings with my granddaughters when I can. But would I be up for the challenge of a weekly fitness class? Would I be able to keep up and learn the routines? Not to pat myself on the back, but I think I've done pretty well and been able to hold my own. I look forward to the weekly class, not just for the exercise, but also because it allows me to take one whole hour a week for myself. I actually turn my cell phone off and leave it in my locker.
This week at class, I had a less than graceful moment. My foot stayed in one spot and chose not to follow when the rest of my body went forward with a step in the routine. In a matter of seconds I found myself going down ... HARD ... and landed with an awkward thud on the floor on my arm. But being the trooper that I am, I got up and tried to shake it off (I'll admit I was partially motivated by embarrassment). I managed another 10 minutes and only gave in to the idea of an ice pack at the 'unofficial' water break.
Fast forward to a quick trip to urgent care and a temporary soft cast for an acute intra-articular fracture of the distal radius. Of course as Murphy's Law would have it, it's my right arm and I am right-handed. Next week I will get a new hard cast and I'm not sure yet for how many weeks. Since it's my first cast in 56 years I am hoping I at least get to pick a pretty color.
I can openly say that I never knew how much I needed two hands until I temporarily lost the use of one. Performing my full time job will be slow and frustrating since I work on a computer most of the day. Going grocery shopping and cooking one-handed will be a challenge. Blow drying and styling my hair ... can you say hat? Today I am giving myself permission to wallow in my self-proclaimed pity party. I will get over it. I tackled and beat cancer, so I know that I can conquer this too. I do have perspective - I know there are people dealing with far worse things than my 4-6 week inconvenience. I understand that. Sometimes we need to take the time to show ourselves a little grace.
Was this life's way of giving me a reality check?
Is this God's way of telling me to slow down?