Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
The weekend before Halloween I stepped onto our rocky driveway, concentrating on how I would remove a package of planks from the bed of our pickup truck, when SPLAT. I performed a perfect ten-point face plant. TIM-BER!
My forehead hurt. I broke my glasses. My face was a maze of lacerations. My kneecaps threatened permanent repercussions. I ached all over my body. What the heck was that about!
I don’t know exactly how I tripped, although it involved my terribly trendy athletic shoes with edges of tread that are supposed to lend greater traction (according to the sales lady). The edges caught on something. I wanted to cry—not with the pain, which was endurable, but with humiliation. How could I be so clumsy! After years of doing my best to baby my knees so they serve me until I’m dead! Before I try to sell my latest novel by presenting my shy self to the public! NOW I smash myself?
My husband had a black eye from a small surgery on his forehead. With my black eye, yellow-green forehead, bloody nose, and multiple scabs, we looked like we’d had a terrible domestic dispute…and I lost. My friends were sympathetic. “It’s a good thing it’s almost Halloween,” they told me. “You fit in.”
Falling provides many side benefits (especially if you know a great massage therapist to help manipulate you back together). First, I determined that I had not blacked out from lack of blood flow through my heart. No, my body wasn’t trying to die in spite of my healthy body regimen. I wouldn’t have to worry about driving, thinking I might pass out again at any time and injure bystanders. I wouldn’t have to worry that I would be carted off to have stents shoved into my arteries. That was good news. I have more time in which to make my life worthwhile for me and those around me. That’s helpful.
Second, I gained a huge measure of humility almost instantly. You don’t worry about wrinkles when your face looks like a lumpy tomato casserole. I had a lesson in what it’s like to be someone who wears a physical difference—what it’s like to be the object of critical staring. I know that empathy feels better than pity. I had to swallow my pride to let others help me.
Third, I learned when life dumps you on your face, the best you can do is to regain your feet, wipe off the blood, and get on with your life. As in our country or AA or drug rehab support groups, when you hit bottom you know it’s time to change direction. Your life needs balance and focus. At least I’ll look like an author who’s lived through some hard times and knows whereof I write when I attend our book sale. And, if I don’t sell much, I have my priorities in order. I’m a living person, rich in love and experience. Like the American electorate, I got this.
(P.S. The picture is a re-enactment on ground that has dried from our recent snow. I’m mostly fine now, and my husband is healing nicely.)