Last Wednesday I twisted my ankle jumping off a chair. I wish I could say it was a bar stool and blame alcohol, but it was simply a tall chair and there is nothing and no one to blame except Jim and Jan who gave me these super-short legs. (At least they bequest me a tall personality.)
I was at a conference at Cobo Hall, in heels and a good mile away from my parked car at the time. I hobbled to my car, drove across town and then spent the evening on my feet, teaching a class - though I did so in bare feet.
Thursday I was speaking at another conference. I knew my ankle was kind of sore, so I wore kitten heels because one doesn’t show up to speak at a conference in sensible shoes. (I totally could have worn sensible shoes).
By Friday I was still a little uncomfortable, so I threw on tennis shoes before heading to TechTown for the Masterminds group, then Troy for an appointment, then to the SheHive for Toast2U. I threw the same tennis shoes on Saturday morning as I headed back to the SheHive to set up for the Michigan Breasties Meetup.
About an hour into the Breasties event, one of our facilitators, Cara, joined us to lead the group in a short, guided meditation. It was the first time in days I had been quiet and still. And in the stillness it finally dawned on me that both feet hurt like hell… as did my knees and my hips. I could only surmise that I had been walking “funny” for days to compensate for the injury. I sent my breath to my joints throughout the entire meditation and, by the time it was done ten minutes later, dismissed the pain and went about the rest of the afternoon on my feet.
I got home about 4:00 that afternoon for a quick visit to let the dogs out before heading back out to join the Mister and our neighbors at an event I am not going to publicly own up to buying tickets for because I still swear I didn’t agree to buying them (fine - it was the PBA Finals in Allen Park). I sat down in my recliner while I waited for the dogs to do their dog-ly duty outside, kicked up the foot rest and propped up my feet. It was only then that I noticed… my right ankle was twice the size of my left.
I was horrified. How long had it been like that? And why the hell hadn’t I noticed?
I’ll tell you why… because I had packed my schedule so full that I hadn’t allowed myself any time to contemplate anything other than the next thing on the schedule for days on end. The next presentation that had to be given, the next handouts that had to be printed, the next client that had to be tended to, the next location I had to drive to… I didn’t exist anywhere in that schedule other than I had to be places and do things because I had beholden myself to everyone else but myself.
I skipped the PBA finals and planted my butt in that recliner for the rest of the night - ice pack on my ankle and an Aaron Sorkin marathon on Amazon Prime Video. It was glorious.
I wish I could tell you last week was an anomaly, but it wasn’t. I pack my schedule a lot to avoid things I don’t want to deal with - things that scare me, feelings that scare me and, sometimes apparently, physical pain. Thing is, the scary stuff never goes away. You never start healing until you start feeling.
Are you packing your life with “stuff” as a means to avoid the scary things? Shoot me an email or drop a comment below and share your story with others. Let’s figure a better path together!
With much love and gratitude,