So loud was the sound of my knee cap breaking on the linoleum, that Aislynn heard it from 12 feet away and gasped.
In retrospect, I think we all knew it way before the x-ray and CT confirmation -- in those very first moments, really. I felt it, and let out short bursts of cries as I rolled onto my rear. Aislynn sensed immediately that this wasn’t a “normal” fall, not only because of the sound effects, but because in very unlike-me behavior, I croaked, “Get Daddy.” Adam came running down the stairs. He took one look, winced and dialed 911.
Nothing exotic. I was spring cleaning, and stepped forward to hand my daughter a roll of paper towel. My left foot slipped on a used dryer sheet and shot forward so fast that my right knee lunged down and smacked the ground. Crack.
Doc said, “If you’re going to break a knee, this is the way to do it.” The patella didn’t break in half, so no surgery, no plate insert, and thankfully, no torn tissue to repair. Just pain and inconvenience for a few weeks.
A year ago I had ankle replacement surgery, and it was only around month ten of recovery that I started to feel like I could really move again. This September I am scheduled to have the other ankle replaced, which creates a fairly narrow window for me to take off the 15 pounds that settled around my waist like a spare tire during my year of inactivity.
It was pretty depressing. An uncharacteristic funk fogged around me along with the pain.
But then my sweet cousin, Aimee, gave me this encouraging counsel: “Just take it as you can. Allow yourself to enjoy and work on things while you are forced to rest. That’s something I admire in you… you can always find inspiration in the 'places' you are.”
Very true. Once I got out of my own head and saw the upside of being immobile but clear-headed, I got to work. I was able to finish the best grant I have ever written and finally cleared up the little administrative tasks that kept getting pushed aside at work. I researched creative place-making and light installations at a depth I don’t usually have the luxury to do.I played catch-up in the Bible reading plan that had fallen behind. I updated our website. I created our May household budget. I was a maniac of productivity. I even found some time to do creative journaling and to update my planner with new dates through the end of the year.
Yeah, Aimee, you are definitely onto something. It’s so simple but powerful…. When we take a deep breath, look around and do what’s in front of us no matter where we are, the value of time increases tenfold. We allow ourselves to be inspired by the “places” we are and then we in turn are inspiring.
And wait -- isn’t that, after all, the starfish story? Oh, right, it’s our starfish story.
Thanks for stopping by the blog.