This summer was full of all sorts of fun! Lots of time with my family (especially my little munchkins) and friends! There was one small hiccup though. We barely got to go anywhere. That summer vacation that we were looking forward to, not to mention how many friends shared their amazing adventures with us….well, this was our vacation.
Where is the beach, the amusement park, the lake, heck…where’s the park?! Well, when mom is down for the count, vacation is surgery and a boot.
I was exercising at the gym when I heard 4 loud pops. Did I go to the doctor? Of course not! I’m Mom! I can’t be down. After hobbling around for about a month and listening to the consistent popping in my ankle with each step, I was walking into church and I stepped in a hole and you know the rest of the story. I am Mom and I don’t have time for such nonsense! This time, no popping. It just felt like a very stretchy rubber band as it twisted oh so much farther than it was ever intended to go! OUCH! Luckily, my daughters were walking in front of me and I was able to catch myself on their shoulders. That kept me from falling in the middle of the parking lot as everyone was trying to leave from one service and park for the next. I managed to limp my way into church in quite extreme pain and grab a chair.
As Monday rolled around, did I seek medical assistance? Absolutely not! I am Mom and I have too many responsibilities to do such things! I am the one who takes everyone else to the doctor! I am the one who nurses my husband, kids, and plethora of pets. What did I do? I continued to hobble (not even stopping my gym routine- but to my credit I did slow down the intensity of my workouts…at least a tiny bit). About two weeks after the second injury I was going full steam trying to get decorations up and sets made for Bible School at our church, which is quite large. Holding true to form, I was the director over the decor, not only putting in tons of work, but guiding about 20 different people to lift, paint, tape, glue, build, etc. The whole while, my ankle is giving a loud crack with every step and I felt as if the pain was going to make me sick. With begging from my friends, co-workers, and boss, I finally did it! I made the appointment and had it checked out.
Our doctor knows me quite well and is very much aware that I have a tendency to wait too long to take care of myself (e.g. two other sprained ankles, an infection from a hot glue wound on my hand, and a cut on my foot that was infected with staph and strep that nearly put me in the hospital). By this point, you may wonder how I have not learned my lesson already. Stubbornness or the expectation I put on myself to be Supermom. Probably a little of both. After reviewing my X-Rays and giving me a quick exam the doctor winced at the loud ankle pop, shook his head, and said I am so sorry but that is going to require surgery. He pulled out an anatomy book (because he is awesome like that) and showed me what he believed my injury to be, and then sent me on my way with the instruction to put zero weight on it, sit my butt down, put my leg up and to ice it, and go see a surgeon. ASAP. I don’t think he cared that I didn’t have time for such things or that I thought I was Supermom at that point.
Well, I did see that surgeon and after my exam and an MRI revealed that I had torn a tendon and it would not heal on its own. So a week later I had surgery and spent two weeks breaking in our new couch, watching tons of Netflix and being more or less glued to my laptop.
You would think this would drive this ultra “Type A” momma batty. I did make lots of plans for things I could do while being down. For example, I started crocheting again since I don’t have to stand at my craft table to do it! But, I still thought I would lose my mind and get completely out of shape without being able to be in constant motion and not having my daily dose of tension zapping exercise. In reality, it wasn’t too bad, and if I’m being honest, it was relaxing, refreshing, and a bit of a blessing. The “time off” helped me gain perspective about what life really is, what is important and where my priorities were vs. where they should be.
I do have this little agreement with God that if I get out of whack and my life gets too full of “busy” and I am neglecting my first priorities, that he has my permission to let the natural consequences of my spinning in circles smack me down a peg or two (I did just say give God permission didn’t I….Wow! What a control freak!) This is not the first consequence I have suffered and I am sure will not be the last, but this unexpected hiatus did its job. I actually slept 8 hours a few nights. I hung out with my kids the last couple weeks of summer. They had friends over to have a free for all at our house and I didn’t care. The house was a mess (I cared a little), but I was much more concerned that they were enjoying themselves, their siblings, their friends, and time with me. It really made me focus on how much I love them and for how many things I have to be grateful. I also was reminded that I am not invincible. My husband and kids picked up the slack at home. Dishes and laundry were done. No one starved. Animals were tended to. And everyone survived! Was it all exactly the way I would do it? Probably not, but does it really matter now? Apparently not, because I can’t even remember the differences.
As for my job at the church and Bible School, everyone pitched in. Decorations were put up and all of the children and volunteers had an amazing week! My kids, especially my daughters, learned that they don’t have to do it all. Life will go on if the towels are not all folded the exact same way or the dishes get loaded a little haphazardly. They saw how important having good work ethic, helping others, and contribute to those things you hold dear, such as family, community, and church are. They also learned it is okay not to be able to do it ALL.
It is okay to ask for help.
It is okay, NO – It is crucial to take care of yourself, to slow down and get perspective, to simply love life and do what brings you joy. They learned what it means to be grateful for what they do have and not to wallow in self-pity for what they don’t have.
While this injury may have messed up the plans I made for myself, what I learned and experienced was more refreshing for my soul than anything I would have learned sitting at the beach or riding a roller coaster. Maybe that kind of vacation will be in the cards for next year!
The best part of this whole experience is the realization that this Mom may not be able to do it all, all of the time, but that doesn’t mean I still can’t be pretty SUPER.
Have a SUPER day!