Just 10 Minutes
On Monday we made out way to the doctor in Trail to see if I was ready to start walking more and let go of my crutches. The hooligans joined us for this one and things were feeling kind of normal. We were out in the world all together again.
It was a spectacular sunny spring day that seemed to perfectly accompany the good news that YES! I could begin to ween myself off of my crutches and begin to walk around with just my air cast.
After being at home, healing my broken fibula for the past 6 weeks I was finally able to go outside and have some fun with everyone. Hurrah!
After my appointement we went for a walk at one of our favourite riverside parks in Castlegar. A place where we've been coming to since before Charlotte was born. The skies are big and the trails are flat - something that is hard to come by in Nelson.
It felt very weird to walk again. I was much slower and there were all kinds of crazy sensations in the bottom of my foot, my ankle, my leg, my hip. Everything was a little bit different. Everything was a whole lot different.
I was back on my feet but things were still precarious. I needed to be gentle and mindful of every step.
Before January 20th, I was a busy unschooling momma, going on adventures, doing the laundry, cooking the food, baking the bread-cookies-muffins, filling the orders, writing the newsletters, cross country skiing. I would collapse at the end of the day, more often than not, falling asleep shortly after 8pm with the hooligans.
It was something special if I spent more than 10 minutes sitting down, doing something "just for Jenn", in a day.
When it all came to a halt, I found myself disoriented. And then I was sad.
I quickly realized it had been a very, very long time since it was just me doing things for just me. And what had that done to my sense of self? Is my only value based on what I can get done in a day? Or what I do for my children?
All of a sudden I was spending a combined 10 minutes up and about (usually on my way to the bathroom and then back again a few times a day) and the rest of the day was me in bed. Just me.
What was it that I liked to do?!
Luckily, I had time to figure this out. I couldn't escape the thoughts. I couldn't just busy myself with a task. I couldn't go for a walk to take my mind off of things.
But I could focus on what I do have, rather than what I don't have.
I have a business selling arts and crafts supplies!
I love the "idea" behind so much for the Waldorf-y art supplies I sell. I love that they are ethically and sustainably made with a child's development always in mind. And I went to art school. I have loved to draw and make my whole life.
A perfect place to start.
I grabbed our Lyra Colour Giant pencil crayons and a project book and I drew just for me. I drew my foot in its cast. I drew hearts. I drew swirly whirly designs.
I coloured the colouring sheets we'd printed off. Cute little mousies and birds with patchwork coats having tea parties in the snow.
I picked up a very hard nugget of modelling wax, that had been long ignored in the art cart. I warmed it in my hand as I read and then I made a long snake that I formed into a bracelet. The next time Charlotte came to visit I put it on her wrist.
So often the hooligans saw what I was up to and joined in.
We read books and we played quite a few board games. We coloured and sewed. We made a dauschund from wool felt and a unicorn horn from roving.
I knew I had to make those moments count when they visited because they would soon be gone again so soon. And they are growing up so fast. How did their feet get so big?
My presence with them is so important.
I got so many hugs and kisses and they are so generous with their love. They love me so much. Just as I am. Whether I'm scrubbing the toilet or laying in bed they still love me, but who do I want to be for them.
I began to read for me - novels AND non-fiction. I made an incredible dent in the pile of mending that had been threatening to entirely take over the sewing room because I love handwork and mending makes me so happy.
Slowly but surely I began to remember what it is I like to do.
But here I am mobile again. My 10 minutes of being up and about was growing quickly. I was making breakfast and cleaning the kitchen again. The pile of library books wasn't getting the attention and the bulldog we wanted to sew was forgotten about.
I still need to take such care with every step I take. How I spend my time is important because there's still much healing to do.
The ankle has been full of much wisdom and we've all gained so much in the last couple of months. It's easy to let all that unravel because the world has 'opened up" to me again but I have choices to make.
The choice to choose "me" isn't a selfish one. It's one I make for my family and for my community so that they (and You) can know me better and so that I share my gifts.
Every step I take, when mindfully done, allows me the opportunity to be truly present and create balance in my life. Thank you, Ankle, for all the gifts you've given me.