Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Little Miss Independent

That is indeed me, even though I'm not exactly little. I am frightfully independent. Sometimes it frustrates my friends and family, who would love nothing more than to do for me. I've been doing for myself for a very long time and it is difficult for me to relinquish any control.

I am now in a position where I must relinquish.

It all started on that fateful hike, when my foot went one way and I went the other. Even though I securely tied my leg up with my jacket in the immediate aftermath, I realized I would not be able to make it back up the hill we had just hiked down, in spite of my best intentions. We had to get rescue services to haul me out of the gorge.

That took a great deal of trust, my friends. I aver I am no delicate flower: I have meat on my bones and those bones are neither dainty nor small. It took 4 firemen about 1 hour to carry me out. They had to take several breaks.

I told them they could just tie me to the back board – the board they use to carry accident victims on, and drag me up the hill. They didn't want to do that. I thanked them. It would have been painful and humiliating to be dragged.

That was the first time I had to blindly trust strangers to help me in my hour of need. And what a level of trust! I had to surrender complete control of my body for these men to carry it up the slope. Giving up total control of my physical self caused me to reflect that there will be many more times I will need to cede control over myself or my circumstances through the coming weeks.

My leg was so swollen I could not bend to put a sock or shoe on my hurt leg. I had to ask someone to do it for me.

I had to ask people to bring me food and drink. No way to carry anything while on crutches.

My poor home is so dirty, after 2 months away. I will need help to clean it.

Buying food! I had almost no food in my house after being gone for so long, but there would be no way for me to get on a bus, shop and then carry everything back.

Getting myself to class when school starts again next week. I have no doubts about my ability to teach, even with a bum leg. Getting to my classrooms may prove a challenge, especially in this damp weather. What if my classes are on the other side of campus?

            Another problem this weather engenders is arthritis flare-ups. I've long had arthritis but never really felt it because I'm always so active. Now, with the damp cold and being virtually immobile, having to use my arms more than usual is causing my arthritis to flare. Yesterday I was in agony after just doing a load of laundry and cooking a meal.

It is hard for someone who is used to counting only on herself to have to lean on others. It is a bit late in life to learn that lesson but necessity is my teacher/master. I'm seeing this evolution as one that will turn me into a more open, accepting person.

It is never too late to learn new things! 

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