Monday, December 8, 2008

When life is slowing down

Thanksgiving I burnt myself: When I took the turkey out of the stove, the aluminum pan folded under the weight of the turkey and the juices splattered all over me. My left knee and foot and, more importantly, my right foot were burnt. The right foot was badly burnt, so bad that 11 days later I'm still limping and the pain is always present. I can't stand for a long time, need my right foot elevated or at least level all day. These minor inconveniences change your life: Suddenly a 5 mile run is an unattainable goal. Getting up in the morning takes 10 minutes more because of the impending pain, you stay longer in the bed, frightfully expecting the pain when you start moving. Little things like walking to coffee shop or entering a mall become major adventures. Everything just becomes a little bit harder, a little bit more arduous.

And, then you slow down. And you make choices: Do I really need to stop at the grocery store? Do I need the second coffee from Starbucks? Do I really need to run to this meeting or can I skip it? And, suddenly, you start to focus better. You take the time to read a book. You watch that movie you always wanted to see. You lay in bed just thinking. 

It's basically the body taking control of your existence. Just like when you have a cold or any injuries: the body has needs and it will take whatever it needs to ensure healing. Makes you think about the body-mind connection and how we are normally controlled by the mind. Just in emergency situations do we allow the body to take charge. 

Ironically, it's good for your mind as well. Too often do we forget to be grateful for what we have. To be able to run 5 miles, to be able to walk around without effort and enjoy the surroundings, to be able to wake up in the morning and jump right into to life - that's an incredible gift. I guess living through these experiences gets us ready for old age: Life will still be grand but things take a bit more time and effort. 

I can't wait. 

1 comment:

Bill A. said...

Great post Uwe. Thanks