A few weeks ago I was on my way to a nearby cafe to work on emails before an afternoon appointment. I was feeling stylish in my snazzy new glasses and least ratty outfit, on my way to get caught up on work so I could blog to my heart’s content.
But instead, the worst thing in the world happened that day.
Less than ten feet from my car, I walked over a patch of black ice and decided to try out a side lunge that would put an Olympic gymnast to shame. The Olympic gymnast might have known how to lunge without snapping anything. I’m not that adroit.
A good Samaritan was soon helping me crawl back to my car where I used my good foot to drive down to the ER, all the way screeching a pitch-perfect rendition of Marriage of Figaro (well, the high notes anyway). It would be afternoon before the Big Guy wheeled me out to the car bearing a snazzy new cast and equally snazzy crutches.
And the worst thing in the world was still waiting to happen.
About the time I crawled in the front door, I realized I was going to need help with a few things – hobbling, bathing, cooking a roast beef with Yorkshire pudding – over the next few days. The Big Guy was a true hero, helping me get to the recliner as he got dinner started – all in a single bound. Thing1 and Thing2 came home soon after, eager to wait on me hand and foot.
Being waited on was fun for about fifteen minutes.
At the end of the fifteen minutes, I started to feel guilty every time I had to ask someone else for help with things I never think about. A well-known squirmer, I could feel my butt developing hives as I watched the Big Guy and the boys do my jobs. I worried about burdening others with everyday duties like laundry – which, in an off-grid house, is a fine-tuned procedure in the winter. And that’s when the worst thing in the world happened.
See, once in a while I indulge in this fantasy about getting JK Rowling or SuperLotto Jackpot winner rich (you know you do it too). Usually the fantasy involves being thin enough to enjoy an orgy of shopping and the house getting clean without me cleaning it. As I watched my own family get dinner and pillows, however, I realized I wouldn’t ever have that fantasy again (except for the thin part of course).
Suddenly, there was the unpleasant recognition that on the few occasions my house is clean, it’s because I’ve been watching too many DIY shows and want the satisfaction of doing it myself. There was the inconveniet knowledge that while, I work to pay bills and keep the health insurance going, it doesn’t matter if I ever make a dime writing or drawing – my life work – as long as I get to do them.
And that was the absolute worst thing in the world – that realization that, even with a bum leg, an eye determined to deteriorate, work overload, and a list of upcoming chores a mile long, my reality was still way better than my best fantasy.