Life in the Slow Lane
I twisted my knee while running a couple of weeks ago. As my father in law would say, I’ve been “stove up” since then. I’d like to report some major insight from moving more slowly for a week or two, but truth be told, I spent most of the week mad as h_ll. Mad that I had to stop running, yoga and tennis. Mad that I had to draw attention to myself by sitting around with an ice bag on my knee. Mad that my coordination had let me down, and that my body wasn’t healing fast enough.
I prize efficiency. If I’m going to the game room, I automatically try to gather up all the game room odds and ends that have drifted to the kitchen counter, dining room table and bathroom floor. When cooking for one meal, I think about what I can chop or cook today that can save time for tomorrow’s meal. Moving fast is efficient. I like to walk fast, dust fast, weed fast, and go up and down the stairs fast. Moving fast gets things done faster and burns more calories. Two for one (a twofer) is the essence of efficiency. There is nothing efficient about hobbling around with an ice bag. There is nothing efficient about taking two weeks to heal what did not appear to be a very serious injury.
After the first day of feeling mad and just at tiny bit sorry for myself, I decided to practice what I preach and try to cultivate the attitude of gratitude. Surely there was a silver lining here if I looked hard enough. As I said before, I haven’t exactly succeeded at enlightenment, but I did notice something interesting. Just sitting around is inviting. As I sat with my ever present ice bag, my family drifted in to talk with me. I set up a puzzle and we looked for pieces while we talked and my knee chilled. We didn’t talk about anything deep, but we chit chatted about life. I also noticed that when I walked slowly, one of my kids would often walk with me. I have often felt mild frustration that he always lagged behind. I figured it was intentional and was his way of being independent while driving his mom a little nuts (another twofer), but now I wonder if it isn’t also that I “leave him behind” sometimes in my rush. I firmly believe that each of my kids was given to me specifically to teach me something. I have always known that this child’s gift to me was slowness. This week of limping has reinforced this belief.
The cuts, bruises and swelling are slowly going away, and I’ll soon be back to my normal “efficient” self. My challenge now is to try to hold onto just a hint of this so called wisdom gained from a couple of weeks in the slow lane.
Image credit: D.Clow – Maryland