Proceed with caution

This is how I felt when I woke up this morning. No headache, very minimal body pain, and, what’s this? A little bit of an appetite? The birds were chirping, the squirrels were scuttling, the world was mine for the taking.  This is the first Monday in 2 weeks that I haven’t woken up in excruciating pain, and I wanted to sing it from the rooftops.  While I have learned over the past few weeks that stress and overextending myself could very well have triggered this bizarre episode of pain, what was the first thing I did today?

Make a to-do list.

Have I learned nothing? The most enlightening part of being knocked down on my ass for 2 weeks has been the physical exhaustion. The need to lie down after unloading the dishwasher or walking at a snail’s pace for 10 minutes. As the pain has slowly crept out of the picture, the exhaustion has remained, like a night watchman who keeps watch o’er a sleeping prisoner, quiet yet diligent, making sure I don’t try any funny stuff. Like make a to-do list that may well be too long to conquer today. I can hear my body saying, “Careful…”

This is the part of the 80’s hostage comedy/thriller movie where the hostage and the captor seemingly start to become friends, and maybe the captor removes the rope that is cutting into his hostage’s wrists, and the audience starts to think, “Aww, he’s got a heart of gold, he’s not going to hurt her.” Until the hostage takes advantage of the kindness of her captor and gets too chatty with the gas station clerk at a pit stop. Then what happens? She gets violently thrown into the car with a gun pushed into her back, and reminded in a low, threatening voice, that this man is not her friend, he is her captor – violent, ruthless and punishing – and she must be careful not to upset him.

So as I check off the do’s on my to-do list, I am also checking in with myself. How do I feel now, body? Do I need a break? Can I make one more phone call? I’m basically treating myself like a 3-year-old who’s potty training. “Do you have to go potty? Ok, well let me know when you do.”

Hey. Whatever works.

Eventually the hostage gets the gun, but you have to watch the rest of the movie first. You can’t just skip to the end.

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