I never fully appreciated simple act of bipedal locomotion until I made the flawed decision to carry a padded bench down a flight of carpeted stairs while wearing socks. Up until this point in my life, I have been remarkably lucky in avoiding any sort of serious injury. I’d had my fair share of bruises and scrapes, but nothing that caused more than a slight inconvenience in my daily life. (Side note here: Chris has also hurt his foot at about the same point of the stairs, leading us to believe not that there is a physical flaw in the stairs themselves, but rather that an imaginary ghost that haunts the bathroom under the stairs is upset with the length of time it is taking us to complete stripping the wallpaper in there. But seriously, imaginary ghost- cut us a break! The previous owner had papered the whole thing in TWO LAYERS of the SAME PAPER! Geez!)
My ill-fated tumble, resulting in a badly sprained ankle, occurred a few days before the collection of 20-odd family and friends were to descend on me the fiance for our first Thanksgiving in our new home. I went from a highly productive (and not quite frantic) hostess to stuck on the sofa with my foot propped up as I attempted to 1) figure out what still needed to be done, and 2) delegate ALL OF THE THINGS.
As a person who is often better at demonstrating how to accomplish a task while describing what to do; to not see what was taking place in the next room and being left with not only just my words was initially a challenge to my verbal skills. I quickly realized, however, how well I remembered my new house. I became quickly adept at searching my memory and recalling where a potential centerpiece item might be found, or an obscure baking tool could be located. Not being able to get up and just walk over to the pantry when I received a call from those on grocery store run led me to search my memory “ Did we still have any pecans?” (The correct answer was “yes”, but really you can never have too many pecans.)
And while this year’s Thanksgiving was a bit of “Trial by Fire” in its own way, the household as a whole passed relatively unscathed. The difficult part has been the day-to-day that I normally take for granted: taking clean laundry back upstairs, for example. Another is trying to run errands, where there is a lot of walking and standing in line involved. I have new-founded empathy for those with canes and crutches that I’ve seen struggling along side me in the Pre-Christmas shopping rush.
The biggest lesson I am learning through this whole experience is how to now ask for help (and not just vaguely mention that some assistance at some point would be appreciated). This can be difficult to do when it is for something you were only recently able to do for yourself, and it reminded me how so many of the consumers we saw were reluctant to both ask for and accept offered help. But we can all use help, in one way or another, because we are always making choices that put in positions that we just cannot deal with alone. In one small decision, one small choice of action, I found myself at the mercy of both my own body and the assistance of those around me. The experience has been a humbling adjustment. (No thanks to you, imaginary bathroom ghost.)