I’ve spent my days staring out of windows, my own and random coffee shops alike.
I missed the last step down to the back door the other night after a few glasses of wine and now I am forced to stay seated as much as I can and think about how it’s time to read and write and also lay off the merlot.
So, I’m doing all those things. I’ve read a few books. I’ve scribbled a million hand written words into my black leather notebook and I’ve taken to tea in the evening instead of wine.
The thing I haven’t been doing is staying seated for too long because frankly, it’s depressing. I want to be up and about and outside. Even during winter in Chicago I long for walks where I can listen to music or podcasts or talk with my neighbor. I love being outside.
I can’t run. This is the worst news of all. I don’t need to add much here except that I have been in the best shape of my life and now I’m hobbling around feeling sorry for myself because I can’t lace up my shoes and sweat out the anxiety and stress. Running has been knitted into so many aspects of my existence and this loose string of a broken foot has caused a dizzying unwind.
Slowing down means noticing and I’ve noticed a lot.
Pausing between thoughts as I wrote in my notebook at Panera today I watched as the woman delivering plates of food to each table would drop the dish the last inch causing a small free fall and a loud clunk. Her mouth was serious and her look was distant. Who knows if it was something today or maybe the job or a million other possibilities- but she didn’t want to be there. Where did she want to be? I stared out Panera’s windows distracted and imagined her story.
Later, perched against the pillows in our attic bedroom I listened and watched the wind whip the last of the leaves off of the treetops. It was cloudy and bleak and brown outside but the wind somehow brought it all to life. I wished I could enjoy the cozy room a bit more and the chance to put my foot up but I gazed out the window and wondered when I’d be able to be back out there running again.
***6 weeks later***
The holidays are over and the house is quiet. I miss the chaos and I don’t. I limped through Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, hoping the lack of rest wouldn’t impact my foot’s healing. Eager to remind me, my foot tells me the truth as it aches at night. The few runs I’ve had were disappointing. I’m staring down winter and I’ve got to come up with a plan to be a stronger Lisa.
If I’ve realized anything from all this time off running and more time observing, it’s that I’ve got plenty to work on this year, this life.
Observe more. (Stare out coffee shop windows.)
Listen more. (Most people just want to be heard and don’t want answers.)
React less. (Specifically to my children, they deserve better)
Judge less. (Including myself! For reacting and not listening.)
Trust the love that’s brought me this far. (Thanks James Baldwin for this one, the work of Love hasn’t let me down yet.)
Happy 2020, friends. Slow down and let the healing begin.