Yes, I decided that since I haven’t exercised regularly in months I would shovel the snow off the long sidewalk, clean off two cars, and then shovel ice out of our three-car driveway. You might not be surprised that I almost failed my Logic course in college. I never could understand causality, which the middle of my back now greatly regrets.
As I swept the remaining water and ice that was threatening to flow under our garage door, I felt as if a spirit had balled up his or her fist and slammed it into the middle of my back. The pain and loss of breath brought back an eight year old memory – this same feeling hit me the day I was pulling a 14 X 20 oriental carpet up steep stairs.
Yep, my bulging disc was back. I looked up and saw a large Raven sitting in a tree over our driveway. He stared at me with what appeared to be disdain, and I took it personally.
I went inside yelling for a heating pad . . .
As I leaned against the soothing heat of the pad, I told my husband that I had hurt my back sweeping the driveway. He had warned me not to go shovel anything, so he was about as pleased with me as the Raven.
But I had found a reason for the accident. No, it was not my absolute stupidity. It was a message from the beyond. We had recently decided to sell our house and downsize, a decision we’ve put off for too long already. I was sure this was some kind of sign.
I think it’s the Universe telling us not to sell our house, I said.
The lights in the house flickered.
Seriously, I continued, it’s just kind of weird that the minute we definitively decide to sell my back goes out.
BOOM. Our pantry door slams shut. And we were the only ones in our house.
Okay, I get it . . .
Our house makes a lot of weird sounds, but this time it was just being sassy.
I can be stubborn. I have a need to show people that I’m tougher than they think I am. This is how I tore both of my quadriceps – I entered a “Business Olympics” in my early twenties and ran the 50 yard dash when I hadn’t run in years. I worked in banking. We only ran to the cafeteria for snacks.
I came in second place, which impressed everyone, but tore both of my quads in the process. I spent six months walking like Sasquatch.
Then there was the time I sprained my stomach in college because I hired one of the football players to be my personal trainer and he made me do sit-ups while hanging off this tiny square of a seat and I did more than he asked but then couldn’t stand up straight for a month.
Why do we need to prove ourselves?
The fact that I am alive and breathing and laughing and hugging others is pretty miraculous. I don’t know why I have the need to do something physically despite the fact that I am nowhere near prepared for the action.
I don’t know what I’m trying to prove.
I think I now know the real message . . .
And as I sit in this wooden chair for eight plus hours while my husband receives his chemo, my back would like to make a small request –
Stop trying to prove stuff. You might not exercise a lot, but you do a pretty good job of being a really good you.
So accept yourself. You are loved. Even when you’re out of shape.
Now put the shovel down and back slowly away.