I'm tediously typing this with one hand.
I cut myself a few nights ago with an extremely sharp knife my husband made. I thought about blaming him, or just the year 2020 but it's undeniably my fault.
I was trying to pry two frozen burritos apart. Yes, frozen bean burritos. Of course it had to be something completely lame.
I knew it was stupid, dangerous even, so I was trying to be careful. I was trying to go slow.
(How often do we continue to do stupid things even though we know they're stupid???! Just me?)
But it didn't matter. The burritos popped apart and the knife sliced deep into my left middle finger.
I knew I needed to go to the hospital immediately, mostly because I saw my tendons, but I wasn't freaking out. Not even with all the blood. Just a cut. Just some stitches. I was more worried about leaving the baby for that long.
After an hour in the ER, several stitches later, and the accompanying examination I learned I severed at least one tendon and would need surgery.
Ok. I knew I needed surgery but I wasn't freaking out. Just a simple surgery. Just a little hiccup. There are smart people for this. After Monday I'd start healing and get back to life.
After my appointment with the surgeon the next day, I realized I hadn't even thought past surgery. A 10 week recovery, including physical therapy, waited for me after surgery. I was going to be one handed with a newborn baby for the next 10 weeks.
As this sunk in, my resolve quivered and I started to freak out.
You see, I feel like I've been sick for AGES. First, I had a breakdown and was diagnosed with severe high functioning depression. I put the breaks on anything extra and began focusing on my mental health.
I learned during this time that I held a deeply rooted belief that I couldn't be sick. I'll spare you the childhood trauma but I basically developed a belief that if I were sick and unable to be productive EVERYTHING WOULD FALL APART and it would all be my fault.
I simply couldn't have depression. But, I did.
Then, my mental health affected my physical health and I was diagnosed with a chronic bladder condition that was just waiting to flare up. I was in so much pain I could hardly walk some days.
I simply couldn't be sick. But, I was.
Slowly, things got better, medication, a small surgery, and a huge support system helped me heal.
Then, I got pregnant earlier than we planned. Like a year earlier.
And so commenced 5 months of severe morning sickness, some bed rest for a hemorrhage, and 4 hot summer months (is summer even that long?) of being really uncomfortably pregnant and paranoid of sending myself into pre-term labor like my last pregnancy.
During pregnancy I was so sick I didn't even have the ability to think "I can't be sick." But, I was.
Then, finally, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Ella. And began the following six weeks of healing.
I was feeling so excited about feeling healthy. Everything in life was going well. I started writing my novel again, my articles were getting picked up and READ by actual people, my little wreath making business was growing, our goats had babies, everyone was happy and healthy....
Then, the same day as my 6 week appointment with my midwife and my last almost 2 hour drive for said appointment, (halleluiah) I cut my finger and earned myself 10 weeks of weekly physical therapy appointments each with their own long drive.
And I'm learning all the things I can't do on my own anymore. I am literally mourning a loss of freedom.
I simply cannot have this injury, I thought.
On the way home from meeting my surgeon, winding through canyons, I kept telling my husband how beautiful the mountains were, how the fall colors were so stunning. His reply was that it looked dry. I mentioned it a few more times, confused as to why he wasn't as enthralled as I.
Finally he said "Maybe it's my sunglasses." which caused me to pull mine away from my eyes. Everything WAS dry. It wasn't pretty at all. I hadn't realized I was wearing rose colored glasses.
Realizing this was a bit depressing.
But, looking at the rose colored glasses in my hand, I decided to put them back on. Everything was pretty again.
And as I sat there enjoying the colors passing by my window, I realized that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. I can't change the trees but I can view them through rose colored glasses.
I can't change the fact that I injured myself. But I can be grateful it isn't too serious.
I can't change the fact that I am one handed for a while, but I can learn new ways to do things and grow in resilience.
I can't change the fact that things are harder but I can learn to ask for and accept help.
I can choose to wear rose colored glasses.
Now I see the blessings all around me. My children aren't hurt, nor my husband whose hands we rely on for our income.
This cut was an accident. Not self inflicted, as it could have been in darker times.
I'm more grateful for my body and all the functions we generally take for granted.
I have more empathy for those with disabilities and I'm grateful for their examples. I can't tell you how many times I thought "If they could do that, then I can do this..."
I have lots of opportunities to be proud of myself. For example: I learned how to dress my newborn baby (diaper, snaps, and all) one handed. Along with a million other things.
I am learning to let go. (Apparently I haven't learned this one well enough yet.) It's okay if daddy has a turn with bath time for a while, and it's okay if I get less done. My worth isn't found in my productivity.
I have given my older daughters an opportunity to serve and love extra and they have taken that opportunity. I get to watch them do more and be more. I get to witness them becoming. I get to see what they've been taught.
I'm sure that during this trial the glasses will come off occasionally and I'll feel the heaviness of all the things I can't change. I'll worry that the glasses are keeping me from reality.
But, I hope I'll remember to put them back on. Because how we view our reality is something we CAN change.
So, for the near future, I'll be rocking my rose colored glasses... and some sort of cast.
P.S. Microwave the burritos if they're stuck.
Hi! I'm Amy
I am a Christian wife and mother, a writer, and a recovering perfectionist who is tired of chasing happiness in all the wrong ways. I am now on a journey to find a deeper state of being. Join me on My Peace Project and we'll learn how to survive the chaos together!