Lessons learned while laying flat on my back.

I’m going to be honest with you, folks. I’ve been at a loss for crankiness crushers ever since I banged my head against the toilet on Saturday night after drinking way too much wine at a 5th birthday bowling party-turned-BBQ. (Who knew kids’ parties could be such rockers?!) It appears that as I dizzily plummeted to our bathroom floor while chasing my contact lens that night, I must have twisted my already messed up lower back in addition to getting the huge lump that quickly sprung from my temple.

Here’s how it went down: I woke up on Monday morning after a fun-filled weekend (remind me to tell you about the AMAZING Cajun-style restaurant that we went to!) and as I went to hoist my almost 2-year-old onto her changing table, my lower back freaked out and took me directly to Spasmville. OUCH. I dropped to the ground (yeah, again) and started crawling towards the phone but ended up being held hostage by a ridiculously painful contraction. Having been through this before (like only 3 months ago), I knew that if I moved the wrong way, it would feel like a fire was raging in my spine. I asked my little guy to call my parents for help, and because they’re awesome and only live about 15 minutes away, they came to my rescue. A huge relief–especially since my husband had to leave for a 4-day business trip. Great timing, eh?

Over the past few days, I’ve been a mega-grouch. I feel guilty that I have to rely on my parents to handle everything that I’m supposed to be doing, and I don’t like my kids seeing me in such a vulnerable state. However, being unable to move around has taught me a few valuable lessons that I hope to live by once I’m back on my feet again, and perhaps you can learn from them too:

1. Most of the crap you worry about doesn’t really need to get done. When you’re injured, you’re thrown into survival mode. It’s so much easier to prioritize what has to get done over what to-dos can wait. Being able to clearly see what’s most important (like making sure the kids were fed) was freeing for me, and made me realize that life goes on even if you don’t deal with your ever-growing pile of laundry or dishes in the sink. It’s a lot easier to say “Whatever!” when you don’t feel well and go to sleep instead of running around like a maniac at midnight to straighten up your entire house or play catch up when a day goes completely awry.

2. If you ask for help, you’ll get help. Often I mumble things under my breath when I’m unloading the dishwasher or putting away toys for the umpteenth time that day. Instead of getting annoyed that I’m the one always doing these tasks, perhaps I should relinquish control and ask another family member to take care of it? So what if it’s not done the same way I’d do it; it’s one less thing that’s on your plate!

3. Respect your body. If you feel like you’re overdoing it, rest. Don’t try to be a super hero.  If you’re feeling tired, then go to bed early and leave some of the things that are lower on your priority list for another day. Because you know what? It’ll all still be there! Most of the stuff that we think has to get done can honestly wait. But what shouldn’t wait is making sure that you’re taking care of yourself.

On that note, I’m going to heed my own advice, turn off my laptop, and get some shut-eye. Hopefully it’ll take me less than 15 minutes to get out of bed in the morning! That’ll be my crankiness crusher. 🙂 When the chips are down, you quickly realize that it’s the simple things that you take for granted that really matter.

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