16 Dec
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Finding Solid Footing this Christmas Season

woman elevating broken foot

I was sprawled at the bottom of the stairs to our basement two weeks ago, my foot on fire with pain, thinking that I did not just do that. I had slipped and fell down the last four stairs. It was late at night, and thankfully, my husband was home and awake. He helped me upstairs where I passed out for a few minutes and suffered a mild case of shock with uncontrollable shivering. I have given birth to four babies, one which weighed 11 pounds, and the pain that night was on par with my childbirth experiences. Seriously, I’ve had better evenings.

A visit with the doctor the next morning confirmed I had a bone in my right big toe with multiple hairline fractures. I was fitted with a walking boot which would be my new accessory for the next six weeks. I do not sit well. I like to move, go and do things. I’m up five days a week at 5:30 a.m. for a workout before getting children off to school. I had added running to my routine in preparation for a race in January. With one slip of a heel, that all stopped.

The doctor said to sit. He told me to rest. The mental part of dealing with a broken bone is turning out to be the hard part. I’m slow. Walking in snow is tricky. I need to elevate my foot when I want to be doing things instead of sitting. As annoying as the injury is, I have appreciated a forced slowdown at one of the busiest times of year. I’ve done more listening to my kids and my friends. Less tasks are being crossed off my to-do list, but people are getting more attention which is never a bad thing. I’m learning to ask for help.

My split-second slip of a heel on a step reminds me of how quickly life can turn. A broken toe is just an inconvenience. The bone will heal, and it will just become a story about that one time I fell down the stairs. This calendar year we’ve witnessed too many friends who have seen life altered with a diagnosis or a phone call. In a blink, all our plans and ambitions can change, sometimes irreversibly.

Every year it feels like this joy-filled season is over-crowded and over-scheduled. People, me included, grumble about all the stuff, all the engagements and the to-do lists. We become lost in the hubbub and the hustle. I complain about this broken toe, but it has gifted me with more nights in with my family, with sitting across from a friend over coffee, with more snuggles during movie nights, and with the freedom of saying no with no self-imposed guilt attached.

I’m grateful for the time I’ve been able to focus on people instead of tasks and things. I want to remember this December and how settled I feel with less holiday obligations and more focus on those around me. 2016 was full of unexpected grief and sickness for many we love. I hope 2017 has less of both and more of time with those you love doing what brings you joy. Truly take time to enjoy this season friends from the mundane to the extravagant and everything in between. Hold someone a little tighter and allow yourself time to simply be.

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1 Comment

  • So Sorry!! I just heard about your toe! I love your story–thanks for sharing and putting things in perspective! Hugs to you and your sweet family! Merry Christmas!