Monday, June 27, 2011

I Could Have Danced All Night

Yesterday marked 16 weeks since I fell and broke my femur.  For the past 6 weeks I've had to walk with a cane, but yesterday was my own self-determined cut off date--I decided to leave the cane at home.

My friend Brian and I went to Tribe again, our favorite gay bar, for Show Tunes Sunday.  At Show Tunes Sunday, all of the video screens run musical numbers, and most everyone in the bar sings and dances along to their favorites.  The bar was a little slow last night, and I was a little tired.  I just went to keep Brian company.  

That is until Maurice showed up.  (Maurice is a tall, sleek, handsome African-American, who we noticed last week when he high kicked and twirled along with the musical "A Chorus Line").  Maurice spotted me from across the room and recognized me!  We'd not been introduced before, but he remembered I was an admirer.  So he came over and said, "let's dance!" and pulled me quickly up out of my seat before I could say anything.  I jerked away and said, "wait, I'm recovering from a broken leg, I don't think I can dance!!"  Maurice just smiled and said,  "I'll be very careful."  He held my hands and we danced around and around, and my eyes welled up with tears as I thought about how grateful I was to be dancing again!  (I was a little wobbly, and limping some, and it hurt, but damn it, I was doing it!)  We finished off our number with some step-kicks just as a gang of regulars called Brian and me over to join in the sing-and-dance-along to "Springtime for Hitler" from the musical, "The Producers."

When I got out of bed this morning, my right leg was stiff and sore and I could barely walk.  But I don't care.  "I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night, and still have begged for more!"  (From the musical, "My Fair Lady").

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cicada Sense

The cicada insects were here in Nashville for several weeks this Spring/Summer, and they were everywhere.  They flew into my hair, rode into the house on my dogs' backs, even got caught buzzing in Steve's pants.  Then, as abruptly as they showed up and seemed like they'd be here forever, one day I noticed they were gone.

In a way, this is like my recovery.  One day I abruptly broke my leg, and while it felt like it would be forever before I would walk again, one day I stood up and began walking.  Now, I'm driving and back to trying to earn a living.  When I see friends lately they say, "wow, you're walking already?  You've healed so quickly, time has sure flown..."

But while the cicadas shed their skins and become a better, more beautiful version of themselves with a new sense of purpose, I've fallen back into my old self:  The me that is worried about money, frustrated by my decreased productivity, and stressed (which shows up physically as a burning red hot ear).  I actually caught myself telling a friend the other day that I liked it better when I couldn't walk because I was so much easier on myself--I was helpless and innocent!--This is craziness talking.  

My leg is healing beautifully, but my life is not.  My emotional healing is proving to be the ugliest part of this journey.  At 15 weeks into this experience, my leg hurts constantly and I'm not fully functional, yet I expect myself to be.  My friend Julie likened me to a toddler who is struggling to walk and gain independence.  Yes, just like a toddler, I'm finding myself throwing tantrums because I want my way and I want it now!  I expect my life to be back to normal, but then again,  I'm discovering that I don't want it to be like it was before my accident.  I don't want the stress, the fear, or the overwhelm that seems to be ingrained in me.

So, I'm striving each day to get out of this old skin and fly gloriously like the cicada--with purpose, patience, grace, and acceptance of what is--and damn, sometimes it's an ugly process.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Back in Business!

As a real estate agent, there is nothing that thrills me more than finding a fantastic new listing on-line at 11:30p.m., getting my buyer-clients in to see the home at 8:00 a.m. the next morning, (because I know it's perfect for them), writing up an offer for them because they love the home soooo much, feeling the excitement I know my buyers feel, and best of all, getting the offer accepted.

Since I broke my leg on March 6th, it's been pretty difficult to generate any real estate business.  I was referred to the above-mentioned wonderful young potential buyers on March 21st, just two weeks after my surgery.  I knew I couldn't drive to any appointments and I couldn't show any homes because I couldn't walk!  Nonetheless, I scheduled an appointment to meet the couple and show them homes, and my friend Jennifer agreed to drive me (my first time out of the house post surgery).  I didn't mention on the phone that my leg was broken.  My new clients found out when they met me in person, and they were more than happy to have Jennifer show them five homes that evening.  

Over the course of these past three months, my buyers have looked and looked and have made several offers.  They have gotten to know my drivers:  Steve, Brian, and Jennifer.  They lost out on a great house, patiently waited for weeks on a "Short-Sale" that didn't pan out, and passed on many other homes that just weren't quite right.  They saw me go from a real estate agent stuck in the car in her sweat-pants, to a real estate agent in modified professional attire walking with a cane!

After the excitement of finding this couple the home of their dreams yesterday morning,  Steve and I went to senior water aerobics and Steve saved the life of one of our 90 year old classmates--she had gotten in over her head and panicked, and Steve carried her to safety while soothing her fear.  Then we went to the doctor for my three month post-op follow up,  where I was granted permission to start driving, and I was told I can discontinue physical therapy.  

All in all a great day on my road to recovery--I am back in business!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Progress, not Perfection

I'm such a sham.  

I write these posts, and I attempt to come across somewhat positive, but behind the scenes I'm a whiner.  I cry after every single physical therapy session.  I cry not only from the overwhelming pain, but also with the fear that my right leg may never be like it used to be. 

I started my New Year (June 1--see my last blog), and it started out well.  Steve and I went to the Senior Water Aerobics class and I felt stronger.  My pain was tolerable.  I even swam some laps in the pool.  After we got home though, my energy was zapped.  I needed a nap.  I kept reciting my new mantra, "do what inspires you," as I rested in bed most of the afternoon until my physical therapy appointment.  

I really expected June 1 to be my last P.T. appointment.  And I reserve the right to be wrong again!  They keep upping the ante with more exercises and I continue to feel that I've not made enough progress to stop.  They say, "good job!" as they tell me, "you should be doing these exercises every day.  The Senior Water Aerobics is not enough."  At the end of every session, I sob.  Then my friend Brian picks me up and we go to "Happy Hour." 

I also occasionally shed a few tears when a potential real estate deal falls through--I'm especially vulnerable now, with my hospital bills looming.   This past Friday, a deal fell through and I found out by phone on the way to Senior Water Aerobics.  As I danced in the pool, I fought back the tears when I shouted out to Steve with a forced smile:   "Ah well, it's the Summer of Fun!"

I'm at the 13 week mark today.  Life is back to business as usual.  I'm back to making dinners at home, back to work with real estate, and back to trying to keep my self-imposed fear demons at bay.    I've come a long, long way with my leg, but I have no idea when I'll be walking normally without pain and a cane. 

So today, I recite the mantra:  "Expect progress, not perfection."  (A slogan borrowed from Alcoholics Anonymous)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Follow The Fun!

June 1, 2011.  Happy New Year!!  (For me anyway....)  Today officially begins my New Year 2011.  I figure I've got seven good months to make up for lost time.  

I had so many plans for the New Year last January.  I had a to-do list of aspirations that included getting my health in optimal condition, (and lining up health insurance), getting our home de-cluttered, and somehow balancing my creative life with my "job" of selling real estate.  I was having trouble getting motivated though, and finally, in late February, I decided that my new year would officially begin on March 1, 2011.  I was doing quite well for five days, until March 6th,  when I fell and broke my femur!
Life is just what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.  (John Lennon)

Now, 12 1/2 weeks later, I'm walking again (still with the help of a cane).  I've been out of sync and out of commission--literally, since my employment is commission based--for quite some time.  As my friend, Vickie said, "I've been incubating."  Well, the hell with "incubating," I need to start hatching!!   I never did get that health insurance lined up, and I've got hospital bills to pay!

Thank God I was able to call another friend for emotional support.  A conversation with my good friend, Arita Trahan, was the perfect medicine to quell my squirrel mind.  She told me that I don't need to get "motivated", I just need to be inspired.  She said, "if you feel inspired, do it!  If you don't feel inspired, don't do it!"  She told me to "follow the fun", to think about what I really enjoy about selling real estate and do that.   She said if I just "follow the fun", all my good will come to me, people will want to work with me, and the money will follow.  OMG, I love this!

After listening to Arita, I decided my New Year 2011 will officially begin on June 1st.  And my New Year's Aspirations are as follows:

Follow the Fun
Do What Inspires Me
Follow the Fun
Do What Inspires Me
Follow the Fun

Happy New Year!