My apologies for the recent blogging silence. I’ve been taking a break, both literally and figuratively.
A couple weekends ago I went from this:
…in a matter of seconds.
Hello, broken nose! Hello, lacerated lip!
Here’s the story: I was camping with some friends and we decided to go hiking. Just an easy trail – no one was really into exerting themselves. We were psyched for a nice day out in the wilderness.
But, ahem, we were unprepared. A few reasons why we were dumb about the hike from the outset:
1. We’d had a few drinks the night before and everyone was hungover and dehydrated.
2. We only brought three bottles of water…for four adults and three dogs.
3. We didn’t bring a map.
4. My hiking shoes were old. (This one’s all me.)
Not surprisingly, we got lost. Six hours later, our easy hike was turned into an all-out quest. I was worried about the dogs. I was worried about taking a shower. I was worried about how soon I could eat a hamburger. I was not at all worried about where I was putting my feet.
So I fell. Hard. And since I was carrying a big plastic dog leash, I couldn’t break the fall with my hands – I broke it with my face instead. And let me tell you, it was scary. And there was a lot of blood. I immediately started screaming.
First I yelled out, “I broke my nose!” Then I yelled, “I’m going to die!” Then, “But I liked my noooooose!” Glad to see that even in a moment of terror, I still had the presence of mind to be vain.
Anyway. As you can see, there were numerous factors that contributed to my fall. But I know, deep in the place where you know these things, that I fell because I was exhausted. Not just from our long, unprepared-for hike, but from life in general.
I wouldn’t take a break, so my body gave me one. Literally.
I am an over-planner. I love to do stuff and I hate to say no. I hate it. I feel like if I say no to a proposed plan, the planner will think I don’t love them. Or that they won’t invite me again the next time. So I end up saying yes to virtually everything that comes my way, which means I am almost always over extended. My exhaustion from summer comings and goings had been building and building and I wasn’t listening to it. I thought I could just power through until the fall.
But the truth is, you should never power through. There should always be enough time – even if it’s only an hour here and there – to rest, relax and rejuvenate. This may mean I have to cancel plans at the last minute sometimes. It may mean I have to say no. But it’s something I need to do. I need to take care of myself because I am the only one who really knows how I’m feeling.
This is the lesson I’m taking from my epic spill. To listen to my body.
Everyone else, please, make an example out of me! The next time you’re burning a candle at both ends, just take a look of that lovely photo of my busted up face. Or use it to scare small children. Whatever.
And with that, I’m off to take a nap!