Tomorrow marks week 3 since I had hip surgery to repair my torn labrum. Three weeks doesn’t seem very long in the grand scheme of things, a mere 21 days out of 10,000+ I’ve been on this earth. But they say a day in solitary confinement can feel like a week and I’m beginning to believe that.
That’s dramatic, I know. I can see the headline and I’m unimpressed too. “Unemployed Girl Forced to Lay On Her Couch and Watch TV“. Stop the presses. But if anyone has ever been forced to slow down, you probably know the madness that inevitably ensues.
I’m admittedly a pretty fast paced person (not at the moment, I literally move at the pace of a turtle). I love to fill my days and I thrive in a high pressure, dynamic environment, so the screeching halt I came to 3 weeks ago was a little jarring. I expected the physical slow down and while that’s been an adjustment for sure, the more challenging part has been the amount of me time I now have and the battle of unpacking my life, in many ways.
Roughly 3 months before I had surgery, we bought a beautiful house south of the city. A mere 20 min during the hours of 10am-2pm M-Th… or 1hour+ any other time of the day/week. Boston traffic is the best. Commuting aside, I was struggling somewhat with the transition. On paper, our house was everything I could have wanted, but what I failed to account for was the complete shift in lifestyle I was thrusting myself into.
I should back up and mention that 4 days before we moved into our house, I left my safe (but toxic) 9-5 job. Sounds great, right? In most ways, yes, it was. It was a tough decision but I knew this wasn’t the path I wanted to head down in many ways and I decided to take a leap of faith and hope I would eventually land on my feet (still waiting to hit the ground). I was excited for a change and a chance to experience new opportunities. I was lucky enough to pick up a couple short term contracts and I threw myself into coaching and teaching more.
But shortly after we moved into our house and I settled into the non-schedule life of a self employed person, the rainbows and sunshine started to give way a bit. It became clear that essentially every aspect of my life had changed over night. I went from an insanely structured schedule of working 50-60 hours a week and teaching classes on the side to virtually no structure, large gaps in my day, and far less work to fill my time. I no longer had an office or an excuse to see another human unless I made the effort. I had left the comfort of my 6 year residence, where I had basically grown up from a 23 year old post grad newb to a wife and almost adult, to an unfamiliar suburban town full of moms in yoga pants having lunch and nice older couples who ate dinner at 5pm.
I realize this is an impossibly unfair portrayal of my life out here but in my moments of weakness, that’s exactly what it felt like. I missed the rigid schedule that made me feel satisfyingly tired. I no longer had the feeling of accomplishment after succeeding at a challenging project. My days felt lonely. I missed my coworkers. They had become some of my closest friends and confidants. And most of all, I missed my home. The routes I ran every day for 6 years. Waking up every morning and looking out on the ocean. The comfort of knowing that we were the old people that sat at the bar at 5pm at Lincoln before all the 23 year olds came in ordering rounds of fireball. I missed my life.
Every day for the past 3 weeks, I wake up, say hi to my dog, hobble down my stairs and make a cup of coffee in my kitchen. I look at the mess of boxes that still litters our floor and think about how I wish we could just finally get everything unpacked. And I think that’s what I need. I think I still need to be unpacked.
My life is, by a lot of standards, in utter disarray. Everything that was once familiar now seems to clash with what I see in front of me. Remnants of my past life still clutter my new life and what I think I need more than anything is an accent pillow to bring it all together.
The thing I’ve been forgetting, though, is that the major pieces are all still the same. I have an amazing husband and our relationship is the foundation of this whole life. Our inspector assured us our foundation was sound and I think he was right. Beyond that, I have the most supportive family that provides more structure than I could ever wish for. And if I dig deep enough in the clutter, I still have all of the decorative pieces too. Running, travel, writing, my dog obviously. Some of them need a little dusting off but they’ll do just fine here.
I just need to find that perfect accent pillow that will bring it all to life. Because here’s the thing, no matter where I go or what shifts in my life, these are the parts that matter and these are the parts that make it home. I may be missing a few pieces but I’ll find them eventually. It’s just a matter of nailing down the perfect fit to blend my old life with my new life. I hear it takes time, so maybe I should start with a clock.
In the meantime, I’ll use this medical hiatus from life to keep writing (sorry people) and keep checking google maps to see if it’s updated the new direction of my life.
And if all else fails, I’ll just make rainbow bagels and call it a day.