|Things you didn't know about me
||[Nov. 19th, 2012|10:15 pm]
When I'm alone, having trouble getting the lid off of a glass jar, I am petrified that I'm going to twist the jar, splinter the glass and slice myself open in a really horrendous fashion. I usually get the jar open about a second before I'm so freaked out that I put the jar back in the pantry and do something else for dinner. Usually. |
To be fair, three times in my life I've been opening a beer or cider bottle and snapped the neck of the bottle clean off. And two of my fingers look a bit wonky from having been sewn back together after poorly juggling wine glasses. So, it's not like there's precedence.
But still. Why can't I have normal fears? Like bears. A bear could get me. Nope. It'll be a jar of freaking spaghetti sauce.
I'm very, very good at falling down. This weekend, while cleaning up the yard, I took two rather serious dives. My neighbor came over later in the afternoon to make sure I was all right. That's what I love about him: an almost New England-like sensibility. He saw me fall, twice, but both times I got right back up and kept raking or doing whatever, so he pretended nothing happened. But, he dwelled on it, and thought that later, he'd come over and just check in to make sure I was still compos mentis and not just a high functioning stroke victim with a leaf obsession.
I do fall well. I actually did some training, to fall off a horse. Well, JUMP off of a horse and keep running. But well, they're running, you're diving...sometimes things don't work out as planned, so first you learn to fall. Leaning into the fall so your side, your meaty thigh, your meaty delt take the brunt (I know, it's like I was engineered for falling) of it, your body in a slight curl so there's no bones sticking out to catch on anything, and loose, your whole body just on this edge of rag doll. You have to convince yourself you're going to land on something soft, some gym mat or inflated pad. You never do, of course, it's always freaking rock hard dirt or pavement or whatever, but hope needs to spring eternal when you're falling, because bracing yourself is always a bad idea. You need to be a shock absorbing sponge.
And to never, ever fight the fall. Give up, expletive GIVE UP, the millisecond it becomes likely. Fighting it will only mean that you'll probably pull something going down, or land wrong, or land stiff. Which is going to hurt. Barring unusually painful surfaces, you'll wind up less hurt going down than by wrenching your back or knee or ankle trying to stay upright.
And that's what it's all about for me: self protection. I've shredded one ankle twice, the other one once, have one knee that's just itching for the final injury that takes it completely off the field, the other one's been tested. So, when I step a little funny, landing on the edges of two completely different surface levels, and my ankle teeters just a little, I practically throw myself on the ground -- anything to keep that stupid joint, which is practically held together with old duct tape and some spit, from trying to keep my whole body upright. Screw it. I know how to fall, how to protect myself from the greater injury.
Not just falling, either. I know, it always seems like I take on too much, try to do too much, wouldn't know how to take it easy if you handed easy to me on a silver salver.
(YESSSS! I've been trying to work "salver" into a post for months.)
But I actually do know how to protect myself. Of course, I have to be close to falling. But I will shut down. I will get 7 hours of sleep most nights, even if it means I have to leave stuff undone. I will completely ignore my phone/e-mail. I'll turn away from the things clamoring for attention to make sure I stay connected with my social network. Any given day there are a dozen things I didn't get to, didn't finish, didn't start...but right before I fall, right before I lose my expletive mind, I give in, I relax. It can wait. I can't. I can smell it coming -- like an electrical storm, the air gets charged and I can hear the whispers of "expletive it, quit it, quit it all, this is stupid, sell the house, get a room in someone's basement, do something you love/that's easy for a living, screw all the volunteer crap, you'll die and it still won't be done and no one will be happy...."
So, for a couple of hours, I give in, I soften, I fall. I buy myself a lobster and a crusty bread at the farmer's market. I spend $8 expletive dollars on a butter made surely by weeping angels. A bottle of wine. And I clean the living room. Just the living room. I sit there with my lobster, watching a zombie movie (because if you're going to tear limbs off of something and suck out the insides...what else should you be watching?) and go to bed early, a giant lobster bathed in buttery angel tears in my belly, a bottle of wine buzzing in my head, and let myself sleep EIGHT hours. Maybe even nine. No matter how much work I have to do the next day.
Because it's stupid to expect that tired, old ankle to keep you upright time after time. Cut it a break, and learn a good controlled fall.
Well. That came out awfully melodramatic. Another thing you didn't know about me: that's what it looks like when I write completely sober. Sorry, but I'm too lazy to go downstairs and fix that. (Another thing you didn't know: I am too LAZY to become an alcoholic; it requires an attention span and determination I just can't find within myself.)
But here, so you know the real me is still lurking: Today at work, when I was worried about something not happening on a timely basis, I was told that the responsibility for finishing it was not mine, but a colleague's. (It impacts my bottom line, sunshine, what kind of communist bureacracy are you living in - like I'm going to shrug my shoulders and say "oh, hey, it wasn't MY responsibility we lost that business, I mean I COULD have fixed it, but hey, why bother?) Which made me tetchy. So I said "Hey, that's MY business he's going to lose because he's not going to get it done on time. You can make it HIS responsibility all you want, but at the end I'm the one who stands to lose. Which is why I'm going to ride that pony with my spurs on."