Mindfulness! It’s everywhere.
A couple of weeks ago, on a cold Friday morning, I was living mindfully in the moment as I stepped out my back door. I was mindful of the bright sun, which has been rising a little earlier every morning as March replaces February. I was mindful of some green shoots sticking through the snow, sure signs of spring in this late-lingering winter. I was mindful of the cold, clear air as I inhaled. And exhaled. And inhaled again. And I paid attention to inhaling, and exhaling, and inhaling again, because when you’re being mindful that’s what you do.
What I was not mindful of – not at all – was the super-thin sheen of ice that had formed overnight on my otherwise cleanly-shoveled back porch. So the minute I stepped out the door my feet went flying out from under me and I tumbled down the steps, with unfortunate results for my left shoulder.
It’s not dire, this shoulder problem. It’s just one of those things that most of us do to ourselves every now and again – sprain an ankle, break a toe, wrench a knee. (At least, I do those things to myself every so often. You, perhaps, are more coordinated, or more mindful. In either case, my hat's off to you.)
Not dire, no; but a bit of an inconvenience, to be sure. I can’t drive; I can’t open jars without help. I can’t do yoga – the heart of my mindfulness practice. Yoga is one of my favorite things, and I am truly bummed about being sidelined. I am mindful of how full my mind is of minding not doing yoga.
I’ve been in and out of a sling for the past two and a half weeks; and after shopping several drug stores the only one I could find is a dull shade of gray-white:
A dubious fashion choice. I would much rather have magenta.
So be it. If mindfulness is taking a holiday at the moment, there is always gratitude. Gratitude is as everywhere as mindfulness!
Really, there is much to be grateful for. First off: my Photoshop finger still works just fine. In fact, three of my four limbs are in fine shape, so I can manage most of my (non-yoga) life activities.
Not driving is as much a blessing as a curse, since I hate driving. Public transit works well enough in greater Boston that it can get me to most places I have to go, albeit at a more leisurely pace. All of which gives me more time to spending walking outside, being mindful of the bright sun and the chirping birds and the cold crisp air and all that inhaling and exhaling shit.
I am grateful that the arm-in-a-sling thing turns out to be fiscally prudent – I’ve passed up several opportunities to go shopping for spring clothes, since getting dressed and undressed is probably my least favorite activity at the moment.
Oh, and here’s another unexpected object of gratitude! People are nice to you when you wear a sling. Shortly after my fall I had a work trip to St. Louis, and, as I always do in St. Louis, I went to Mission Taco for dinner. Mission Taco has my favorite tacos anywhere – they are awesome.
I am grateful for the habanero shrimp at Mission Taco.
So are many others, it turns out, because this place is always jammed, standing room only even on a Monday night during spring vacation at nearby Wash U St. Louis.
Here’s the thing about Mission Taco: the waitstaff are always surly. ALWAYS. They can afford to be surly, because the tacos are that good. But on that Monday, when I arrived and slid onto a bar stool with my arm in a fashion-backward light gray sling, they were not surly to me! First observed incident of waitstaff politeness ever, in maybe a dozen visits to Mission Taco!
I am grateful for that not-surliness. And I am grateful that my shopping hiatus left me with more money to spend on habanero shrimp tacos. Because they are that good.
Mostly I am grateful because slipping on the ice is no joke – less so the older I get – and I am mindful (mindful!) that the outcome of all this could have been much, much worse.
The sling could have been available only in yellow. And I look awful in yellow.