1 Broken Jar + 6 Stitches = 5 Lessons on Life

I’ve been getting around a bit more slowly than usual this week.

But it hasn’t been by choice.

I usually rush through my day, moving from one commitment to the next with few breaks in between. Because I’m so passionate about the work that I do, I tend to say “yes” to a lot of things and am always on the move.

I was abruptly reminded about the need to slooooow down on Monday night.

I was in the kitchen about to make this dessert for a co-worker’s baby shower.

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I grabbed a glass jar of coconut flour from our lazy Susan and was lifting it up by the lid to set it up on the counter top.

Within a matter of seconds, the side of the jar and the edge of the countertop collided in such a way that the bottom of the jar blew out and fell to the ground, lacerating the top of my bare right foot in the process.

I yelled as I realized what happened and started to see blood. Bill came running in to see what was wrong.

He tried to stop the bleeding and after one look, he said “We need to go to Patient First.” As I panicked and complained, he calmly wrapped the wound, and I hopped to the car.

When we arrived, they sat me in a wheelchair, so I didn’t have to put pressure on my foot, and I waited patiently until I could be seen.

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The nurse who initially helped me was the same nurse who saw me last year when I ever so gracefully cut off part of the tip of my finger with a chef’s knife.

“Oh yeah, you’re gonna need stitches,” she said.

GREAT.

I threw a pity party for the next hour or so as Bill held my hand and I texted a few friends about my unfortunate accident.

My friend, Corinne, provided some comic relief (friends are the best!) in the midst of my less than awesome night. Don’t mind some of my misspelled words 🙂

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When the physician’s assistant finally came in to numb me and sew me up, she prefaced what she was about to do with, “When I numb this, it’s going to hurt, burn, sting. You can scream, cuss, or yell, but please don’t hit me.”

Fantastic.

I braced myself.

I had a death grip on Bill’s hand and started DEEP breathing and exhaling while the area was numbed. It’s amazing how much that stuff from yoga, meditation and singing ACTUALLY WORKS. I hardly felt a pinch 🙂

I left with a mini boot so that I could walk more comfortably and keep it protected in the bandage the next day. Super cute, right??

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By the time we got home, it was after 11:00, and I had yet to make the dessert for my co-worker. Bill did it for me, even though he had to wake up early to get to school to set up field day, which is fully in his hands as the phys ed teacher.

As I fell asleep, I was feeling sorry for myself in a big way and was asking, “Why is this happening TO me??”

When I woke up Tuesday morning with a sore foot and spent the morning hopping around the house, I took some time to reflect on what this situation could be teaching me.

What if instead of asking,“Why is this happening TO me?” I asked…

happening for me

As I’ve thought about that over the past three days, here’s what has come to mind for me:

1) SLOOOOW Down

I’ll be honest, with my entrepreneurial spirit and passion, I tend to be running 100 miles per hour most days of the week. I can easily get caught up in all of the ideas, dreams, visions and activities in my life and forget to take a moment to slow down, pause, and check in with myself.

When I was at the urgent care clinic, the physician’s assistant who was treating me made a comment that resonated with me because it’s so true of most of us. Patients come in all the time and say things like:

“I don’t have time to be sick. Give me a pill.”

So many of us tend to do that, don’t we? We “don’t have time” to be inconvenienced or slowed down. But sometimes it takes something like this happening to make us realize we’re rushing through life instead of fully appreciating each day.

2) I’m grateful I can move my body freely in ways that I choose.

Whether I want to go for a morning walk, a jog around the harbor, a hike in the park, or shake what I’ve got in Zumba or Nia, I generally move in ways that make me feel good without thinking about it. I used to force myself to exercise in ways that weren’t fun or enjoyable for me, but I’ve realized life is too short to do that. I’m committed to moving in ways that bring me joy.

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With my friend Lola after taking her Nia class. SO invigorating, freeing and joyful!

This week, my injured foot has felt “tight” and a bit swollen, so I haven’t really been able to exercise. I’m really looking forward to when I can move freely again and know I will appreciate it more than I have in the past.

3) Having needs doesn’t make you “needy.”

We all have needs. Sometimes we give more than we get, but at other times, we get more than we give. Growing up in a home of ambitious, independent, self-starters, I was never very good at asking for help or what I needed or wanted.  I didn’t want to be a burden or look like I couldn’t handle something. But then I think of times when people need my help. I don’t think they’re “needy” and I’m more than willing to help them. When I’m in the midst of trying to “do it all” myself, I lose sight of that.

From the guy who held the door open for me and made me laugh on the elevator to my friend Laura coming over to pick up the dessert, Dulaney going to my car to get business cards and Kat helping me carry boxes out to my car, people were more than willing to help me.

I just had to be open to receiving it.

4) The body has an amazing capacity to heal.

The day after my injury, Bill looked at my foot and commented how it was already starting to heal. Isn’t the body amazing? It WANTS to heal. Inside and outside. Most of the time, we just refuse to get out of its way.

Several years ago, I had surgery on my hand and ended up with a scar over the knuckle of my left ring finger. When I first saw the stitches, I was horrified. This was my wedding ring finger.

Ring Finger Scar

It took 3 months of physical therapy to rehab my hand and get it back to where I could use it normally again. I was diligent about massaging the scar and patching it at night, and most of the time I don’t even notice that it’s there.

I’ve been equally nervous about my foot and the 2-inch-long scar that is now very visible just beneath my toe line.

I’m going to be partnering with my friend and mentor, Katie Hussong, to use healing oils to aid my body in its healing process. After all, they were the first form of plant-based medicine we ever had, so I might as well try them! I’ll be reporting back how the healing process goes and am optimistic it will go well!

5) Unconditional love is a wonderful thing.

I’ve been blessed with an incredibly selfless husband who loves me at my worst when I’m acting anything but lovable. I’ve struggled to feel “worthy” of this kind of love. But this is what real love is about – sacrifice, selflessness, patience, kindness, grace and forgiveness.

It’s about saying, “I don’t love how you’re acting, but I still love YOU.”

That’s how I’ve felt this week. And for that, I’m grateful.

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In the midst of our challenges, we can be open to learning lessons we’re often too busy to see when we’re hurrying through life.

I’m thankful for the lessons I’m learning through this one.

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6 Comments

  1. Such a beautiful post, Rachel — as always! Love reading your blog and so happy to have found each other through the incredible world of Culinary Nutrition. So grateful for your friendship!! <3

    • Thank you! I look at you as one of my healers 🙂 It has been such a joy getting to know you and I look forward to seeing what is to come. Thank you for being so wonderful and such a great friend!

  2. Loved reading your post – grateful for feeling strong and healthy and little “bumps” such as your stitches remind us to be appreciative. Wishing you an easy recovery.

    • Thank you, Harriet! I appreciate it. Today is the first day I’m able to walk somewhat normally, so healing is happening! I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment and hope you have a great day!

  3. Bhavana Singh

    I loved this post. I hope you are healing well. See you soon 🙂

    • I’m so glad! Sometimes we just have to be open to what life is trying to teach us, you know? I will see you tomorrow!

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