Returning to the Real World

My so-called recovery  happened so quickly that my head is still spinning.  I’m no longer “disabled,” but I’m also not quite ready to return to the Real World, either.  Most people at work have no idea what happened to me, or where I’ve been for the past two months.  Some people thought I’ve been on vacation, some people wondered if I quit and/or was fired.  My favorite reaction came from a business partner who said, “I just thought you were…gone.” Another person said, “You look good. Of course, I don’t really remember what you looked like before.”

It felt like a whirlwind.  I had my wires and other paraphernalia out on a Friday, and was back to work first thing Monday morning. For those who know me, this doesn’t sound unlike me, say, having a baby and rushing back to work.  But something has changed this time.  Maybe it’s because I’m really not 100% quite yet.  I still can’t eat many foods, my jaw aches terribly by the end of the day and for god’s sake, how does one make it through the day without a two hour nap? 

What has changed this time is that I realize that I’m doing too much.  That may sound incredibly dumb for someone who chose to have three children three and under and who chose the challenge of going into a new job where I am an unknown.  Having so much time to do nothing made me realize that there are other things that I really love doing.  I love writing, I love reading.  I love making dinner.  I love watching non-animated, non-family films without interruption. I even love cleaning and organizing (stop laughing, Jen).   How can I continue to do these things in the Real World?

This is nothing profound, and it’s something that most people living in the Real World struggle with every day.  There simply is not enough time to do everything you want.  You have to decide what’s most important, prioritize and let go of the rest.  Now on top of it all, I have physical therapy, dental and follow-up appointments.  So I’m left with only a precious hour or two at night when everyone else is asleep when I run through my options.  Do I…go to bed? …watch TV?…do the dishes?  Really, I should just go to bed.  But now that I’ve had a chance to remember that there are other things that I love to do, it’s hard to give those things up now.

Of course, that just makes the 5:45 a.m. wake up call that much more painful.


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