Well, that’s a wrap, people! I went through with the surgery and made it home safe and sound.

Funny thing was, thanks to a really good doctor and the miracle of modern medicine, the biggest post-op hurtle for me was not internal.

(Oh, trigger warning for anyone who would gladly trade a body part for a little peace and quiet and just can’t with me right now. I get it- we have that in common sometimes. Still, you may want to look away.) 

The most challenging thing about the past two weeks has been to do nothing.

Believe me, no one was more excited than I was, at the prospect of endless Netflix and guilt free napping. In fact, when I was making the decision to go forward with a hysterectomy, I had to check in with myself several times to make sure it wasn’t just because I wanted a vacation.

It took all of four days for the fun of that life to wear off, which is when boredom, and boredom’s BFF, anxiety, came a knockin’.

Doing nothing was surprisingly un-fun, and not because I have such a kick-ass work ethic or anything. (Obvs.) Actually, I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that made taking a break in order to heal so hard.

I thought maybe it was Facebook.

You know, seeing all those people out in the world with all their goings on, maybe that’s what was getting me down.  So I made what was, for me, a giant leap, and took the app off my phone. At the risk of being flagged by Zuckerberg’s flying monkeys or whatever, let me just say that, while this turned out not to be the answer to my acute post-op discomfort, it did end up being the single best decision I’ve made in months. (And you know how I feel about Facebook.) It has been nothing short of life changing, but I digress.

One thing that happened was, by cutting way back on Facebook, I had one less place to hide. Same with my daily list of things to do, without it I felt exposed and just, well, uncomfortable.

No, too general. Ok, I felt anxious.

Nope, go deeper. Ok, the truth is that without the wall of distractions I have carefully built, brick by brick, I felt guilty.

It seems weird, but the feeling that I do not think I am good enough unless I am constantly doing shit (driving, teaching, cleaning, trying, working, writing, talking), was so rock solid, and I would bet my last Percocet I am not the only woman who feels this way.

I can’t just be here– Mama’s gotta earn it.

One of the perks of having a hole drilled in your belly button and an organ pulled out is that you can’t get up and run away from the realizations that find you while flat on your back in bed.

Not that I didn’t try.

First, I did some serious online shopping. Pro-tip: If you ever have surgery or an injury or anything else that requires a lengthy convalescence, do yourself a favor and disable Amazon on-click ordering. The irony that, to escape feelings of existential guilt, I would turn to plastic mason jar lids, new underwear, black toothpaste, scented candles, and a spiralizer, thereby plunging me into still more guilt of the money-blowing variety, is not lost on me.

When that got old, I resorted to my go-to remedy for guilt and self-loathing, which is, as you may know, planning!

I planned the shit out of my future life. I planned meals and trips for the family. I planned activities for the kids and wrote out an entire home yoga practice which actually makes me want to laugh, it is such a pipe dream. I signed some online petitions and planned how I might take action on causes like gun-control and immigration.

Hey, that’s a good question, isn’t it?

There I was with all that time, and a deep craving to fill it, so why didn’t I do something worthwhile? Why didn’t I research the issues I say I care about so that my knowledge goes  deeper than a BuzzFeed article?

Why didn’t I write, since I’m always wishing for more time alone to do just that?

Because that’s the joke, y’all. Being “crazy busy”makes it impossible to do deep work. And even though I’m just learning, my suspicion is that it’s no friend to deep love, either.

You know how every yoga class ends with Savasana, or corpse pose?

I always hear teachers saying this is the most important of all the asanas, and also the most challenging. “Yeah, right,” I snort, positioning my little lavender eye pillow and settling back for my version of the pose, where I ponder the perfect shag haircut and consider what I’ll have for lunch.

It turns out that the reason Savasana is easy for me is that I’ve never really done it.

For some of us, being still is hard-won.

For some of us, believing we have the right to be still, to take up space while doing absolutely nothing, is the true work of healing.

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23 thoughts on “Resting

  1. You are so right! Not doing anything and having to deal with physical although temporary limitations and discomfort really takes the wind out of your vacay style lounging!

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  2. I can really relate! Although I regularly “do nothing” it is because I get paralyzed by overwhelm. So I’m “doing nothing”, desperately wishing I could just make myself “do something” and then that voice in my head (that sounds so much like my mom! 🙂 ) starts laying on the guilt about how I’m not “doing enough”. And then that starts the endless cycle of negative self-talk about not being worthy, loved, good, etc. So the “doing nothing” is rarely a relaxed, enjoyable experience. Very spot-on observations here, thanks for sharing 🙂 I hope your recovery is going smoothly!

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    1. Ugh- I hear you! For me, I feel like I won’t ever make progress with the things that really matter, like being more open, more generous, until I get a handle on this. But it’s a slippery one and hard to pin down, especially because today’s world loves us to be doing stuff. One of my main heartbreaks about my kids inevitably wading into social media is that they will get the message that you are only as good as your last Insta post. Sigh. Trying to get my shit together so I have a leg to stand on when explaining to them the value of limits.

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  3. We happen to be moving the day after I had my hysterectomy last year. I didn’t have any was unpacking the same afternoon I was released. The only thing I didn’t do was pick up the grandkids at least for a week anyway!

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    1. Thank you, Laurie! I agree that this is a plague among women, for sure! I wonder if I am actually hard wired for this, or if it’s a byproduct of the choices I have made, or failed to make during the last decade or so. I really do t know the answer to that. For sure it is tied into my role as a mother. Well, whatever the source- wouldn’t it be awesome if we could all be a little kinder to ourselves? Thank you for reading, and for your encouraging comment 🙂

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  4. I used to think “earning your space” was a Chinese thing, but it’s not. They just excel at it…
    Thank you for sharing your honest, messy, DEEP observations the way you do with grit and humor and shameless transparency.
    I’ve been in bed with a chest cough (again). In bed, because my children yell at me when I try to resume my regular schedule and now that they’re older (and bigger) they can be quite intimidating. So I’m getting you. Every hour on the hour.
    Love you greatly.

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  5. It is indeed the “dreaded cough.” it’s the fucking annoying, persistent chest cough that ate half my January and now half my February. Good thing I didn’t have more ambitious goals set for 2018. But I was healthy while visiting Jim in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, so that was good.
    Wish we could Netflix together.

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  6. I’m less addicted to facebook now. Not sure how that happened, but I guess I got kind of bored with it. However, I’m eyeballs deep in Twitter, so traded one phone addiction for another. This morning, it was misty when I set out with Asher for our morning stroll around the block. Usually, I’m glued to Twitter on my dog walks, scrolling through a barrage of lefty journalists, POC bloggers, Chrissy Teigen, and a few more randos. But since my phone isn’t waterproof or even water resistant, I kept it in my pocket and had to pay attention to trees, grass, wetness, my dog, the sidewalk, birds, and all the other stuff I usually miss. I need to to this more often.

    Also, you can easily get to facebook through your phone’s web browser without installing the app. It’s only slightly limited in what you can do. That’s my trick, and the way I keep a few of Zuck’s tentacles out of my life.

    Hope you’re healing goes according to plan.

    (None of this really has anything to do with the gist of your blog, but tangentiality comes naturally to me!)

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    1. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience with the temptation of these little devices. I always walk with my earbuds in, listening to podcasts, books, or chatting on the phone. I am missing out on some great ideas and inspiration by doing this, I’m sure. As for Facebook, I still go on for a few minutes twice a day, but totaling no more than 20 or 30 minutes, tops. I’m embarrassed to say how much time I spent on it before! The benefits have been immediate and rewarding, although I know better than to get too cocky. Luckily, Twitter makes no sense to me 😉

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    1. Really?? Don’t be scared. I do t know your story, or the reasons for your needing the surgery, but I am 8 was post op and I just told a friend a few hours ago that I am SO happy I did it. Have you seen the Hyster Sister site? Some of it’s weird scary shit but mostly i found it helpful and informative. There’s another blog that helped me as well. Dang. If I can think of it I’ll post it here. Good luck. Do t be scared. The worst part is the anticipation.

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      1. Btw, it took me a full two years after diagnosis and recommendation of hysterectomy for me to go through with it. You’re ready when you’re ready and that’s it. Look forward to checking out your blog 🙂

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