I fell on the ice. I was trying to carry a 50 lb bag of feed from the garage to the barn in the dark because I needed to get the feed out of the back of my car so I can put Java in there tomorrow when some woman and her kids come to look at the house.
My feet shot out from under me and all the things I did to try and break my fall probably hurt me even worse. I hurt my neck, head, back, left arm and shoulder, right hamstring, and left knee. The neck and head hurt the worst. That, and just the emotional fatigue of taking yet one more ouch.
But I did carry two 50 lb bags out to the barn, plus a bag of shavings.
The fall totally screwed up my plans for the evening. It’s Wednesday night, so I was supposed to be going to my class at church on spiritual gifts. After answering 135 questions meant to find my top three gifts, I’m pretty sure I’m a closet atheist and have no gifts.
I do have talents, but they aren’t exactly spiritually driven. So all my scores in the categories were pretty low, but the top one was Mercy. Of course, when you’ve had a life like mine, you have a lot of empathy for other people who are suffering since you know how they are feeling.
The next one was Creative Communication. That makes sense because of the writing and music interests.
The third one was Word of Knowledge. Huh? This means I’m supposed to have biblical insight. Hmmm… Most of the time, long-time Christians don’t much like my insights. I’m sure I scored points in this area because I’m inquisitive, observant, insightful, reflective, and horribly truthful. I consider it my responsibility to say all the stuff that most people think, but are smart enough to keep to themselves.
So here I go again. I actually wrote the thing (is it a poem?) at the bottom of this post two days ago, not realizing how I would relate to it today in a physical way.
When I wrote it, I was thinking about how it feels to be going through divorce in my 50s. It’s much different than my first divorce when I was 26 and my second divorce when I was 32. At those ages, I still had so many things going on in my life.
At 26, I’d been promoted from a clerical position to a Technical Writing job, which was quite a jump in pay. I’d just started to ride horses and was working weekends at a stable. I was so happy and excited about finally pursuing my passion, which is part of what ended my brief marriage. He suddenly wasn’t happy anymore and it was my fault. It always is.
Right away, I hooked up with someone else and fell in love with his three-year-old daughter. Husband #2 had custody and the child needed someone to bathe her, wash her clothes, feed her, put her to bed before midnight and make sure she got a bedtime story to boot. Lord, I had to marry the guy so I could be with this little girl that I adored. That’s how I ended up in an abusive marriage.
At the time of my second divorce, I was busy raising my three-year-old son, going through intensive therapy, volunteering at a women’s shelter, trying to finish my BA, which I finally completed at age 40, and working a lot of overtime. I think I bought my house when I was 39 and met my third husband when I was 41.
Now, I’m 52 and I’m at a point in my life when I’m slowing down, wanting to take it easier, to simplify my life. I’m so tired. I don’t have a child to keep me busy. I don’t catch men’s eyes anymore. No one at work looks at me as a promising super star but as a person on their way out and not worth investing in.
And so, this is what came out of my head…
Feeling skeletal, not because of weight loss,
But because of the feeling of being completely exposed to the elements.
No padding or protection.
Bone grinds against bone.
No muscle or strength.
Maybe it’s lack of touch.
Maybe it’s people looking right through me
Or looking away,
as though they can’t stand to watch
the collapse of bone,
with no tendons to pull the thing back upright.