Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lessons from Bed: The crooked frame

Yesterday marked six weeks since I have been on bed rest. I wish I can say the journey to having held my unborn baby past the first medical milestone, 24 weeks, was easy and pleasant. I wish I could say I naturally took to being confined to the 943 square feet that is our apartment, or the 76 × 80 inches that is our bed. That I have been enjoying staring out the same windows to the same views watching random people passing by, and some times none at all, day in and day out. That it is pleasant looking at the walls and the frames and the mirrors and the floors for hours at end. That going through things that need to be done, dishes that need to be cleaned, potties that need to be emptied, laundry that needs to be folded knowing very well that I cannot do any of these things is not driving me crazy. That boredom is not so set in me that the mere thought of picking up a book to read or turning on the TV seems to require more effort, concentration and will than just lying down and slowly counting the hours until another day dawns.

One might think that I now have so much time to be productive: finish that baby book, work on that scrapbook, organise these photos, read, catch up with friends, when in reality having all this time is like not having any time at all. I am a person who thrives among others, who lives to be busy, who wants to have so much to do and so little time to do it. I crave deadlines, need chores, want to cook. I also like to have time to go to yoga, read a book, blog, get a facial, take a walk, talk on the phone. But not like this. I like that time to be carved out of the time during which I am already busy. I like that break in the middle of the day when JR is napping, or at the end of the day when Jeff comes home. I like that lunch date with friends on the weekend after I spend all week complaining about not having had time to get anything done. I want the time to relax to be part of my time, not all of my time. Bed rest is not my idea of having time to flourish and shine, to catch up and move ahead.

And so, I drag along. The days have turned into weeks, and the weeks will soon become months. What do I have to show for all this time? I proudly say nothing. The baby book is still unfinished, the scrapbook is still untouched and those photos are in no better shape than they were last year. I cannot say I have read any more books, watched any more movies, or talked any more to my friends than I did when I was not on bed rest.

But, I did do something I would not have otherwise been able to do; I started letting go. I let go of my ego, my to-do list, my timetable. I let go of my impulsiveness, my always wanting to make things better, to do things differently. I learned to sit still and observe, to ask for help, to silence my thoughts. I learned that not everything needs to be done right now, and that some things are fine just left undone. So, the frame still hangs crooked, uneven, lopsided; a reminder of what I can, but do not need to, do.

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