Back in November I had open surgery at my local hospital to remove a huge fibroid. (apologies if this is TMI but for the sake of women who haven’t heard: uterine fibroids are a bummer, and they affect 40% of the female population. Get yourselves checked, just sayin’).
I was scheduled to spend three days in hospital followed by a month off, which ended up turning into ten days and two months off. I spent those two months at home, largely unable to go out (we live on a 3rd floor with no lift) just sleeping, eating and resting.
Looking back, it was kind of nice.
I feel quite bad saying this, with regards to my family and friends who worried (specially while I was in hospital), my boyfriend who had to play housewife (he discovered some things don’t auto-clean) and my co-workers, who did all my work (to the intern who did it for free: you have my eternal gratitude).
But it’s true, once I was released from the hospital and out of harm’s way, the forced rest felt good. I had nothing to do but relax – doctor’s orders.
Before the operation I’d had the misguided idea that recovery would be some sort of holiday (like women who save big projects for maternity leave) – I would finally read, write, tidy our shit around the flat.
But in all this time, I did almost nothing. When I wasn’t high on painkillers, I was just plain exhausted. And let’s face it, no matter how much time I have on my hands, I just hate tidying.
I discovered something rather precious though. It’s something every nonagenarian probably knows: if you only have two hours in the day when you’re not too tired to contemplate doing anything, you save your energy for what matters.
When life slows down to snail pace, you soon figure out what your priorities are.
For me, I found resting mattered, rushing didn’t. Phoning relatives mattered, keeping up with Facebook didn’t. Watering plants mattered, reading the news didn’t.
I drank herbal tea and watched enough Netflix for a lifetime (or so I thought then, until they released the new Good Wife season). I didn’t write or read. I sometimes picked up crayons and sketched daily life, just for fun.
I don’t think I’d felt such calm and contentment since childhood.
Needless to say, it was only good while it lasted because I knew it wouldn’t.
In due course normal life resumed. I felt a little more energetic every day, so after spending Christmas in France I went back to work. I hooked up with friends again, I finished a few books that had been gathering (metaphorical) dust in my kindle.
Eventually, I even felt like writing again.
So, here I am. It’s good to be back.