A couple months ago after a few doctor visits, it was discovered that I had a hernia. Yes, me, a 5’1” 110 pound woman with a hernia. stupid. I know. I wasn’t too concerned about it until my Doctor told me that I needed to have surgery. And by concerned, I actually mean extremely annoyed. My annoyance stemmed from the fact that I would have to put my entire life on pause, because Agnes (my hernia) decided that she just didn’t want to stay inside my body anymore.
Not only am I a habitual do-er, but I consider myself to be a pretty active person. I run or cycle almost daily. I enjoy going outside, getting exercise, seeing the world and getting some fresh air. It’s my “me” time. My processing time. And also the means by which I am capable of reasoning with myself into consuming a high volume of burritos and tacos.
If you’re life is jam packed with busyness, like mine (I’m certain I’m not the only workaholic out there)you would understand that I don’t have time for things like hernias or surgeries. heh.
To some of you this may sound absolutely insane. Why WOULDN’T I want a decent excuse to be on a break from my chaotic life? A week of recovery to lie in bed and cat nap all day long? Not have to even walk outside where it is above 110 degrees outside? Or catch up on the Walking Dead and binge watch the new season of Orange is the New Black?
I know. I know. Something is seriously wrong with me. I love to work. I love to learn. I love to connect with other humans.
Either way, I did it. I had the stupid surgery (removing not just one, but TWO hernias) and here I am with my messy hair and my 3 new incisions in the middle of my abdomen, sitting at home, waiting to heal. You could say I am currently under construction.
But in going through with all of this, it has put some things in perspective for me.
What if I would have just kept going, full-steam ahed, not taking care of myself? I would have eventually run myself ragged with exhaustion and probably ended up sick, needing time off anyway. Even worse, these 2 hernias (in the same location) could have caused some serious issues and I could have eventually ended up in the hospital.
I shouldn’t be ashamed to take care of myself. And really, that’s the truth. I tend to think so big picture and want to pursue a bigger purpose that I often push things off that don’t seem to have as high of a priority…like complications of a hernia. :/
What I am saying is, it’s ok to be under construction. It’s ok to stop, take a step back and assess the blueprints every once and a while to make sure everything is on track, and that I am not getting ahead of myself and trying to put up walls prior to laying the foundation.
It’s so easy for us to feel the need to get ahead of ourselves. I do all the time. Because of just that; time. It’s so precious. So we go go go. And we try to stay ahead of everyone else, or just keep up. We constantly compare where we are at with where others are and than harshly rebuke ourselves.
It’s not healthy.
Construction or even re-construction is necessary. It gives us time to not only assess but also to innovate. A home built in the 70’s probably will need a few upgrades by today’s living standards. Are we giving ourselves opportunities to innovate? Without shame and harsh judgment upon ourselves? We need to innovate to our own standards, without comparison and without striving towards an unhealthy level of perfection. Pause is ok. Even necessary.
Where we don’t want to land is absolute abandonment.
When I ride my bike through my neighborhood, there is an empty and abandoned lot that I pass by. Where the ground was once leveled out and the skeleton of a brick wall resides amongst overgrown weeds, desert brush and dirt. A community that was supposed to be that never came to fruition. A desolate place that was once an idea.
Moving too fast and not looking ahead is probably what caused that to come to a screeching halt. A hard no after one too many yes’s.
Construction also has the potential to become too overwhelming. Too many decisions to make with so much information presented. We can become paralyzed and lose sight of where to go next. That’s when you might see a half built house on the side of a road that never saw completion. Inspiration had run out, potentially along with funds.
What do we do when we are under construction and the inspiration is gone?
In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, she shares about the magic of creativity. The hard truth she shares is that, for the most part, we are not going to be doing our work while simultaneously burning with inspiration. We have moments of inspiration, or spurts, if you will, and then the rest of the time, we are just trying to get the work done. Her point is that the work needs to be done either way. We must finish the thing that we had originally set out to accomplish. The thing must still be built, created or crafted. The gift, the art, or the message, still needs to exist.
At the end of the day, it may come down to our level of commitment. Or even our mentality around our level of commitment. Are we mature enough to go under construction and to still come out of it? Why are we so scared to lose momentum? Am I so concerned that I may (in a 2 week recovery period) lose my sight of why I choose to live an active lifestyle and not spring back from this? Am I too concerned that if I take a week away from the work that I do that it may completely lose it’s purpose? If so, it may be time to re-evaluate my why and why I do what I do.
Construction is messy. It’s inconvenient. But at it’s end, should result in something better than before. Let’s not ignore hints from life for when it might be necessary. Then let’s make sure we come out of it even better than before.
Are you currently under construction? Are you ashamed to take the time to pause and evaluate where you are? Have you abandoned your project completely? Please share your story in the comments below.