Stupid Human Tricks: 5 Lessons I Learned from A Broken Toe

It wasn’t dark.

I wasn’t drunk.

I didn’t kick my husband in anger. (Not that I would!)

I was simply walking upstairs to my home office, morning coffee and daily water bottle in hand. From out of nowhere, but actually right in front of me, that stair came out and viciously attacked my right big toe.

The same toe that fights gout every once in a while.

It’s the one with the toenail that grows faster than the other toenails, like it’s a competition.

In fact, it’s the monstrous digit I blame every time I go to buy shoes for making my right foot larger than my left one, causing me on occasion to switch shoes in the box to have one size smaller for the left foot than my right. (Haven’t been caught yet, knock on wood!)

Damn toe, damn toe, damn toe.
But it’s actually a good toe because it helps keep things balanced on my right side.

Obviously I don’t tell it I love it enough, so the powers that be who love to throw you the curve balls of life said, “On this day let’s screw with Rick’s right big toe and really f*ck it up!”

They succeeded. They did exactly what they set out to do. WOKE ME UP and painted my toe purple with more than a hint of pain.

To add insult to injury, they (the powers of the universe) caused me to spend the better part of the day after said diagnosis of, “Duh, your toe is broken,” hassling with insurance, doctors, referrals, etc., because they (the powers of the universe) couldn’t just hand me a “one-size-fits-all” broken toe.

Hell no!

She (my universe is a woman, no longer they) handed me a “need to see a podiatrist for this one” broken toe. Now, not only am I swollen, bruised, occasionally freezing from ice packs, and enjoying a kill the pain drug induced state cocktail, laced with an occasional glass of wine, but I am also in my head wrestling with the 5 lessons this one misplaced step is teaching me.

1. Slow down – not that I was rushing up the stairs, but I am rushing in life right now. Chasing worries, frantically looking for the right next steps, and rushing to get shit done, so that I can stop the chaos that ironically I know I am creating. Alas, and not surprising, that bitch the universe slapped me upside the toe and said, “If you ain’t going to take hint big man, I’m going to give you a reason to slow down.” Message received sugah (bitch)! I do love her though!

2. Walk with purpose – granted, my steps were purposeful climbing the stairs to my office that morning, however, I have to admit, I was in a comatose state of “been there done that, here we go again, another day…blah, blah, blah,” auto-piloting up to my office. Routine, routine, routine, instead of being purposeful and intentional. Note to self – you teach this philosophy to your clients, so now open up and eat your own dog food – walk with purpose, no leash required!

3. Pain is bearable – yes it hurts like a vice clamp slowly tightening every time I move (and those who been served a main course of broken toe, know this ain’t no picnic). Yet, through it all, it’s bearable, and not the end of the world, because your world doesn’t end until you end, and it sure the heck doesn’t end with a broken toe. Just sayin’! So I’m biting down and looking at the rest of the pain, or so called pain that my inner drama queen loves to blow out of proportion, and am saying, “Bitch get over it, this too shall pass and it’s bearable! Now move on!”

4. Open your eyes – now that I’ve had to slow down, take more cautious steps, and suck up the pain, I’m much more observant of what’s around me. Not really a “Stop and smell the roses” moment, but more of a “Ok, now that I can’t do things as easily, what is most important to do and get done.” It’s kind of fun being time compressed between the rest periods to elevate my foot, to figure out how much I can get done, and where the real priorities lay. Ironically, laying horizontal helps get my crap together because my eyes are much more wide open and focused on real priorities.

5. Laugh when you feel like crying – seriously, I’ve never put much credence in that statement, even though, my inner diva tells me, “Gurl, you got laugh it off when life gets tough.” Well now I hear her loud and clear. When the pain hits, I laugh and it goes away much quicker. When I question if I will be well enough to walk on our cruise 3 weeks from now, I laugh it off and trust. When that bitch worry shows up, I laugh in her face and tell her I’ve got better things to do with my energy. Of course I also laugh when the drugs mix with the wine for that little extra zest of induced pleasure, but don’t tell my doctor I’m mixing.

It’s kind of ironic. A digit, slightly shy of 2 inches long (yes I have big feet, size 13’s and make whatever assumptions you want to about that fact size queens of the male and female persuasion), gets shattered by an early morning misstep, it’s amazing what that big toe can teach you about life and living in the moment.

Now where’s my wine and pills!

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