Have you ever seen the movie My Left Foot? If you haven’t, you should. In the meantime, I will tell you that in this excellent movie, Daniel Day Lewis plays Christy Brown, a role which earned him a Best Actor Academy Award. Christy Brown was an Irish man with cerebral palsy who learned how to write and paint, and live a full life with just a single controllable limb – his left foot. It is a true story, and the movie is based on Christy Brown’s memoir (which I am just now realizing I should have read ages ago).
I am currently in the complete opposite scenario as Christy Brown. For the past 2.5 weeks, I have basically been down one left foot as I’m still in the non-weight bearing portion of my recovery from foot surgery. And I have to say, Christy Brown probably had way more perseverance and fortitude in his left foot than I have in the remainder of my body, because the past couple of weeks haven’t been ideal. Nonetheless, I have learned a few things about myself.
Item 1: I’m More Acerbic When I’m In Pain…
and I need to watch that. IMHO, I tend to have a pretty agreeable disposition as a general rule, but over the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed I’m much quicker to make teasing comments that aren’t really all that nice. I’m not a fan of when other people do this, so honestly I’m pretty annoyed with myself for doing that. Neither time was intentional, it just kindof slipped out when I was dealing with something while simultaneously experiencing a fair amount of pain in my foot. I’d like to write it all off to the pain, but I don’t want to let myeslf off too easily. I don’t want to be a person that cuts others down, even in jest, so this is something that I’m going to have to watch.
Item 2: I Shouldn’t Be So Quick To Trade Brain Cells For Money
A couple of years ago, Mr PoP ran across an interesting question that is similar to his other favorite question – the 100 Boxes question. The new question:
Would you trade 10 IQ points for a $1 million dollars?
(I swear we wrote a he said/She Said on this topic, but I can’t find it!)
Mr PoP’s answer back then was no, but mine was probably. Based on previous IQ tests, (and because the way the scale is normalized and how standard deviations work…), I figured I had enough points to spare that 10 wouldn’t drop me all that much in terms of percentiles. But the $1 million would have made us immediately financially independent, and with enough brain cells remaining to still have a pretty good time. (Or so I assumed.)
Today, it’s a different story. After spending a couple of weekends doped up on Vicodin, unable to convince my brain cells to cooperate with one another and concentrate on much of anything, I can safely report that I am unwilling to sacrifice any of them for a bit of quick cash. Even if it is $1mm and it would definitely put us well over the edge into financial independence (and then some).
Life was just way less fun with my brain in the slow lane.
Item 3: I Shouldn’t Worry About Becoming an Unproductive Blob…
if/when we decide to chuck it all in and retire early. This is a worry that’s kindof been in the back of my mind for a while now. What if (when presented with the choice) all I want to do is sit around and binge watch bad tv? Or even good tv? What’s the point of early retirement if I waste my health (physically and mentally) by just not doing ANYTHING for days on end.
Well, as it turns out, I’ve now been forced to sit around as an unproductive blob for 3 weekends in a row. Two of them were even three day weekends, normally a pleasure! But I HATED it. I was bored off my rocker. All I wanted to do was get up, move around, go outside, or go to the garage and play with the countertop that’s now been sitting there in a “mostly done” state for the better part of a month now. Ugh! Every weekend, I’ve voluntarily logged in to work and taken care of non-urgent work items just because I WAS THAT BORED.
Maybe I hadn’t stocked up on enough good reading material – but I’ve been going through books that I’ve had lying around waiting to be read, too. 3 full books and parts of 3 others. And sitting around reading all day has just not been nearly as fulfilling as I have dreamed it would be. Maybe part of that is that pain and medications sometimes made it hard to concentrate as well as I would have liked, but I think it’s more than that. I like reading, but I like MOVING even more!
So all this to say, I’m not particularly worried about turning into an unproductive blob if/when we retire. I’d be so frustrated after a couple of days that I’d figure out something to keep me busy and engaged.
I’m still not allowed to put any weight on my foot, and won’t have a good idea until Friday afternoon if I’m in for another weekend of mind-numbing boredom sitting on my tush. So rather than being snarky about it (since I’ve definitely decided that’s not the road I want to end up traveling down permanently!), I’m going to try and flip the script and see it as possibly another weekend to learn something else about myself that I hadn’t really internalized yet. Fingers crossed!
What have you learned about yourself lately? Or when faced with a set back?