So I dropped my pen today. One of my average klutzy moves, my pen flipped out of my hand, landing in front of me in what would have been a worst-case-pen-dropping scenario if it had happened when I was at my heaviest. I dropped my pen in the middle of a wide and busy hallway.
In the old days, I would have considered letting the pen go. It might have been easier to pretend the pen wasn’t mine than to try to struggle for it in such a public space.
Retrieving a dropped pen used to take a lot of thought. If I decided the pen was worth retrieving, I entered into planning mode. I would need to consider my approach. Should I try to lower myself using my bad knee, or drop down onto the bad knee? Either choice would mean an afternoon of pain. Which sort of pain did I want to manage, and did I have enough drugs?
Would there be a chair or wall nearby I could lean into after levering myself back up, or to help me push my way back to a standing position? Wide hallways offer no support here.
Dropping to the floor is a simple matter of using your body to control gravity, something I became worse at doing over time, but could still manage. Getting back up again required real work, use of my arms and legs to hoist 250+ pounds up into the air, and my body was never quite prepared for it. It responded by dropping my blood pressure, making my heart pound, and then I would see dark rings or perhaps my vision would go completely black for a few seconds. With a wall or chair to steady myself, I could recover without drawing too much attention.
Then the ego issues. Who is around? Will anyone see me? Is there a small child at hand who can hand me my pen? Will my flushed face return to its pasty paleness in time for my next meeting?
Today I dropped my pen in a busy, wide hallway among college students. I folded both knees to get it, stood back up again and took three or four steps more before I realized what I had done. And what I hadn’t done.
It was nearly a thoughtless action. In the old days this event would have been one of a series of mean little physical challenges that built toward a difficult and frustrating day. Today pen-dropping is just a part of my natural awkwardness. Hardly worth noting.
But it is worth noting. It’s actually worth celebrating as one of a hundred ways that a healthy body makes living easier. I keep track of these things, and recommend you do too. If you have lost weight, become more fit, start a list of the things, large and small, that are easier now than before. If you’re planning on becoming more fit, make a list of the little annoyances you’d like to overcome.
It’s so easy to take the small things for granted. I’m often guilty of missing the details in my busy run through my day. But noticing the good stuff helps me protect my health. It helps me do what I have to do to be as healthy as I can be for as long as I have.
Write down the details, friends. I will if you will.