10 things to do lying down

Copyright by Metajugglamum 07 September, 2011When the doctor told me he had signed me off work for 4 weeks with no sitting, no driving and no lifting after an operation on a herniated spinal disk, I was horrified; one month out doesn’t fit in to my daily plan at all, I thought. Seeing my face, the doc stood up and headed for the door. My dear Lady, he said firmly,  it is your decision, but please believe, that I have better things to do than to operate on you every 6 months for the same problem. If you don’t spend the next month lying down you’ll be back here before Christmas, but not on my watch.

Right then. I started to panic … 4yo just starting a new Kindergarten year, new job, own business … sitting and driving mandatory for everything I do. But as is always the way, somehow, within 24 hours,  the ether produced a crow-bar which has managed to shuffle all of our lives a tad to the left, to accommodate for me doing just that. For four weeks.

My next thought was, What the heck am I going to do with myself flat on my back for all that time??! I’ll go stir crazy. Ahem. Here’s my top ten list and, by the way, dear Doc, if you’re reading this,  another month would actually be great …

  • L is for Listen – Something I don’t do enough of in general. September is going to be a month where I rediscover my ears. I can’t multi-task lying down which means I can give my child 100% attention when he’s here which I’m sure he lacks from me normally. I also want to “listen” to music. As a teenager I used to spend hours lying on my bed playing records and really appreciating them. These days music is always on but only ever in the background while we’re doing other things. This morning I lay here listening to the wind. How often do we allow ourselves time do that in our busy lives? I should do it more – it made me feel amazing.
  • Y is for Yawn which I can do at the moment without being ashamed of it … followed by a snooze at whim! All this lying down business is exhausting! I can feel my body using up its energy to sort out my back, post-op, so I’m letting it take its course. If I’m tired, I sleep. A luxury seriously lacking in my normal everyday life.
  • I is for Insight – I rarely have time to read a newspaper and my ‘keeping up with the world’ has to happen on the go via news headlines, car radio or the occasional dip into the net, so I’m looking forward to catching up on the world and filling in some gaps by researching the bits I’m clueless on. Another I which I’m really excited about is having the time to I-mmerse myself in a book or DVD – TV series – unheard of in my normal everyday life! I have finally dug out Nelson Mandella’s Long Walk to Freedom which is enormous and which I have been holding back for a time like this. I started it in hospital and am absolutely engrossed. What an inspiration. And then there’s I-magination / I-deals- I have so many ideas flitting around my head and never give myself the time to do anything with them. Let’s see what comes out of these four weeks.
  • N is for Networking – This is linked to D and to I and, where life has always seemed to get in the way of where I really actually want to be, I want to dig deeper and explore the possibilities behind my own ideals and potential. I need to make some more changes and that could start here. Perhaps these 4 weeks are a gift! Oof. Planning!!
  • G is for Gonna get that guitar out! – I have had new strings since Easter and haven’t played once. If I lie the other way around on this ‘ere sofa, I can play in the ‘chilled’ position! Yeah.
  • D is for Define some serious objectives for the next two years before L goes to school. In exactly 2 years from now, we will meet crunch time as he walks into his first classroom with an official curriculum. I therefore have 24 months to get to a place where, in Sept 2013, we can venture out into the next 5 years knowing we’re doing it from the right base camp. Very much related to N!
  • O is for Obliterate all the rubbish on 2 x 500GB of full disk space! – self explanatory
  • W is for Work – being off sick isn’t going to pay the bills so I am still accepting small contracts which I can process using the laptop propped up on a cushion on my knees; Then of course, W is for Write which I hope to do a bit more of too … here’s the start..!
  • N is for New … this is a big one: New perspectives, old motivations rekindled and approached from a different angle, new objectives and a new hope for the future for myself and my child.
  • !!! is for Getting myself together and making something happen !!!

I am resolved to use these four weeks to regroup and review all our options. A month is a long time, but if I don’t plan to use it properly I risk fritting it away; TV, Twitter and the net are all alluring distractions but after my initial horror at “4 weeks of intense nothing” (quote my surgeon) this month could actually be a great opportunity to take a positive step to setting my life back in the direction I have always dreamed it would take. From my point of view, I may be sore, but this month is a gift and I want to put it to the best use I can. Let’s just see how disciplined I can be!!!

So now over to you. If you had 4 weeks of mandatory Lying Down, what would be your top ten list of things to do??

I am tagging:

@RedTedArt

@CoffeeCurls

@ChristineMosler

@MummyWalker

@HelloitsGemma

@SmallHandinMine

@Onlydads

Can’t wait to see your inspiring ideas! Link back in the comments when you’re done.

Cheers! MJM.

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10 Responses to 10 things to do lying down

  1. Andrew says:

    A great piece of writing MJM, here are the votes from the Amygdala.

    L is for Letting Go. I hold on to stuff for far too long, I still get frustrated by Nurses wearing “Do not disturb” bibs. Contestants on Red or Black or the ex factor being “Devastated” £12million pounds spent on getting Olympic Dignataries to the venues without delay. All bonkers, all maddening and all are frustrating. However, I can do little about these events, I’ll use the time on my back to practice letting go of my angst. If not, this angst WILL spill out somewhere.

    Y is for Yoga and reflection – Essential when planning to let go of L above. Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Just let it go, and breathhhhheeee.

    I is for Inception – I will understand this movie, I will, I tell you. 4 Weeks would allow me the opportunity to watch it until I get it!

    N is for Never giving up – I’ll keep calm and carry on – It would be easy to naval gaze whilst lying down. Giving up is not an option. Main focus here would be L above! Not that I’m obsessed with L you see.

    G Is for Guitar – MJM has provided an excellent metaphor for doing/taking up/re-visiting old hobbies, pastimes, etc which we have all placed under the sink, they are placed right next to the JML Steam Cleaner and Breadmaker. Yes I have one of those too.

    D is for Dostoyevsky – Perhaps a strange choice, but I would like to Read Crime & Punishment – 4 weeks should see me break the back of it. Or perhaps write a 21st century version of Diary of a Nobody.

    O is for Occums Razor – We often complicate matters unnecessarily. In four weeks I would plan to live my life by this Philosophical Principle. “Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily”
    Or in simple terms – two choices? The simpler one is best.

    W is for Wonder. Allow the true wonders of our world into my world. Appreciate the wonder of nature, trees, flowers, plants and animals are wonders of the world. Appreciation of beauty is a character strength. Something to aspire to.

    N Is for Next. The next steps, the next phase, the next page, the next…Plan and take action to be more in control of the next…

    M is for Mudita and MJM – MJM’s article certainly provided me with an opportunity to be in a state of sympathetic joy and to be happy at anothers sucess in life. Which is what Mudita is. I thank you MJM for a truly wonderful article.

    • Wow, I am bowled over! How on Earth did you put this together so quickly .. mine took ages!
      Absolutely fab, thank you so much for responding so creatively and SOOO much more succinctly than I did … men are masters of fewer words … perhaps with the exception of Bob *grins wickedly* (he’ll hate me for saying it, but knows I’m right … love him xxx)
      Fab response Andrew and thanks for the kind words.
      MJM.

  2. CoffeeCurls says:

    Thanks for the tag lovely lady. You forgot to add in ‘lots of tea and biscuits’! I hope you are ok xxx

    • Thanks Hun .. I’m gettin there. Just having to be OH so disciplined at not doing too much. Am really not used to this lying around on the sofa thing. It’s very hard!!
      Looking forward to your post x
      MJM

  3. Will says:

    Letters. Arrange them into words. Mix the words up till they make sense and then publish them in a book. I am a wishful-thinking author. A long lie down might consolidate my ideas, refine my story-lines and make them palatable for the rest of the world.

    Yellow. Or sunshine. Seriously lacking in this part of the world this summer. My long lie down would have to be sunbathed with a clear blue sky and a soft drink within arms reach.

    Interests. I have many so I would like to exercise the lying down opportunity by pursuing some of them. Clearly the snowboarding will have to wait but I wonder if swimming would be allowed.

    Noise. The prospect of reducing the general background noise is very appealing. So much stress is caused by pundits spouting opinion without facts or evidence on everything from the global economy to childcare and everything in between. I would also like to filter out the vacuous celebrity driven drivel.

    Going on holiday. Not now but soon. Nothing is planned but this would be the opportunity to think of the places I will go to when I am on my feet. Or the other places I would like to go to lie down.

    Draw. One of my interests is drawing. I like to think I could be good at it, if ever I sat down long enough to practice. The long lie down would give me space and time for drawing.

    Open the doors. I miss my family and friends. They are busy. I am busy. Too busy to connect up regularly but if one of us is in a fixed position for a period of time then it in incumbent on the other party to visit. My door will be open to everyone with news, a story to tell or just wants to hang out for a while watching spiders cross my ceiling.

    Wishlist. One of my recent pleasures is to think of things I want. Adulthood has meant thinking of other people, especially little ones, and the things you need rather than want. So a no-holds-barred, money-no-object, skys-the-limit wishlist will occupy considerable time during my prolonged prone positioning. It doesn’t matter if I achieve any of the the things on the list. It’s the dreaming that counts.

    Next. The book, the art collection, the holiday, the family gatherings, the wishlist may as well be the goals for the coming year and beyond.

    I haven’t had a long lie down but your post has made me think about what is important, what things would I do if I had nothing else to do. If I couldn’t do anything else. Life gets in the way sometimes but the chance to stop and review important things should be done regularly.

    Enjoy your enforced repose. I hope you get through your list.

    @willbuckley

    • Hi Will,
      I am flabbergasted that this post has stimulated such reflection and also huge effort behind the responses so far. Yours was taken from a different angle again and I loved it … I found your Noise point the most interesting – I want more of it .. it being lacking in my normal daily routine and you want to pipe it down. Different people, different lives eh!
      Thanks very much for taking the time. A very enjoyable read!
      MJM x

  4. A month! Jesu! I’d go stark raving mad, not so much because I’m some sort of ferocious athletic type but because I’m such an incorrigible fidget. I commend your fortitude in the face of this. It’s late for me (too many early mornings so I can only offer two suggestions.
    Understanding – you’ll hit a lot of that – perhaps at two in the morning in week three? Now is the time to finally read A Glastonbury Romance of which it was said “You don’t start it – you enlist!”
    Peer at the world with newly and drastically repositioned eyes. Nothing in your room will ever look the same again. Perhaps nothing outside of your room will look the same either?

    I wonder if the tags will work?

  5. Great post. Poor you having to be lying down so long – but great you’ve found things to do. Hope you’re starting to get better now.
    By the way am following from the Blow Your Own Bloghop.

  6. I’ve been on my back for a week and can relate! I know it’s been some time since you wrote this. But also thanks for the reminder not to fritter away this precious time on too much social media, etc. :)

    • Oh no Angie :-( I’m vibing you heaps of empathy and muscle relaxing thoughts all the way from Germany. Hope you’re back on your feet soon. I also hope you’re not in too much pain and can try use the time “for you” as best you can.
      Take care girl. MJM.

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