When you can’t trade your body in for a newer model…

Photo by Olia Gozha on Unsplash

Don’t you love how when you make a plan, life steps in and disrupts even the best laid plans?

Truthfully? I don’t!

But it all comes back to accepting what is, and working with what is in front of me, not what I wish was there.

I had planned on finishing up organizing our bedroom. On getting the bags for giveaway out to my car for giving away to a shelter downtown.

I had planned on moving the chair from our bedroom to the den downstairs.

I had planned a lot of things for this week to get done in the evenings. And then life stepped in.

Well, actually, a shoulder injury erupted and now I can’t move my left arm without a whole bunch of grunting and groaning.

My office is a 10 minute walk from where I park my car. Last year, in an effort to create more space for youth programming we moved several teams to office space provided by the Calgary Police Service. It’s part of a larger initiative to set up a ‘Family Hub’ in the downtown core that will provide vulnerable children and their families access to vital resources to help them navigate housing crisis and prevent homelessness.

It is a big idea that is starting to really take shape. It’s a big idea that could make a big difference in the lives of vulnerable children and their families. And I am grateful to be part of it.

I also love my new office space as does the team. It’s bright and airy, spacious. But, to keep costs down, we kept our parking at the location next to the family emergency shelter for which I work. It was a twofold decision. Parking is less expensive just out of the downtown core and, by parking at the shelter, I intentionally go through the shelter on my way to my office. Which means, I connect with the team at the shelter and stay better connected to ‘the cause’ — ending child and family homelessness.

Challenge is, some days my bag is too heavy.

Like yesterday.

I had a stack of folders I carried with me Friday when I left the office because my first three meetings were at the shelter yesterday morning.

And then, I picked up supplies at the shelter after my meeting and loaded up my bag. Throwing it over my left shoulder, I took the walk to my office.

When I had to go back for a meeting later in the day, I loaded up my bag with more folders I knew I’d need later.

Which wouldn’t be too bad if several dislocations in years gone by hadn’t created an unstable shoulder. Loading it up doesn’t work.

And so, my best laid plans went awry.

I had to deal with what is, not what I wished.

And yes, accountability-wise, I did overload my bag and I did put too much strain on my shoulder.

But dang, if only it was not so sensitive to the things I do that don’t support me. If only I hadn’t dislocated it so often skiing hard and fast in those days gone by when I thought skiing hard and fast was the only way to ski!

If only…

See, I know loading up my bag and throwing it over my shoulder doesn’t work.

I did it anyway because in that moment, my shoulder was fine.

And that is where accountability truly does matter.

To be accountable means working ‘with’ my body, not against it. It means honouring those places where old injuries have undermined joints and muscles. It means keeping joints and muscles strong today.

I loaded up my bag yesterday.

It wasn’t the smartest thing to do and now, I’m paying the price.

Note to self:  Take care of your body. It’s the only vehicle you’ve got to get around in this world. You can’t trade it in for a newer model so you’ve got to treat this one like it’s made to last!


Photo by Olia Gozha on Unsplash

11 thoughts on “When you can’t trade your body in for a newer model…

    • Unfortunately, the betrayal in this case started with me, myself and I! I know better — and do it anyway (heavy bag on one shoulder) Thanks so much Mary. It’s already feeling much more relaxed! ❤


      • It is true that when one uses one, the people tend to hold one in small regard — be a great way to get a little taste of what your clients go through! During my two years of disabled suffering homelessness, even beyond the hunger, the cold, the fear and despair was the constant, unremitting, almost universal despisal of my fellowman. There were whole days in which, of all of the thousands of pairs of eyes to which I was perforce exposed, I did not look into a single sympathetic pair.


      • Well, barely removed. Still in a tent. According to California law it’s still illegal for me to exist in this world, and if arrested I am liable to imprisonment as — get this– criminally insane, one of the three mandatory, stand alone criteria for this designation being the inability to keep a roof over my head. You probably know what that means — no visitors, no correspondence, no say over my “medication,” and no requirement for either hearing or release dates.

        If you’d like an advocacy tool, go to http://yoursfoolie.wordpress.com and click on “The New Holocaust.”

        Released two years ago, it’s been reviewed by both Rebelle and Namaste, and is currently doing its little bit to create compassion worldwide. You’ll have to have a kind eye for editing, however, as it was written curbside and in considerable distress…


  1. Okay girl, so you have finally concluded that “thou is not Wonder Woman” or any variation thereof. Now the next step. One of your readers has already made an excellent suggestion. Heed and thy shoulders will be eternally gratefully. Next, take in stride that thou is now slightly older and therefore some concessions need to be made or your work, and daily life activities writ large, will suffer. And we know that you have so much more to offer, professionally and creatively. Please, listen to the pain, take time and energy to heal so that you can enjoy life and we get to enjoy reading about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Iwona, I adore you! I love your spirit and how you express yourself. And I am listening. Those concessions are slow in coming for me! LOL — I think I may be stalling myself in accepting that ageing is a journey through Love, not disappointment that my body is not as flexible or adaptable or easy to heal as in the past! Thank you for the encouragement and wisdom my friend. ❤


  2. I needed this reminder, Louise, as I am struggling with a couple of addictions (alcohol and fags). I seem to be doing this self-sabotage thing and it is beyond me why when in every other way I am doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you Julie. I like to have a glass of wine when I come home each evening. But lately, that one glass can easily become two and then my evening is shot because I am more lethargic and lazy -which means I don’t go for that lovely walk, or don’t do my yoga… all that jazz. I think sometimes, I lean on crutches simply because I tell myself I’m tired of standing alone — instead of recognizing that I am never alone when I turn up fearlessly, with truth and vulnerability as my companions.

      My beloved quite smoking — it took him four years and many attempts.

      Much love

      Liked by 1 person

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