Ponderings | The Unexpected Appendectomy

October 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Somewhere around July or maybe even before that I stopped having a life. You know the kind where you go outside at least once a day, shower regularly, remember to eat your first meal before 4pm, talk to your best friend on the phone more than once every 3 months. Yeah, I lost those things and so much more. I spent pretty much every waking moment on the couch, in my new condo, glued to my laptop. I was editing thousands of pictures, sending thousands of emails and sadly checking Facebook every time I needed a distraction from the actual work I was supposed to be doing. This isn’t how life should be for long stretches. It just doesn’t make sense. Yes, I have a new photography business, I am still fine-tuning my editing process and building a solid foundation, and learning so so much. But 3 months with out having a phone conversation with my BFF in LA? Really? I’m pretty sure my boyfriend considered divorcing me and my other Big Sky friends stopped calling me because I always responded, “Sorry, I have to work.”

I love my job, but not that much. And you want to know what it took to help me wake up and add a little more joy back into my life? Unexpected appendicitis. One day I’m fine and the next I’ve got a strange pain in my lower abdomen. Emergency room, CT scan and to surgery I go. I was a little frightened at first. Surgery? Me? I’ve never had one and wasn’t expecting to when I woke up that Sunday morning. But, I’m alive and sans appendix and feeling better than I have in a while. (I also really enjoyed having cable in the hospital and watching The Rachel Zoe Project at 4am when I couldn’t sleep.)

You see I got a forced 5 day break from my laptop. You’d think that when you are laid up in bed that you’d still be able to edit photos. However, when I tried, my mind just couldn’t compute. I looked at the photos and they didn’t even interest me, they almost seemed trivial. And that was a scary thought. Could my work really not be that meaningful or important? In the days since, as the Vicodin haze receded I’ve realized that was a perfectly normal reaction considering I had a very brief period where I felt physically threatened. It was only an appendectomy, a fairly common experience, but it still gave me a brief bout of panic where I began to think about my life in a different perspective. What had I been doing the last few months? When had I stopped making time for the people in my life? Yes, my photos have value and merit, just not as much as my work habits make them out to be. At the end of the day my health and wellness matter just a bit more. My people matter more.

It has only been 9 days since my surgery and most of them were spent on the couch. Now that I have my energy again and it doesn’t hurt to move I have a much needed, refreshed outlook that has added spring to my step. I’m getting more sleep, working less, cooking good meals, spending more quality moments with my boyfriend through out the day and just not stressing how much I have to do. I feel a little relieved and almost glad it happened. Kind of strange, but I guess sometimes life truly does give you exactly what you need.

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