Lessons From A Blue Denim Couch


Day #2 of being couch-bound. Sigh.

I’ve had chronic issues with my back since I was a teen. I can sometimes go years without any problems. But lately, in anticipation of swimsuit season, I’ve been doing Pilates with furor. I think I’ve overdone it. I’ve pushed myself and injured my already-tender back.

As I lie here on my heating pad, with long stretches of the day in front of me, I am reminded of the word I chose for this New Year. Experience. I decided to “experience” life in all of its fullness in 2013, completely living in each moment. I’d savor tastes, treasure each season, and bubble over with laughter. As I pictured myself engaging in “experience” for this year, I had a glowing, rose-tinged mental image of relishing a sunset on Waikiki beach with my family of five, our arms entwined. I have no idea why that image came to mind, because a trip to Hawaii is not anywhere in our plans for the year. Wishful, romantic thinking? Instead, here I lie on my blue denim couch on this snowy day, thinking about my dishwasher that needs unloading.

I often wait for Real Life to happen. When I was single, I thought my life would truly begin when I got married. Then I wanted to have children so badly, I thought that my Real Life would be when I became a mother. I’ve often wished to rush Winter away, so I can live in the fun of Summer. I want Monday through Thursday to speed by, so I can enjoy the weekend. You get the picture. Hence my choosing the word, Experience.

So how do I live in a way today, given my injured back, that I “experience” this? Because, as I am learning, my Real Life is happening right now. This is a moment of my life. God gave me this moment, He is in this moment, and I believe He wants me to be present to it. My Real Life does not occur only when my back is healed and I can be up and about. My Real Life is happening now. Right here on this denim couch.

So, as I lie here, I am contemplating how I can live in such a way that I honor my chosen word. I can “experience” my back discomfort today, really feel it, and appreciate that most of the time I am active and pain-free. I can “experience” feeling compassion for some groups of people I rarely think about, those who experience chronic pain and those who are disabled. I can pray for them.

I can look around and appreciate some of the gifts that this enforced day of rest brings: The  feel of warmth from my heating pad, the beauty of the frosty trees that peak through my window, the quiet hum of the refrigerator, the the furry companionship of my kitties.

I can appreciate and “experience” the luxury of having the time to do things that my active self normally feels guilty about doing, such as reading a juicy thriller I’ve been eyeing.

I can exercise my “ask” muscle and recognize that sometimes I need help. I can ask my college son, home for spring break, to empty that dishwasher for me. I can give him an opportunity to serve his invalid mother and I can experience being cared for.

Perhaps God will give me some lessons of “experience” on a sunset beach in 2013. I would love that! Please God? But, for today, He is teaching me some lessons of “experience” from a blue denim couch.







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