Ever lose your step on an escalator, or moving sidewalk? If you have, then you know that doing so results in falling harder, on sharper surfaces, with greater risk of getting hurt, and more effort required to get yourself back up, steadied, and ready to continue, than if you were simply tripping over the curb.
Oh, and of course, by the time you are upright, steady, and readytogo, anyone who was near you on the escalator before you fell is now waaaayyy up ahead of you, well on to their next stop on their journey.
Modern life. Escalator. See where I’m going with this?
Things move so FAST these days. Miss one day of Twitter and it’s nearly impossible to catch up on what you missed. Miss a few days on Ravelry and you more or less have to declare thread bankruptcy (“I can’t read everything I missed, it’s too much, so I’ll just start where we are now, sorry.”) just to be able to jump back in and participate.
For a while, a couple of years ago, my illness had me walking with a cane. Escalators, while theoretically possible, were an adventure in timing, thinking ahead, balance, and Paying Attention To Which Foot Was Where When. Most healthy folks just jump on and go…I had to wait until there wasn’t anyone waiting behind me, watch the stairs for a minute, noting the speed, the width of each step, the height, and get myself into position so that THAT foot went first, not the other one.
Then, more recently: Last year, I was fine, no cane, walking without any problems at all. I was even steady and confident enough to wear shoes that were a wee more cute than sensible. I had a rolling bag, and was in a hurry to catch a flight in a Texas airport…and I put my foot wrong on the steps of a steep, narrow escalator…and went down. Hard. Cut my arm on the edge of the step, bruised my face, twisted my hip, got my luggage so turned around that I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to get on my feet by the time I reached the top.
By the kindness of strangers, I got up with one step to spare at the end. I was sore, and while I wasn’t injured enough for medical attention, nor to commandeer a wheelchair, I was sore enough that I couldn’t do the full-on breakneck dash through miles of corridors that modern airline flight connections sometimes entail.
They were holding the door for me, and I got scowls from passengers already seated.
We are not tolerant of those who cannot keep up with the pace of the escalator…especially if that person is ourselves.
Note that I am pointing my finger towards my own chest.
Chronic illness sucks eggs. (Little seasonal reference there, still got my sense of humour.)
I’ve been tripping over the steps of Life’s Escalator a lot lately, as so many of us do when life hands out extra-big helpings of Challenge, whether the Challenge be chronic illness, death of a loved one, loss of a job, or a broken relationship. Doesn’t matter what it is. When the plate is too large, it’s next to impossible to hit the steps of the escalator at the proper pace, with the right timing, acting all the while as though we weren’t carrying that extra burden, as though our balance were not being affected by this big honkin’ platter we suddenly find ourselves coping with.
Thank you, all that is Good, for the kindness of strangers, the love of friends and family when those escalator stairs start rolling faster.
And please, don’t beat yourself up if you fall (rather: when, it’s almost always when not if). It’s not your fault the escalator only moves at one speed, when human beings all each move at their own individual speeds. It’s not your fault the escalator was designed for some average person whose stats don’t match any real person’s stats…because statistics (and their cousin, damn statistics) are a mathematical concept. Someone took that mathematical concept, decided it was True Enough to use as a basis for Real Moving Stairs, and went on designing for a reality that isn’t really there.
It’s OK to get yourself to a steady place, to take the time to bandage your cuts, put ice on that twisted muscle, nurse that broken heart, rest up from the journey’s rigors. Sure, other people are far ahead of you, and the plane might leave without you. Sure, other folks might be annoyed with you for being slow, or for not being where they think you ought to be (according to their schedule, of course).
(Finger still firmly pointed at chest.)
It’s also perfectly OK to take the ramp. Yes, it’s waaayyy over there, and it’s a longer route, and slower, and further…but it’s OK to take it if you need it.
Either way: You’ll get there. You might have to take the next plane…but there will be a next plane. You might have to deal with unhappy people…but someday, they will fall on an escalator and realize their lack of compassion.
And you know what?
You won’t really be left behind. And you won’t be forgotten if you fall behind. And your life isn’t “less,” (by whatever standard folks might wish to measure this by) than anyone else’s just because you do fall behind now and then.
People who care about you, who really know you and value who you are and what you have to contribute…they will be waiting for you at the top of the escalator whenever you finally do get there.
That is, if they haven’t already climbed down the up staircase–clambering over luggage and edging past all the other folks who are trying not to notice you down there on the ever-moving stairs–to help you to your feet.
Why no, it hasn’t been a hard month, why do you ask?
Ball of yarn. Wool, 2-ply, some shade of blue. No big deal, you say? Check out the date it was made. (!)
I promised puppy pics, didn’t I? Youngster practicing for future greatness.
What this Easter was lacking: Buffy Eggs, for that favourite slayer’s basket. (I do not want to meet the zombie vampire bunny that delivers these, thankyouverymuch.)
These are not puppies. However, they are baby pandas, so I am quite sure you will forgive me.
In the “I Don’t Even Know What To Say About This” Department: This. There are actually 3 of them available. Imagine that.
The History of the Tardis Prop: All The Blue Boxes. I don’t care what style you have in stock, just SEND ME ONE NOW PLEASE.
That’s what I’ve got today. I might have baby dove pics for you next time, plus pics of that sparkly yarn all plied up.
Take care on those escalators, folks.