How the Universe Tells You It’s Time For a TimeOut

Jessica Wyce
I was blessed to have such a colourful upbringing. I could be the typical conservative writer and tell you all my specific generic details about myself, but I'm not that kind of person or author. Instead I will say that coming from a mixed religious and cultured family, moving around a lot as a child, living in pretty poor income areas of Montreal (or the "ghetto" as some would call it), and going through some pretty traumatic events in both childhood and adulthood has definitely shaped who I am today. I was born in a small city of Charlesbourg, just outside of Quebec city. Up to the age of 4 years old, I didn't speak a word of English. My mother-tongue was French. However, that all changed thanks to my father. We moved to Montreal in hopes that my father would get away from the small mentality that he felt from being away from England, to hopefully find work in his field, and that my sister and I would learn English. Well, two out of three wasn't bad. Coming from a shy Catholic French-Canadian mother and an extroverted Jewish British father really did have a strong impact on my sister and I, especially in our childhood. We went through lots of crap growing-up, too much to write at the moment. My mum tells me I should write a book. So guess what? I'm working on it. Growing-up I had two things that saved my skinny arse: classical ballet and writing. I started dancing not long after we moved to Montreal. The discipline, the escape it created for me to forget outside stresses, and the art of understanding how I can express myself without words really helped me stay focused during those rough times. The writing came a bit later, around 10 years old if I remember right. All thanks to my grade 5 teacher, who one day asked us to keep a daily journal of our Christmas holiday. I never stopped writing since. Writing and dancing saved my life during my high school years, it kept me sane in college, and made me realise my passion for both arts by the time I reached university. Now, being a mum of an autistic boy I understand why I was given all these experiences and gifts: to help him and other children grow and discover their own passions.

Sep 05,2017

Everything was going great this past Saturday afternoon. I was looking snazzy, having a good hair day…I thought why not wear heels since I rarely get a chance to put them on?  And it is a party after all, right?  I decided to bring my camera to take some candid shots of the surprised birthday girl (my step-mum), and so I was fully prepared. It was going to be fun! Too wired up, thinking about if I should bring a sweater or not, just for a moment I paused as I was about to put my shoes on…like something was off or I wasn’t doing something…and then I got distracted and put my heels on, rushing out the door….

      On the way to the party I had a lot on my mind. I was thinking about all the fantastic opportunities that were suddenly popping into my life in the last week. Lots of work projects offered, and all the while I had to figure out how the heck I was going to fit time in to write my book. Plus my son was starting grade 1 and I wondered how I was going to juggle his schedule with mine. Again, I put my worries aside and focused on having a good time at the party…until…I fell.

To be quite honest, I still don’t know how it happened. One minute I’m taking pictures of the guests outside, standing at the top of three concrete stairs…and the next moment I’m on the pebbled ground cradling my twisted left ankle in total agony. At first only the nearby guests saw my sudden accident, calling my partner and parents over. My Godfather and partner quickly transferred me to a nearby chaise-longue, my brother-in-law instructing me to stay still while several (oh and I do mean several) Bubbs’ (nickname for Jewish grandmothers) come to my rescue, tending to me like trained nurses. Right away my foot was propped up on a pillow, iced with a wet cloth, given two Advils and a glass of bubbly to calm my shaken nerves.

“You look green honey, you sure you don’t need anything else? Maybe something stronger?” Shelley (my step-mum’s hairdresser and friend) asks, eyeing the bubbly doubtfully.

I reassured her I was okay…but really I was not of course. I felt various emotions in that moment…guilty (I felt like I was taking the attention off the guest of honour), embarrassed (why the hell did I wear those heals anyway?? And why didn’t anyone warn me to wear flats?), and in utter excruciating pain. I wanted to cry so much, but I had to be brave and not cause a scene due to my son being there. I didn’t want to freak him out or worry him. I apologized to everyone, especially my step-mum, but she kept telling me to stop apologizing, she just wanted to make sure I was okay, comfortable, and tended to throughout the time I was there and to rest my foot.

I lost count on how many ladies asked me if I wanted anything to eat. It was like I had my very own harem of grandmas. My own mum and sister also kept me company and stayed by my side, making sure I was never left alone. My sister took one look at my ankle and told me not to worry, that she twisted her foot so many times she was surprised she hadn’t broken anything. “I warn you though, it’s going to turn all colours of the rainbow before it gets better. It doesn’t help we bruise easy in our family either.” Oh how true my sister, very true indeed.

I tell you I have never seen my ankle look like that in my life, and let me tell you, I’ve had my share of foot injuries in my life thanks to dancing. My ankle swelled up like a golf ball immediately. No seriously. The outside of my left ankle looked as if I had a golf ball attached to it. I swore I thought I had broken something for sure. Looking at my foot, going over the incident in my mind, I went green again…I remember feeling my foot go inward very quickly….

Leave it to those ladies, they really knew how to distract me, and my Godfather Jim was amazing. Every couple minutes he’d make sure I was okay. Him and my dad trying to cheer me up. Along with my cute nephew and niece, dancing around and making me laugh. Then my son goes up to me, kisses my foot and says, “Don’t worry mummy, I’ll be your doctor.” I instantly felt better after that of course!

As I sat there taking in everyone’s kindness, attention and love it got me thinking back to that brief moment just before I left for the party. It occurred to me that I had what some people call “a warning”. It was just a few seconds, but if I had taken the time to listen to my intuition…maybe my accident wouldn’t have happened, or at the very least not as severely as it turned out.

That evening after eating so much food and saying our goodbyes, and everyone insisting I go see a doctor just to make sure nothing was broken, I had an epiphany on the drive home. The Universe works in mysterious ways, but her power is great. Oh I got her message loud and clear alright: slow the heck down!! Look where you’re going!!

So as I sat at the doctor’s office the next day, I decided on two things. One: I’d focus more on me from now on and pay attention to the little signs my body and intuition are sending me. Because let’s face it, it sure can avoid a lot of pain – literally in this case. Two: The Universe is telling me it’s time to slow down. Relax. Stop trying to do everything and being controlling. Stop being a control freak Jess and let others help you. You can’t do it all, and that’s okay.

Good news? No broken bones, just an ugly badass sprain. Bad news? What bad news? I get a time-out!! Hmm then again, maybe it’s more like bad news for my partner because now he has to do my share of stuff in the house. Sorry darling! Hahaha! Yup, gotta love the Universe!

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