Last night, a can opener caused me to go into a violent fit of rage that caught me completely off guard. After a few deep breaths and a few sips of wine, I regained my composure, but the moment had made an impact.
It was a pretty normal Monday night and I was pretty excited about how unplanned it was. I had a couple things I could be doing, but decided what I really wanted to be doing was making my Mom’s incredible chili recipe and watching the National Championship game at home. I was a couple of steps into the recipe, the ground beef was browning and the peppers and onions were grilling nicely while ESPN shimmered on mute in the living room and David Bowie Live in Dublin blasted in the speakers.
The next steps to combine the meat and veggies in my old trusty crock pot with the cans of beans and tomatoes was fast approaching and I turned around to grab my can opener.
Wait, where is my can opener?
Right, I don’t own a can opener.
How the hell at age of 33 do I not own a can opener?
Fine. Done. Not dealing with that question now. Where’s my knife?
Stab. Stab. Stab. Like a sad murder mystery where the victim was a can of beans that never stood a chance.
Stab. Stab. Stab. Like the motion people make when doing charades about the movie Psycho.
Next step done. Beans and tomatoes added. Crock pot lid closed. Deep breath. Sip of wine.
What the hell just happened?
As I looked at the wreckage on my kitchen counter, I realized it had nothing to do with the can opener. It had everything to do with an old injury flaring up again.
This new year has been off to a great start. From day one, the momentum and excitement that I had hoped for has been present and I’ve been able to leave the pain and anger from last year in last year. I felt like the injuries I spent most of last year rehabbing, mental and emotional, had healed and I was ready to hop off the disabled list, be done with my rehab assignments and get back to my favorite place in the world: prime time and center court. I was tired of not contributing to the team, not playing at my best, not being able to call for the ball when the game was on the line. Last year, I could barely suit up.
That was last year so that was supposed to be over.
But then I didn’t own a can opener and that triggered that old injury. It tweaked the muscles that I’d spent a long time hoping would heal back as well if not better than before.
It had nothing to do with the can opener, it had everything to do with the fear that I was going to find myself on the sideline of my own life again needing to take it easy because I had reinjured myself.
Now, a bowl of chili, another glass of wine, an amazing National Championship game, and a good night’s sleep later, I am seeing a lot more clearly than I did in that moment last night. I am grateful to have been reminded that life can catch you off guard and that I am still in the process of healing fully. That just like my favorite athletes coming back from injury, there will be small set backs and times to take it easy, even if just for one play or one series.
I am grateful to have been aware enough in the moments after to recognize this anomaly and try and process as much of it as I could so this morning over my coffee I could dive deeper into it and understand it for what it was.
And I am also grateful to live in New York City where moments after my head got clear, I could walk down to the corner and buy a new can opener.