Team Work.

Blueberry pie made with wild Ontario blueberries as a late afternoon treat. Earlier for lunch, hummus and spinach dip with fresh pita bread. Chicken taken out of the frig as well when my family turned up unexpectedly. All of these treats brought by friends making sure I am managing as I hobble around on my crutches.Why ever did I think I would feel bored or isolated? My friends are generous with their time and in bringing treats for my meals. Sometimes I wonder if writing a blog or article (or both) on how to set up a support team if one lives alone in a city without family in that city would suggest ideas for others to follow in similar situations. I know if anything comparable arises again, I will once again send out an email to anyone I think might like being involved on a support team as my experience has affirmed people really are willing to help out when they are asked. And that they actually like to be asked!

Here is what I did. I wrote an email letter describing the situation I faced (surgery on my foot) that would lead to a recuperation period of six weeks when I would be unable to put the front of one foot down. During that period I would be on crutches and there would be various things I would need help doing. I mentioned that in building a team my intent was to spread things around so nobody would feel they were doing too much. I also said that I was on a cancellation list for the surgery and so wouldn't have a lot of warning for when all this would happen. I was hoping to have the surgery in the summer so I could sit out on my front porch a lot, watching what was going on on the street, speaking with neighbours, reading. And since the surgery did happen at the end of July, that is exactly what I am doing. Watching the world go by from my porch or living room window.

Living a sedentary and rather quiet life is unusual for me. I am more apt to be out at a dance class or a dance. Perhaps doing yoga. Taking a long walk. Taking courses here and there. Writing is, of course, sedentary. But because that is so, I attempt to remain physically active as much as I can be in other ways. But this experience is very sedentary and isolated. Except it isn't because moving around on crutches takes a lot of different muscles and is exhausting. And due to my great support team, there is always a phone call or a visit to keep me connected to the outside world.

And the good news about writing is that in the spaces in between, I have begun to work on some stories and have revised two in the last couple of days. They are part of a collection I am working on that includes a series of linked stories, some stand-alone stories and some flash fiction. I have even included a couple of poems. So although I am not yet rereading a novel that ny agent had some reservations about, I am at least starting to write once more.

I welcome any comments, questions or suggestions!

Posted on August 20, 2011 .