It turns out that my local Apple-approved repair shop couldn’t sell me a computer because Apple was “hoarding” their supplies. Even though I ordered three days after my computer died, Apple had an 8-week backlog.
EIGHT weeks…no computer.
At this point it’s late August and I had a new my cell phone. Not an easy feat given the time payments I still had on the lost phone.
So, indeed, I had access to email, Instagram [@arianegoodwin] Facebook, and Twitter. But I truly hated staring at the phone’s itty-bitty screen. Besides, whatever motivation I’d had to be digitally connected before my phone abandoned me for the forest was also lost.
Turns out my digital rhythm had been interrupted.
I’d slipped into a peaceful place that didn’t require squinting, hitting send before missing a typo, then immediately correcting that typo, waiting for a response, and losing track of time as I stared down and down and down into the digital deep.
My main gig—writing—has always been done on an ergonomic keyboard and a desktop with a screen large enough for musing between thoughts. This pattern has so many decades behind it, so many deeply-grooved, neural networks that I had zero incentive to retrain myself.
The bulk of my creative production came to a screeching halt. I couldn’t even start work on Week Four on my new Writing The Artist Statement Program.
Technology had, in effect, sidelined me.
So, what happened when my new computer arrived with all my data transferred? Did I jump online, reconnect with my peeps? Pull up a list of ideas for Reflections’ posts? Nope.
I languished. I cooked. I slept a lot, a lot. I watched TV. I wallowed in one tragic news cycle after another. I felt unmotivated, unproductive…and worse? I didn’t seem to mind dropping out. That was disturbing.
By now, the pandemic had kept me away from even imagining reaching out to my trusty tribe of healers. I was simply getting older, I told myself…slowing down. Nothing much to see here.
Then, the 16-day headache hit.
Not your normal headache, something I hadn’t suffered from since menopause. A weird 20 or 15 minutes of agony followed by a gradual decrease in pain, a plateau where I’d think it was gone, and then a ramp up to another round of pain. 10 to 12 episodes a day. No pain meds touched it. Not aspirin. Not Tylenol. Not Aleve.
My primary doctor thought it a tension headache (really? Without any major deadlines or a gotta, gotta, gotta list, I was as stress free as I’d ever been.), or some outlier migraine. He upped the pain meds and sent me home to report back in 4 or 5 days.
Five days later the headache continued, unchecked. So, I gave in and scheduled appointments with my trusted acupuncturist and chiropractor. Pandemic or not, I needed an intervention!
The acupuncturist did points on my fingers, for the headache, and a bunch on the backs of my ankles and calves. Ninety minutes later, as I pulled on my coat, he said, “You should be feeling a lot better soon. Your kidney meridians were blocked.”
“Feeling better soon” was incomprehensible…until I reached my car and opened the door. Even before I’d settled behind the wheel, I was indeed feeling weirdly better. I say weirdly because I could feel the headache waiting at the base of my ready to pounce.
The chiropractor, after a small adjustment in my neck, zeroed in on my jaw. And that did it. No more headache (though I could barely believe it).
On the loooong, 160-mile drive home in an unrelenting downpour, and after a packed day where I should have been beat, the gift of my 16-day headache unwrapped itself.
I felt fantastic. No, not because the headache was gone, which was truly wonderful if still a bit unbelievable, but because I. Felt. Fantastic.
And I hadn’t felt fantastic in at least nine months, if not longer.
Turns out aging had nothing to do with my lack of productive energy, with the plodding pace of my days, with the desert of my creative desire.
All along, it was those darn kidney meridians. So, thank you headache. Once again, the blessing in disguise worked its magic.
Your Truth. Your Power. Your Word. Claim it!
P.S. What’s the last blessing-in-disguise that you’ve had?
P.P.S. You know, it’s not too late to let someone who loves you give you the digital version of my book, Writing The Artist Statement: Revealing The True Spirit of Your Work, as a gift.