A few days ago I stubbed my toe, which hardly seems like the stuff of blogging, but then it turned purple and I limped a little, and it hurt a little, but I had things to do, so I kept limping and it got better and I thought — ah, Joan, see, you didn’t have to get an x-ray. These things work themselves out.
The next day I overdid it and my toe started to hurt and I started thinking of dire toe problems and rethought that x-ray, but life got complicated again, and I got to the walk-right-in-emergency-care-office after it closed. By now I felt like my toe had swelled to the size of a zucchini. I mentioned this to my husband who said, “It’s the size of a baby carrot, like always.” “Maybe something profoundly grim is happening inside, “ I said. “You know, some kind of intense clotting.” My husband touched the purple parts of my toe, and said, “No, it’s not. Try not to think about it.”
So I thought about an article I’d read about procrastination that suggested that people hyper focus on the small stuff when they are actually avoiding the big stuff. And I wondered, since a toe isn’t all that big, if there was some deep, all-encompassing thing that I was avoiding? I decided to make a list, and came up with four pieces of big unfinished business. This caused my toe and the one next to it to begin to throb. Then the big toe on my other foot began to ache in solidarity as I was forced to look at my life. And being a writer on deadline, it occurred to me that some day I could use this in a story. It’s just so encouraging to see where a toe can take you.