It happened just the other morning. The day began much like many others. What made it unusual was the fact that I’d had only 3 1/2 hours of sleep. Even worse, it was the fourth day in a row that I’d lain awake for hours the night before.
Although insomnia and I are not strangers, our relationship is most often a one-night stand. This many nights in a row with this little sleep was truly unique. As a result, my entire body throbbed with pain from head to toe.
About the time I’d decided to cancel my day’s planned activities, my husband came in the front door. “You won’t believe what happened,” he said. “Come and have a look.” I wasn’t even dressed. I actually hadn’t decided whether clothing was even an option that day. But my curiosity won out. I quickly donned the clothes I’d worn the day before and joined my husband on our front lawn.
He was pointing to the flower bed closest to the sidewalk. Although my husband appeared upset, I didn’t immediately see anything wrong. My eyes (blurred from lack of sleep) slowly scanned each of the several rows of beautifully blooming plants, beginning at the back and working my way forward, and saw no sign of damage.
I should mention that in our neighborhood, wild peacocks have been known to strip and swallow an entire shrub full of blossoms in a single evening. But I was seeing blooms everywhere, just as they should have been. Nothing appeared out of order – until I got to the front row. That’s when I saw the first hole. Next to it was another and another and another.
During the night, someone had dug up and carried away four of the five large succulents (Aeonium sunburst) that my husband had nurtured from 4-inch-tall “cuttings” until they became the beautiful, dinner-plate-sized specimens that had been dug up and whisked away. Only the center one remained. We were stunned — not to mention angry and saddened.
We stood there shaking our heads until a couple of neighbors joined us to see what was wrong. We all lamented the state of the world – that anyone could stoop so low as to burglarize another person’s garden. We even devised a grand scheme in which we would take turns guarding our properties (Elmer Fudd style) to prevent such a thing from happening again. After a healthy dose of good-natured laughter and conversation, my legs began to wobble and I went back in the house.
It wasn’t until after I’d fed the dog, fixed my breakfast, and sat down to eat it that a sharp twinge in my hip reminded me of the pain I’d earlier experienced. That bit of excitement had totally occupied my mind for most of the previous hour. My pain hadn’t vanished during that time. However, other thoughts had taken precedence. Only now that I’d returned to the routine of daily life did the pain come bounding back, front and center.
Property theft is not an occurrence I would welcome on a regular basis. However, this incident was a great reminder that distraction is an effective form of pain management. My challenge now is to find some things that I find equally distracting but are much less destructive. All suggestions would be appreciated.
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