Posted by Caren Crane Mar 4 2012, 12:41 am in anemia, body language, Caren Crane, exhaustion, keys locked in car, lost keys
I like to think I’m getting wiser as I get older – and believe me, the new crop of silver hair tells me I am definitely getting older. Still, some lessons I learn over and over and over again. For instance, I think I have learned to listen to what my body is telling me. That is, when my body talks very loudly and in no uncertain terms. Otherwise, I tend to ignore its subtle messages and small urgings until it becomes impossible.
One of these lessons I’ve learned the hard way is that when I am really run down, I lock my keys in the car. I don’t know why, of all the things I could do or all the signs my body could send me, that’s the one it chooses as a wake-up call, but it is. Being locked out of my car can be a sign of: pregnancy (I did this three times with my son); illness (I’ve done this when I had a terrible, ongoing sinus infection); anemia (I’ve done it when my iron was really low, which is exhausting); or, simple overexertion (I’ve done this when burning the candle at both ends for an extended period of time). Whatever the cause, I will find myself one day (or night) standing beside my locked car, far from home, rummaging through my purse and my pockets, looking on the ground and retracing my steps, only to find my keys are there waiting for me, safely locked inside my car.
One night last week, I left a meeting, anxious to get home and see my family. We had been going in different directions since early morning and I hoped, by 9:00 pm, to be safe at home, surrounded by my loved ones. I was exhausted, although it had not been a particularly strenuous day, and I had yawned through the meeting. Now, it was dark and chilly and I was standing in the parking lot, rummaging through my purse and my pockets, looking on the ground and retracing my steps, but no key was found. I went back to the car and drew the only logical conclusion: my keys were there waiting for me, safely locked inside my car. Sighing, I called my daughter to drive the 20 minutes from our house and bring the key. She did so happily, because she is a sweet child who is dear to my heart. She unlocked the door and there was the key on the floor of the car, right where I had dropped it when I was getting out.
Even as incredibly tired as I was, I quickly reviewed what I knew about myself and locking keys in cars. I quickly ruled out pregnancy, illness and overexertion. That left my old friend anemia. Anemia was a likely candidate for an obvious, feminine reason I got to enjoy twice in February (the shortest month of the year). Despite the massive doses of supplemental iron I take, I just don’t absorb iron well. A gift, as it were, from my mother. I went home, got ready, fell in bed, and realized that although I hadn’t gotten to spend time with my loved ones after all, I had spent time with myself while I waited for my daughter and the spare key. And while I waited, my body did some talking to me and, forced by circumstances, I listened to it. I really should be getting the messages my body is sending after all these years. Somehow, though, I still need the really loud broadcasts that are impossible to ignore. At least I listen to those!
I haven’t used this particular kind of cluelessness in a story yet, but I know it’s just a matter of time. I have certainly read books and seen movies where I KNEW what was wrong with the heroine or hero before s/he did. Ages before! So why can’t real life be more like books and movies? That way I would say, “Hey, she sure does look pale and exhausted. I’ll bet she has iron-deficiency anemia. Again.” If only!
Has your body got a secret code you’ve figured out (maybe the hard way)? Ever want to scream at a character in a movie, TV show or book because they are so clueless about issues you have worked out for them? What’s your favorite “reveal” of a character’s shocking illness or news from movies, TV or books? And am I the only one with a thing about locking the keys in the car…?