Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

The Bionic Woman ~ Rae

on July 30, 2014


A few years ago, I was a high school English teacher, new teacher support provider, Department Chairperson, Yearbook Advisor, wife, and mother. The yearbook company representative teased me about how much I had on my plate and asked me where my cape was. I pointed to the pink Superwoman cape hanging on my wall and said, “Right there!”  While laughing so hard he almost cried, my rep told me he had been using that line for years and I was the first one to actually have a cape.

It still hangs in my office.

In March, I had neck surgery to have a cervical disc replaced with a synthetic disc made of titanium and gel (So darn amazing!).  Now, I joke that I am the bionic woman.

There are many articles, websites, blogs, and commentaries that explore women trying to be a “Superwoman” but then they ended up being overwhelmed, exhausted, grumpy, and overextended. These articles and commentaries sometimes berate men for not stepping up to the plate or bemoan the fact that women must do it all.

I totally get it. I do that. Sometimes.

Sometimes my depression kicks in and I am a bump on a log.  

But …

What if I like doing it all?

What if I want to be a heroine like Wonder Woman? 

I learned something about myself during my time of recovery after my surgery: When my body forced me to rest and do nothing for a month, I ended up resting and doing nothing for 3 months. Now that I am back to work for the last 3 weeks, I have 15 major projects and umpteen little ones and I am almost back to my old self.

It’s as if Newton’s “Law of Motion” is like real or something!  My body and mind do tend to stay in motion once I get myself going.

My old self does include sometimes running around like a crazy person.  I am working on Power Points to present to new teachers that could really take 15 minutes, but I am adding all the bells and whistles to try to make it interactive and funny.  I am filming beginning of the school year videos
that really don’t need to be done, but they are so much more fun than the other real work I am supposed to be doing.

I am going to let you in on a little secret. I LIKE my cape. I like being busy because the busier I am the more organized I HAVE to be, which is a much better version of myself than the bump on a log. I like the feeling that I am somehow “saving the day”.

All Moms are super!

All Moms are super!

Ironically, while in the process of writing this piece, I was assigned another project.  This new project involved some heavy lifting and just about sent me over the edge. My OMG rant when like this, “I just had surgery. I can’t lift over 20 pounds. Dear Lord, what am I going to do?  I am NOT She-Hulk.”

After my internal rant, it became clear to me. I may want to be superhuman, but I must be ready to admit when I can’t be. So I asked my team for help and every single member offered assistance. It was a magical moment stronger for me than the titanium in my neck. I learned I have to set boundaries and keep everything in balance: my work, my hobbies, my family, and my time of rest.

So I will:  wear my cape proudly, take it off when I need to, and admit when I need help.

P.S. I look good in that cape.


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