The Bad Day That Ended Well and Happy Birthday The Restoration Space
“Meg, you are $1200.00 short for payroll tomorrow. What do you want me to do?” I was spectating field games watching my son watch my face turn sour as he looked to the stands hoping for a proud smile. I felt a little light-headed. “I don’t know. Can I call you back?” I spent the next hour wandering the woods around our rented cabin and indulging incredible self doubt, “I knew my stupid optimism would get me in trouble. Now I’ve really done it. Dragged Julie down with me too. Everyone else was right; you really can’t do the right thing for the patient and still pay the bills.” Self doubt alternated with catastrophizing, “I’ll probably have to sell my house. My husband will leave me because I am a failure. All my friends will abandon me. My kids will be embarrassed. Julie’s whole family will hate me.” Catastrophizing was followed by some mixed grief and optimism, “Well, it was really fun while it lasted.”
When I had run the course on all of this self talk madness some light bulb logic managed to crack my tunnel vision. I had been on a sort of 3 week hybrid vacation- I had the kids at a cabin in the Poconoes, and was working long days to be able to take 2-3 days off to enjoy summer with them and and honor the work-life balance Julie and I had promised ourselves would be a cornerstone of how we ran The Restoration Space. I was treating patients, but not doing much administratively figuring I would catch up when I was sure the kids had had a good end of “the summer my mom worked a lot”. BUT, I hadn’t delegated making the bank deposits (turns out banks do not care about mom guilt) So for three weeks, the safety deposit box in our office filled up, and our bank account did not. Luckily I realized this before end of business day, Lori came to the rescue with a deposit, everyone was paid, and here we are ready to celebrate our one year anniversary.
To say the rest of the 8759 hours of this year have been easy would be an oversimplification, but I can say they have been bigger, better, and more intense than my dreams even let me imagine. The Restoration Space began because a brave patient who’s physical limitations were embedded in her childhood trauma, would not let me chalk it up to “I am not sure what is wrong with you, you should be better by now and can’t you see I have two other people to treat right now?”. If I had tried to pre-determine the path needed to get from that patient to where we are today, it would pale in comparison to the magic the universe unfolded.
When I first spoke the idea of starting an integrative space out loud, not one, but three people said, “You need Julie Spencer.” I knew of her, but not in real life. (yes, I had fb stalked her a few times) My neighbor said, “I used to work with her, but I lost track of her when she switched hospitals.” The next morning his wife was waving me down in the driveway. I almost avoided her and ran another loop because I was sweating too much. She said, “Can you believe this? We ran into Julie this morning at Barre Class. She wants you to call her.” Me, call Julie Spencer? The woman was a PT legend in my mind. My husband said, “Really, this is where the big plan ends? Your inability to make a phone call to another female physical therapist living here in the LV?” Point taken. The bravery challenges have been a constant this year, btw.( Bravery for introverts is defined differently than it is for adrenaline seeking out-going adults)
Julie marched up to my bench in the Promenade after I made that leap of faith text (yep, I opted for text) and basically said, “I’m in.” within 10 minutes. At this point I was slightly worried in the opposite direction, like, “Should someone stop us from being utterly optimistic and possibly crazy? Who is going to be the voice of reason on this team?”. But, sometimes you get that sense you are following a plan that was already made and this was one of those times.The rest is history. All of the amazing practitioners who joined The Restoration Space made their way here in all sorts of serendipitous and magical ways. Every temporary uh-oh, segwayed into a hand delivered gift from the universe.
And what does it all this mean? In our recent book club discussion here at TRS Elizabeth Gilbert had a great passage about the central paradox of creating- she is talking about creating art, but it applies nicely to any passionate endeavor. The paradox is the process and results of creating (something new) are both entirely meaningless and deeply meaningful. We aren’t the only PTs/massage therapists/counselors in town, and we aren’t the only integrative center in the country. But it is deeply personal and meaningful to all of us. And that creates some magic.
A year ago I stood at the reception desk that wasn’t even secured to the wall yet enjoying the sunshine, the quiet and all the potential. It was so calm. Today in the week before our anniversary that desk has a different energy. Rachelle, Julie, and I descend at the same time; Rachelle and Julie have surprise add-ons, my room is in use by a client who needed extra time and the other rooms are full. We are out of space and feeling a little pushed by the week’s schedule. Two patients exit the rooms and join us at the front desk. One says, “I cannot believe how good I feel, I mean, I walked in a mess and I feel like going for a run.” The other said, “Yeah, what happens here is magical.” I giggled, “Thank you universe. Happy birthday TRS.”.