Haste makes waste. I’d heard that saying my whole life, but its true meaning sunk in about a month ago. It came announced by a searing pain and an audible crack – the unmistakable, sickening sound of a breaking bone.
A moment earlier, I had been at my desk, editing an article that had already gone through three rewrites, was now hopelessly behind schedule and – as I saw it – still wasn’t close to good enough. In a fit of annoyance, and up against a deadline, I had decided to work off my frustration by dashing up and down the stairs a few times. But four breathless flights later, I was no less irritated and no less behind schedule. “Oh CRAP,” I thought, “I don’t have time for this!”
And so, in a last-ditch effort to blow off steam, I assumed my classic Wilma Flintsone stance (little fists at sides, steam coming out of ears) and stomped my foot. Hard. Too hard, according to my fifth metatarsal. It gave way with an excruciating crunch and left me crumpled on the floor, cursing like a sailor.
For the record, breaking my foot did not rate well as a time saver. This fact occurred to me about three hours later – around the same time my deadline was passing – as I was looking at x-rays and explaining to the orthopedist just how I had managed to break my own foot bone into jagged little pieces.
The doctor seemed surprised. Apparently editors don’t frequently sustain this sort of work-related injury. Yes, I told him, I took calcium. Yes, I did weight-bearing exercise. No, I didn’t have an eating disorder, and yes, my bone density was just fine.
(Read the rest of this article, which first appeared in Experience Life magazine.)