Yesterday I was gluing layers together outside, attempting to keep my 4-inch squares from blowing away in the early fall breeze. I had my table set up and was enjoying the sunshine while I sprayed the adhesive on each delicate layer. My husband even came out to capture the process. After only about 20 minutes of gluing and 2 minutes after he took the above photo, I stood up and felt a tightness in my lower back...and it wouldn't go away. I folded over to try to stretch it out, reached from side to side, and did a few twists but the pain tinged on.
"Ugh. I'm getting old." I thought to myself as I looked around trying to figure out what to do. I walked to the stairs looking like a 90 year old and sat down for a minute. "I'm only a third of the way through gluing what I need to get done today."
This is what my dad used to feel like. He is a retired dentist and used to complain about his backache after leaning over patients all day long. I remember him coming home and all he wanted to do was sit down, watch TV, drink a beer and eat chips. And I was only leaning for 20 minutes! Imagine what he must have felt like.
As I stood up to reorganize my gluing station, I realized that with this back pain all I wanted to do was sit too. I set up a large piece of scrap wood over the corner of the railing of the front porch and got back to work. I managed to get it all done sitting and proceeded to photograph each new square layer with a squat instead of a lean, edit them and upload them to the website. There were several grumbles as I hunched around all evening trying to cook dinner and entertain my three year old. I kept thinking, "I need to get a sub for tomorrow. There's no way I can teach like this." And then I'd catch myself and feel grateful once again.
It's a good thing I don't have to go into a classroom today. I'm not sure I'd be able to do all the necessary back bends that a teacher does as she passes out materials, leans over to pick things up off the floor or wipes down tables. The funny thing is this kind of back problem never happened when I was getting all of that exercise! I guess I'll just keep sitting here while I ice my back, write a blog entry, grade some student portfolios, and make some illustrations for my kid's book and feel thankful that I can still work today.