In October of 2022 Matt broke his hip with a gnarly fall at a banging roller disco. Off to the hospital we went in our matching glitter sequin love shirts. He had surgery the next day and the following day we went home. This was definitely not in our plans for the end of the year. We had talked about traveling during the holidays and getting some work done in the house. Needless to say our plans changed. On top of all that, one week after his surgery, we found out that we were having a baby! What a week! We knew Matt had a long healing process ahead of him. Three months with no weight on his right leg. What we didn’t know was that Adrienne was about to be pretty much bedridden due to a challenging first trimester.
These three months at the Tellier household were rough to say the least. Both of us struggling to help each other and get the bare minimum done in our business, and in the home. Our relationship felt strained at times and our patience with ourselves and each other was pushed to the test. However on top of all of this we couldn’t help but stop and ask ourselves, what is the universe showing us right now? What lessons are we learning from this? What message is coming through?
We wanted to share with you what we learned from our three months of cocooning. Perhaps you can take away something from this without having to break your hip!
Lying in bed my thoughts went to what it would be like to break a hip in a hunter gatherer culture. Would I be left for dead? Would I survive? What would the rest of my life look like? Although modern western medicine is far from perfect, there are so many amazing medical procedures that weren’t around years ago. I am grateful to live in a time and place where I have access to all this.
I am grateful for the gift of two legs. Sometimes it isn’t until you lose the use of one (even temporarily) that you realize how incredible these gifts are. I had a moment where I said to myself “Wow, my life’s really changed.” Why we’re made the way we are is incredible.
I am super grateful for all the friends, family and community that came to visit and help us out. Which brings me to…
Be ok accepting help:
This is a concept introduced to me while working in the fast-paced service industry of Manhattan and something I still struggle with today. It may feel like a sign of weakness but in truth it is a sign of strength to be able to ask for and accept help. The ego hates it, but the ego is a self-centered dummy, so don’t listen to it :) Thank you to my mother and father-in-law for visiting and doing all our yard work. Thank you to Michelle for doing a bit of yard work too. Thank you for all the delicious groceries and meals everyone prepared for us.Thank you to all the healers that brought their magic and energy to our house. And the biggest thank you to Adrienne for taking care of me, putting my shoes on, and bringing me coffee in the morning… to name a few of the many things.
You can do difficult things:
It’s easy to start feeling sorry for yourself and despairingly say, “Why me?” Especially when all you can do is lie in bed. Then life pushes you to find another gear. About two and a half weeks after my surgery, Adrienne had severe fatigue and nausea from her first trimester pregnancy woes. She needed more bed rest than me. It wasn’t fun and I didn’t enjoy it at first, but I found another gear and mustered the will to hop around the house with my walker and balance on one leg doing the dishes, laundry, and cooking. We can all do difficult things… and you will enjoy how you feel after you do it.
Slowing down helped me prioritize and put things into perspective. The first thing I thought about after the accident was, “How am I going to teach my classes?!” I quickly found that you need to help yourself first before you can help anyone else. Prioritize your own healing before you heal others because you can’t fill someone else’s cup if yours is empty. So we “cacooned” and prioritized our personal health over our business for a few months.
Acknowledge opportunities to grow:
Was the Universe preparing me for fatherhood? I think so. I won’t feel 100% all the time, but I still have to show up 100% all the time for my child and family… even with one leg.
Value Your Partner:
The two and a half weeks right after Matt’s surgery when I was still feeling “normal” I was taking care of everything in the house. I quickly realized all of the things Matt does for us that I never see or think about. For example, he always keeps the dogs’ water bowl full. He is great at keeping the laundry going. He takes the trash in and out. He deals with dead animals in the backyard. He runs to the grocery store when we need, and the list goes on and on. Of course I have always valued Matt, but I was able to see and appreciate things that I perhaps normally overlook or take for granted.
You Can Let Go of Control:
I didn't realize how hard it would be to let go of control. To allow the house to be more messy than usual. To not follow our posting schedule on social media. To take a step back from the business and trust Matt to handle what needed to be handled. Being ok with not hitting every standard or goal we set for ourselves when we were both full energy and health. It was good for me to let go of the reins. I will never be fully in control of anything, especially as we enter into parenthood. I needed to learn to step back some for my own mental well being but to also give Matthew a chance to grow and shine. Things don't have to be my way or done the exact way I would do it. I actually learned a lot from watching him do things in his own way.
Appreciation for Health and Energy:
It really is easy to take your health and energy for granted when you have it.
Between losing all of my energy for months and dealing with intense “morning” sickness, and needing to help Matt with simple things, like putting on his socks, getting in and out of bed, and bathing himself, I gained a lot of appreciation for the health and energy we usually possess. It really puts things into perspective as to how lucky we are for things we do not think about on a regular basis. Now that I have my energy back I am so grateful for everything I get to do, even the chores. I am grateful for my energy to do the dishes, to go for a swim, to walk with a friend, to make dinner, to go outside and feed the chickens, to vacuum the house, to go to the grocery store… and so much more.
Community is Powerful:
We have only lived here a little over 2 years. We only just started building our community when we launched our business in March of 2022. So I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by how many friends, acquaintances, and strangers reached out with kind words, or made us food, flipped our compost, sent gifts, offered valuable resources, and so much more. It is not always easy to accept help and I am so grateful to this community who made it so easy and comfortable to say yes to, because we really did need help. It is inspiring to see how powerful a community can be when it comes together. It inspires me to see how I can help when others need it. Just to know someone is thinking of you can do so much.
The Importance of Self Love:
I didn't want to let negative self talk take over and put me in a dark place. My body felt bad because I am growing something beautiful. I wanted my mind, body and spirit to be a wonderful home for this new life, so I had no choice but to accept what was going on and be kind to myself during it. It would have been so easy to call myself lazy, pathetic, selfish, gross, stupid… Hindsight, I know I was not making any of it up and it was hard. The best thing I could have done for myself was to be kind. I allowed myself to rest without guilt. I reminded myself that my body is doing more than I could understand. I told myself that not getting to that one thing I was going to do for the business did not make me a lazy person. I told myself in the mirror that I was beautiful and doing amazing things. Self love is something I can call on in the future when I am beating down on myself. It is powerful and important.
We are sure there are many more lessons from this that we did not touch on or have even realized yet, but this is what we have for now. Fortunately we both are feeling magnitudes better. It feels so good to have emerged from our cocoons into the new people we have become. We are excited to put our energy into our business and into prepping for our little one coming in June. Surely life will require us to cocoon and change again in the future, but for now we are ready to spread our wings and enjoy this beautiful life we have.