Toe the Line

I woke up this morning at 3:15 for no good reason. I remember being startled and assumed for a moment that I’d been jolted awake by an earthquake — only the dining room chandelier wasn’t moving. Weird.

After a glass of water and shuffling around in the dark to make sure nothing was amiss, I eventually fell back asleep and awoke again around 5:15 after the strangest dream.

In it, I was on vacation at a Spanish resort and missing my left big toenail. It was a bloody stump of a digit and it looked terrible. I remember hoping that people would do little more than glance at it, assuming that the red was nail polish instead of blood. I never said my dreams were normal.

When my alarm went off, my toe — the one in bad shape in my dream — was in bad shape for real. I’m not sure what I did to it when I was sleeping, but it hurt. A lot. It ruined a perfectly good Spanish vacation, too. The nerve.

All I can figure is that it was the position of my foot during slumber, or that I kicked myself — or possibly the bench at the end of my bed. Maybe I’m a sleepwalker and rammed it into a doorjamb. Who knows?

It’s hard to say what goes on in our lives sometimes. One day your plans are going accordingly, while other days you might look around, blink, then wonder, “Wait — what just happened?”

You might wonder if you’ve been going through life half asleep, or sleepwalking entirely. You may not know which way is up and distinguishing fact from fiction might be more and more challenging. The lines are blurred. Things are messy.

But sometimes what happens outside of reality can affect reality itself. It might make us more cautious, more aware or more alert — just as my toe situation made me today. If I can manage to wake up with a sore foot, that’s reason enough to go through the day a bit more cautiously than normal.

Today I am thankful for those little things that perk up our radar when things would otherwise be status quo. You never know the things that are placed in our path during the day to make us slow down a bit, or to simply pay more attention.

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