Friday, September 30, 2016

Stress Test

Sitting in a waiting room anticipating a nuclear stress test is stressful enough, but this? Yikes.

I knew I wanted coffee, but with the sign in place I wanted it more. Why is that? Perhaps my personal "edit" button was broken. You know, the one which helps me be a responsible adult most of the time and choose the better decisions multiple times a day. This day, I wanted to just be held, be coddled, and be given a cup of coffee. Most days, I don't take the time to think about what I want. I'm learning to slow down and recognize those inner desires. The key? The slowing down part.

When I slow down, I can sort out the rest of the messages, conflicting or not, and get to my personal truth. The truth about how I felt.

Scared. Now what do I do with it?

Part of me wanted to pull out my phone, scroll through emails or Facebook or anything to distract me from what was going on. Another part wanted to act on my idea to download the song "Radioactive" and play it loudly as I walked in for my testing. But I decided to stay, instead. Staying put gave me a chance to experience feeling scared.

I came to an interesting conclusion:
Being able to sit with myself and know I'm scared was actually less scary than trying not to be scared.

Sitting with my feeling gave me a chance to own it, know it, feel it. Fighting the feeling takes more effort, actually. Fighting the feeling would demand I figure out a way to put on some armor, perhaps a sword in the form of researching the medical information online. Or maybe a shield in the form of repeating personal positive statements like "I am healthy," "I am fine," "I will be okay." I chose to put down the weapons and discover what was left--my inner strength. This strength gives me power to embrace my feelings--even if they're the scary ones.

No one ever knows for sure if they will be okay, health-wise. We simply do our best. Sometimes it means taking the tests, sitting with the unknowns, and then drinking a cup of coffee as soon as we can.

I know I did. And I enjoyed every last drop. I even felt a little less scared by then, too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

College Mom's Ripcord

When I walk through a door, I prefer there be a floor on the other side of the threshold.

More than thirty years ago, I stepped through a door into thin air. That time, I had a parachute strapped to my back and a reserve chute on my tummy, like a baby to whom I preferred not to give birth. I was twenty, just a little older than my son is now, more excited than scared to dive into the adventure. And I jumped.

Three weeks ago, I stepped over the same threshold as I drove away from my son's college campus for the six hour ride home. Hot tears threatened my view and I grabbed the steering wheel as if it were a lifeline, a ripcord. I continued to drive. My heart sped to the ground, frantically waiting for the whoosh of air to open a life-giving chute.

I remembered surviving this a year ago, when I dropped him off for the first time as a freshman.
I focused in on what I know. I know my son is thriving, excited, and ready to take his next steps toward adulthood. It takes every fiber of my being to trust the air and the invisibility of it all. It's the same air which saves me, though.

They say that every landing is called a crash landing. The best I can do is crash a little more gently each time. Maybe I'll have a bigger parachute next year.

Image result for istock free images parachute