Letting Go of Control

Last week was a bit of a rough week. It started with the end of an amazing long weekend in Chicago – just the grown-ups. We ate great food, stayed up late, and laughed until our sides hurt.

A half dozen Fat Tires, some improv at Second City, a couple of pairs of new shoes, and a blissful afternoon at the spa, and I was ready to come home to a weekend of prepping the house for my shoulder repair surgery.

I had big plans of catching up in the garden, washing all of the bedding, and making sure that there was plenty of food so that I just rest and rehab. I thought that there would be plenty of time to pick up the little “treats” that make recovery not feel quite so ominous.

I envisioned pulling into the driveway and viewing the freshly mulched beds and clean edged flower beds through my sleepy anesthetic haze, then crawling into bed where I could gaze peacefully at my healing altar complete with scented candles, a cup of tea, and a stack of trashy magazines.

As it turns out, the Universe had other plans. I went into a routine follow-up doctor’s appointment Wednesday morning only to find out that I had a large ovarian cyst that needed to be removed – immediately. I had a choice – Thursday or Friday.

I left in tears; scared, stressed beyond comprehension, and scrambling to make whatever preparations I could in the less than 24 hours I had. As any good Type A person would, I made a quick checklist and got going on it with the help of my husband. We unpacked, got the laundry done, made sure there were groceries, and I found coverage for the meeting I was supposed to facilitate the next day.

Monday morning, I faced surgery number two in 4 days. There was no checklist because, frankly, I was too tired to make one. I spent the weekend using whatever energy I had to both heal and participate in whatever pleasantness I could handle. I watched movies, went for a walk in the sunshine, and snuggled with my kids and cats.

I did not get an extra blog post written, there is cat hair on the couch, and we have only enough food to get through the next day or so. There will be no healing candle waiting for me, and I already read all of my trashy magazines.

And yet, I think we will all survive. It is always nice to be able to prepare and plan for difficult times. And it is equally nice to let family and friends step in and nurture us when we really need it.

I am incredibly grateful for my husband who will vacuum and do the dishes and bring me tea, and for my family who will pick up the kids and feed them dinner when I am having trouble waking up from the anesthetic. I am touched by the friends who will call or send notes to let me know that they love me and believe in my strength. And I am thankful for the countless doctors, nurses, and volunteers who give me permission to just let go and be taken care of for a little while.

The gift is in the recognition that the world can and does go on, even when our plans go awry. And in having people there who will help us pick up the pieces.

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