“How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it!” – George Elliston
My chickadee and I returned from visiting people who are very dear to us last Friday. Our visit included kayaking, attending a baseball game (which I normally do not enjoy, but our companions made it delightful), and the general enjoyment of good company. On Wednesday morning, I rode a mountain bike trail at a wonderful location called Two Rivers in Springfield, Missouri. The beauty and the challenge of the trails made it an amazing experience. I completed a slope style course two times! I was tempted to take my camera to share the view with you, but I wanted to be sure to stay present in the moment – and to stay on my bike!
We visited in order to spend time with loved ones, but I also needed to have a small procedure to complete the process of having a dental implant. Usually, I’m put under sedation for such things, but this procedure only takes fifteen minutes. I was terribly nervous about being awake, but, thanks to a generous amount of Valium, nitrous oxide, and The Black Keys, it went as well as such a thing could go for me. While this was a really stressful experience, there was also an element of beauty to it thanks to a wonderful nurse who took such gentle care of me. I’m full of gratitude for the patient care she and my surgeon provided.
When we returned, we found my husband in a state of great discomfort. A friend of ours in Illinois, who happens to be an audiologist, was a source of great help as we realized the initial diagnosis we received in Urgent Care. The time he took to listen to me and to check in via texts to see how my husband was doing made me feel less lonely than I did in a city that still feels new at times. On Monday, our primary physician declared the cause seems to be a virus in the inner ear, and he prescribed medicine to help him function while his ear returns to normal. I spent every day after our return in a state of what felt like nonstop care – either for him or for our active six year old. At times, this was a frustrating state to be in. I had things I wanted to make, to read, to write. I wanted some time to myself. I felt as if it didn’t really matter what I did – my time away from my desired modes of creativity made the chances of me being on David Letterman before he retires even slimmer than they already are! While there was no doubt in my mind that my husband and son were, and are, my priorities, it was hard to let go of what else I wanted to be.
Now that my husband has returned to work and our life feels more “normal”, I have no regrets in my decision to focus on caring for those I loved. The other things I wanted to do are right here, waiting for me, and I’m about ready to begin some exciting projects. I think about the nurse who helped me on Thursday. She will probably not be on late night television either, but she created a lovely memory for me during a time that initially began with great anxiety – I made sure to thank her while I was still coherent.
Sometimes, what matters most in this life receives the least amount of praise. While receiving positive feedback and accolades feels good, we are really the only ones who can make what we do meaningful. I like this idea, and I hope you take comfort in it too – although it’s also a call to meaningful and intentional action.
May you always see the value in what you do…
Free Range Al