My biggest lesson this past month has been about expectations and acceptance. At the end of September, my husband was scheduled for an angiogram, with the strong possibility that he would be given a stent. In the days leading up to the procedure, we held space for each other, meditating, going on short walks, and eating meals chosen to nourish well-being. On the day of his outpatient procedure, I dropped him off at the hospital in the early morning, with instructions to pick him up late afternoon. Leaving the hospital, I thought I had no expectations.
SURPRISE! I did, I do.
The angiogram showed there was not enough occlusion in the heart artery to warrant a stent. I received a call to pick him up much earlier than I anticipated. I cut short a visit with a friend to make the pick-up. We had been led to believe, based on reports from friends, that having the stent would create miraculous results, that energy levels would increase almost immediately. Who wouldn’t want more of that? Instead, he was given a prescription and a directive to “exercise more”. There’s a certain irony in that directive to exercise more. I digress.
back to expectations
Getting back to expectations – I’ve been feeling ripples of disappointment as the impact of this latest health challenge remains unresolved. Here I was, envisioning my husband returning to some earlier version of himself, where we could resume some easy hikes together, where the possibility of shared activity returned. As of this writing, that’s not an option. In fact, to add more layers to the challenging mix, he is now back on chemotherapy medication (targeted gene therapy) and he has shingles.
My expectation of having a healthier husband has gone in the opposite direction. I’m doing my best to shift to acceptance instead of disappointment, not entirely successfully. In this time of transition, I may be more in the “need to be distracted” phase. I’m reading a lot, going out hiking when I can, spending time with friends in small groups or 1-1 (larger groups feel overwhelming right now). My evenings are spent watching a couple of engaging shows, then off to bed. Hopefully to sleep, but sometimes sleep is elusive.
What is acceptance?
Perhaps it’s about kindness and understanding, learning to be gentle with myself. Not pushing so hard. Letting myself be. Recognizing that this is not a time for creative output or sustaining any kind of writing project. I have so many half-formed ideas and draft essays that await my attention. Wise mentors have suggested I ease up on self-judgment, that adapting to this new stage of my husband’s chronic illness journey takes a lot of energy. Reminding me that what I’m experiencing is a protracted grieving process. I’m telling my inner critic to back off; I need time and space to be unproductive in the creative department. When the time is right, I’ll pick up the threads. Is this acceptance?
In the meantime, I’m looking ahead to November, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The full challenge is to write 50,000 words of a novel during the month. I already know that goal is out of the question, and I’d like to make a small commitment. I’m thinking about writing at least one (ONE) 100-word story each week. Ideally, it would be one 100-word story each day, and if I achieve that, hooray. I will post some suggestions for writing 100-word stories in Marie’s Writing Oasis, and I may post one or two of mine in the Writing Oasis as well.
I invite you to consider your writing goal for November. I’ll create a post in Marie’s Writing Oasis where everyone can share their goals. Throughout November, we can support each other, through the challenges and the celebrations.
Now that I’ve got this newsletter complete, I’m heading over to my 100-word story for today. Thank you for being here. Your words matter. You matter.