For the past few months I have had some health issues. I was finally able to make it in for a doctor's appointment. It was with a doctor that I have been with for years and I trust him. We talked about my health and my concerns. He proceeded with his examinations and we talked about next steps. One of the steps was waiting for results. I like him because while he is cautious and matter of fact, he is not an alarmist. We talked through his thoughts and where he was headed in my healthcare. I appreciated all of it. And let me tell you 3 weeks to hear the results for something is a real freaking long time to wait! And fortunately the results came more quickly than that and all of my results were normal. My doctor was able to address the issue in an office visit. But we're both keeping an eye on it and I'm supposed to call him if my issues come up again.
So while I waited I thought of next steps and long term. I thought about my children and my husband and what I was going to do for different scenarios. I looked up my symptoms for the first week of waiting and then I let it go because worrying and perseverating were not going to get me anywhere and it only made me more anxious. That is not to say that I forgot about it, it was all in the back of my mind. Waiting, wondering, and thinking of next steps.
But as I waited and wondered, I also approached my parenting, my care for my husband, and daily activities very differently. The unknown made me more conscientious about how I was spending my time and how I interacted with people. All the irritations and mild annoyances that plague daily life became less irritating and less annoying. I was facing bigger disruptions if my health issues weren't cleared up with a routine doctor's appointment.
In those three weeks I learned a few things:
Take a deep breath before answering my children when they were being fussy, rude, and hot messes. Usually they low blood sugar or needing to use the bathroom is to blame. Address those issues first and then everything else will usually fall into place.
Nothing is a big deal and most of the time a meal, a nap, going to the bathroom, or a time out with a good book will cure most of the woes...especially when it comes to children and low blood sugar.
There is no use worrying about something. Make plans for a plot twist in life, but don't worry. Making plans is helpful and useful, worrying is not.
Spend time with the people who matter to you. Friends and laughter will help with an anxious soul and help put worry aside, even if for a few hours.
And by the same token, don't waste time on people who do not add value to your life. I spent some time unfollowing and unfriending people on social media. I realized that their negativity was cluttering up my life in a way that is unhealthy for me. I can choose who I spend time with and how I want to spend my time. And some people are not worth the extra effort of scrolling through their images and negativity. Buh-bye.
Keep going. While I made adjustments to my perspective on everyday life, I didn't stop living it. I still got up every morning, made breakfast and lunches, did the laundry, menu planned, and I exercised. I didn't tell the kids I was worried. I just kept moving forward, but with a better attitude. I think they noticed. I snuggled more, I read more books with them, and my answer was often: "Take a deep breath. It's not the end of the world. Let's step away from this right now and we'll go back to it in an hour. Go do something fun. Read a book. Eat a snack. Color. Be creative." You know what? That made a huge difference. My kiddos were able to go back later to whatever mini-crisis they were having and have a different perspective and accomplish something that seemed impossible earlier in the day.
Nothing puts life into perspective like having a health concern that may put you out of commission for a lonwhile or permanently. I was scared stupid. I wanted to talk to my friends and my sisters, but I also didn't have any information except it may be cancer or it may be absolutely nothing. So while I waited, I made plans with many friends, took an evening walk with my husband every night talking about the day, and hugged my kids extra long everyday. Now that my health concerns have passed, I still do those things. I'm making plans to spend more time with friends, I hug my kids extra long every single day, and I spend extra time with my husband with an evening stroll or sitting on the couch watching a favorite show. It has been much easier to cull out what is the important thing I need to accomplish today: Love my family...and probably feed them ;p Peace be with you.
"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do. If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family."