When trying to come up with blog topics, I usually have a process. I look at my curated list of biweekly blogs or my monthly list of journal articles. If something catches my eye there, then you get something inspired from one of them. I also think about my past week and what patients I’ve seen and conversations I’ve had. If something came up that was quite poignant, then you get something inspired from that. The past two weeks have been busy in different ways for me, and I’ve decided to use that as my topic for this week’s blog. Here goes.
As this pandemic has continued on (and on, and on, and on), I’ve had a sensation that I just want to slow down. Put on the brakes. Stay still for a little while. For myself and many of you in animal health profession, we didn’t get a break. We didn’t sit at home for months. We never experienced the ‘joys’ of working from home. We were busy and we just got busier.
During the last year and a half its felt like I am being pushed forwards but my brakes are on… and it’s starting to damage the rubber on my tires!!! I feel like I have one foot in the door of ‘get on with it, start moving forwards, plan for the future, do more’ and the other foot in the door of ‘now is a time to relax, reflect, reduce stress, simplify, and accept what is.’ Suffice to say, I didn’t know which direction to go. So, I’ve been moving forwards with my brakes still on.
Leading up to my mini vacation, I was busy getting ready. Writing a blog, creating the eblast to go out last Sunday, organize the dog babysitter, the chicken checker, the house cleaner, the assistant, and my mom to water plants if it got really hot while we were away. I was asked about it all the week before we went on holidays. It was a conversation about getting back to teaching and my uncertainty about how I’d fit it into my life. Well, as I was prepping to go away, and then came back to MORE work to do and catch up on, I recognized a sensation in me. It was one I’d not felt for 21 months (because that was the last time I went away anywhere).
It was the sense of drive, of the absolute necessity for organization, of impenetrable focus, and the knowledge that everything that needed to get done would get done because it HAD to get done. I had lost that feeling! I forgot what it felt like!
You see, 6 months before the pandemic started, my husband was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer, and that shook everything. On top of that my oldest son was having mental health issues and had returned to live in our basement. So, on January 1st, 2020, I cancelled all of my teaching for the upcoming year, because I wasn’t sure what life would look like, and I didn’t want to be half way around the world if things went sideways. I put on the brakes. Then the pandemic happened. And well, it’s still happening.
Fast forward, we are managing my husband’s cancer. He is living WITH neuroendocrine cancer, and we’ve made a boat-load of changes in regards to diet and lifestyle for him and are doing tons of natural and adjunctive therapies. His tumours have not grown in 2 years and his doctor simply say “keep on doing what you’re doing”. So, we are… but I didn’t realize just how much I was doing the gas pedal-brake thing and how THAT has had a negative impact. Because really, where do I want to go? What am I doing to get there? Just commit to the road you’re driving and steer, bitch!!!
What the voice in my head ‘actually’ said was “Lean in”. I did it physically, leaned towards my computer screen and that’s when I felt it. The old familiar feeling of ‘you can accomplish anything, because you have to and you want to!’ Have you ridden a bicycle down a hill and leaned forwards to get low to the handlebars? Or down-hill skied in a tuck position? Or felt the way you need to lean into a curve when riding a motorcycle? That’s the sensation! It’s leaning in! Leaning forwards. Learning to steer as gravity or momentum pull you in a direction and not fighting it!
So, this is my mantra for the rest of the year at least – LEAN IN!
Maybe this will resonate with others as well. We’re all on this road of chaos… maybe it’s time to lean in and steer!
Have a great week ahead folks!