I am writing at night. I NEVER write at night. I was sitting in my hot tub, trying to calm the crazy brain I have had today. All weekend actually. It’s nothing bad, just too much. I couldn’t keep my mind from racing so I tried the hot tub. It worked. Not the hot tub really, but the time alone allowed me to ask the question, “What could I possibly do that might help me get some peace of mind?” My solution, the one thing I do that always helps me live a little more like I desire to live my one and only life, is writing. So, for better or for worse, here I go (I am confident that I will feel better—more relaxed and with better perspective—by the time I finish. You are free to just delete right now if you aren’t up for a late night blog). Here’s what I have been thinking about…
Thursday I had bloodwork done. I go in every 3 months and they test my blood to make sure it’s all “normal” and there are no signs that my Leukemia could be coming back. Usually, I don’t give this a second thought. I assume I am cured. But recently, 2 of my Leukemia friends have had theirs come back. I sort of got this stuck in my head Thursday and was an anxious mess. So I asked my doctor for some reassurance that mine was most definitely killed and my chances of it coming back were very slim.
Bless his heart…He was no help at all. He reminded me that for the first 4 years or so the chances are 50/50. Perfect. My heart started racing and I felt anxious and fearful off and on for the rest of the day. I was reminded of when I used to get my blood drawn every single day, sometimes more than once. When I wasn’t in the hospital, I went every 3 days and had several transfusions. I lived depending on the results of those tests for 5 solid months. And at the end of that time they told me to come see them in THREE MONTHS for blood work. I remember begging them to let me come in at least every week. I had a hard time relaxing during time between the tests. There was peace in being able to know daily that I was either OK or NOT OK. I could respond accordingly if I just had that information.
Lately, I have been relating this to checking my kid’s grades online. I hate to do it everyday (just like it wasn’t enjoyable to give blood everyday), but it’s way easier than waiting a couple weeks and then being terrified to check what has been happening to their grades the past two weeks. Sometimes we realize they forgot to turn something in or the teacher misplaced a paper or that their teacher clearly hated them and gave them a zero for no reason at all. 😉 But the main problem is, it’s been too long and now they can’t do anything about it. So, even though I hate checking everyday, it’s much less fear inducing and productive than waiting a few weeks between logins. The damage is done by then and the anxiety of not knowing is greater than knowing the truth.
So, all that was helpful to get off my chest. But, alas, I do have a small point to make:
When I take time to reflect on myself (my resentments, my failures, my shortcomings, my harsh words, my selfish acts, my bad habits, my signature sins) regularly, it’s actually much less scary than when I put it off until one of those areas becomes a huge, serious problem—one that may or may not fixable.
It’s not complicated — addressing areas of concern daily = little bitty fear. Addressing areas of concern monthly, yearly or perhaps never = massive, paralyzing fear. It applies to a lot of areas if you think about it — weighing yourself everyday is sometimes discouraging, but it’s downright depressing when we wait several months and realize we have gained 10 lbs! And losing 10 lbs is obviously harder than cutting back for a couple days and losing one or two when we see the scale numbers creeping up. It might be simple things you avoid like not going to the dentist regularly or balancing your checkbook. Or it could be more important things like spending time in daily prayer and mediation or taking time to go on dates with your spouse or spending consistent quality time with your kids. All of these things have a better ending for us if we pay attention to them everyday. And that’s all I have to say about that. (Now you see why I never write at night…)