Aloha Readers of Tennis, Trisomy 21 and Taking in Life Together!
Life can be full or surprises!
In my last post that I had written after my daughter’s successful heart operation, I had ruminated about letting go: of fears, overthinking, vanity, ego, seeking constant reassurance from my husband and our friends, even my hair!
I should add one more noun paired with a simple adjective: big buildup!
For years, my husband and I had concerns about our daughter’s heart. Born with an extra chromosome, doctors had long suspected an opening between major arteries connected to her heart.
But our daughter has grown tall and strong. She’s a nimble practitioner of words and a lovely athlete.
And anxious at times, fiercely stubborn, prone to freeze when expected to show off her capabilities, an overthinker.
I wonder where that all comes from?!
After all the buildup, pre-op appointments with doctors, and the grueling surgery and hours of facing the unknown until it was over, her cardiologist discovered the opening near our daughter’s heart wasn’t an issue after all.
Stunned, slightly bewildered, relieved and exhausted, and with my husband and daughter recovering from colds fed by anxiety and hospital germs, we have spent this week recovering from the big buildup.
I escaped the cold because when I don’t have to be with people at work the next day, I eat spoonfuls of minced, raw garlic. It works and I actually enjoy the taste. My poor husband, though, shrugs his shoulders with astonishing patience.
In my healthy state, I continued this week my practice of letting go.
Although I’ve had poetry published and shown in major exhibits for decades, I’ve also enjoyed writing prose, usually sports articles or essays. I’ve never had quite the confidence with prose, though, that I have with my poetry.
For months, I’ve had three articles swirling in my brain. Finally, this week, I submitted a piece for publication for a major online newspaper. Even if my written reflection is rejected, it was a step in several right directions: to step outside my comfort zone, to let go, to be at peace with the unknown!
It’s funny how once you try something, it sometimes becomes easier, like having confidence in your own voice, not an easy thing to do for a gay man of my generation. For decades, I tried to find the perfect pitch for what I perceived as my overly gay voice instead of just trusting it. I overthought my voice and so much in my life so that I would be accepted and liked. I spent way too much time crouched in fear.
A fellow blogger whom I have followed for a couple years wrote a piece this week that I found offensive. For about 15 minutes, I went back and forth in my brain about whether I should offer a clear, concise comment about my gut reaction to her piece. Although I have never met the blogger in person, I admire her. I was a bit fearful that she and other followers of her blog would be offended by my being offended!
But I went for it. Guess what? She offered a lovely apology. Other followers liked the comment.
The very next morning, I asked my boss about renegotiating my contract. Sounds easy, right? Except it’s always been difficult for me as a gay man to hold my own with a straight man whom I admire who is my boss. I have to coach myself about not feeling inadequate, that it is perfectly reasonable to trust my voice.
To make a pretty straightforward request with my boss, I spent months talking through my talking points with my husband and close friends. I even took a seminar for women who sought to gain confidence about championing their abilities and worth in the workplace! (By the way, the women invited me to become part of their organization!)
And lo and behold, yesterday, without referring to my copious notes, I spoke clearly, concisely, and confidently with my boss. I didn’t receive a yes or no. He said he would think about my request. And this weekend, I’m living with that unknown. And I’m fine!
I made one more decision this week that was outside my comfort zone. I’ve decided to run marathons in late July on consecutive days, something I have never done before and will never do again! I checked with the race director about all the rules and whether or not he thought I was crazy (as my patient, wonderful husband sometimes does).
Guess what? The race director encouraged me to go for it. He even wrote that I’ve been an inspiration to other runners at his event!
Well, what do you know? Letting go has become a little easier!