now what?

hello my joyful friends,

So, I understand the concept of expectations now and how they are the crux of a lot of my relationship problems, but here’s the rub.  I still have them.  I can’t turn them off.  But,  I can NOT react. 

I had a doctor’s appt today.  I may (or may not) have mentioned that my back doctor retired.  Was it me?  Oh, no!  So, after I talked to the Podiatrist about my hammertoe, and my corn, (keep up people!) he referred me back to my back doctor. 

He is now a she. She did not tell me what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear that this is all fixable.  That not being able to raise myself up on my tippy toes with one foot, was easily fixed.  No, my dear aging friends, it is not fixable.  In fact, the “deficits” are probably permanent.  No joy in Mudville today. 

An interesting tangent though, so indulge me.  I found myself blaming my recently retired doctor for what is happening. If we had only done something sooner, my physical therapist, why didn’t she ask about this?  Then I remembered reading something about blame.  The article said that when something bad happens to us, my diagnosis, it triggers an emotional reaction like embarrassment, fear, a feeling of inadequacy.  Blaming someone or something for what happened relieves that negative feeling, pronto.  Mine was fear, I wanted to make it go away, NOW!  So, without even as much as a second thought, I started getting mad at that poor old guy, it’s all his fault. My physical therapist, I trusted her, and now look what happened!  What should I have done?  “Take a deep breath – or several” then, “reframe it as an opportunity to learn.”  Oh, great!  Another opportunity for personal growth…arghhhh!  Then I’m supposed to keep things in perspective.  What, another gratitude list??  Yes, another gratitude list. 

Back to this morning.  My “hope to be returning to college soon” daughter knew I was going to the doctor and that I was nervous about it.  She had even given me a piece of selenite, a crystal, to “keep all the gross energy away!”  So sweet.  My sister knew about it because I called her on the way to the doctor.  So, the “play”, that is what I am calling my expectation filled life, was supposed go something like this. “Joy opens door and enters house. Daughter runs down stairs, “How was you appointment Mother (enthusiastically)?”  But, Joy opened the door to the house and daughter shouts from the next room “What is the password to the movers website (irritatedly)?”.  Joy proceeds to make some lunch and daughter does not inquire about doctors appointment. 

Expectation #2 – Sister, the best sister ever, you might recall from a previous post, did not call me back. At least not yet and it’s been four hours!! 

Truth: My daughter had given me that crystal and a beautiful hand written note after she and I talked about how I was feeling a week or two ago.  I have the note on my bulletin board and was holding the crystal in my hand in the waiting room.  Just yesterday, my sister sent me an amazing greeting card for an upcoming anniversary, she does that kind of stuff.  On the front it said “You are the sweetest, most amazing person I have ever known!”  Seriously…it doesn’t get much better than that. 

So, the fact that I stopped, took a breath, and didn’t react to my daughter, and the fact that I will not mention my letdown to my sister for not calling me back immediately, has allowed me to, yes, make another gratitude list. 

I am grateful for:

– Having a sensitive caring daughter

– Having a sister who is thoughtful and has my back no matter what

– My good health (it could be a LOT worse!)

Growing old is not for sissies!  But, growing old can be filled with joy if we just slow down and notice it!

Until we meet again,

Joy