Uncertainty

Uncertainty

Most of us cannot remember what we were doing one year ago today. Well, unless you have that bizarre supermemory affliction like Marilu Henner where she remembers every detail to the letter like exactly where she was at 2:45 p.m. on Monday, February 16, 2004 and that February 16, 2004 was a Monday. I remember where I was this time last year. I was in a doctor’s office waiting to be admitted into the hospital for a short stay for the first time in my life as an adult. I remember I was absolutely starving because I had fasted the evening before and the banana in my lunchbag didn’t really do the trick. I remember I was more concerned about making sure the dog was taken care of at home that night after my husband was going to come out to see me because that’s what people with caretaker mentality do. They completely put out of their mind that maybe they could have a stroke and die that night. It’s much easier to think about the dog having to urinate. No one wants to go to that other place.

 

This morning, my mind is on the topic of uncertainty. In that moment, I didn’t have a clue what the next few days or possibly a week held for me. I just knew that I wouldn’t drop dead somewhere mysteriously in a parking lot because thanks to diagnostic testing, they found the culprit to some symptoms I had been experiencing. But beyond that, I knew nothing else. I trusted that I was in the right place to handle anything else that might take place during that time. And I was right. By the end of the week, I was home and a year later, my feet still hit the pavement.

 

And it turned out, that nothing major did happen that week.  In fact, it was probably one of the most uneventful patient experiences that room’s walls had seen up until then. I cannot say the same for the two patients who at different times stayed in the bed on the other side of the room. Whereas I seemed to have no real patient needs or pain, my roomies were always experiencing tremendous discomfort and I heard it. Every hour. Every night. I didn’t sleep all that much that week, but I was thankful to be alert and seeing, hearing and experiencing anything at all. That was a-okay with me though I did empathize with the women in the other bed over those couple of days.

 

Nothing is really any more certain this week than last year. But I know that I got through that, and anything else that hit the fan much later in the year regarding family. There was a time when uncertainty alone would have left me in a puddle. I used to like answers to everything, and would settle for nothing else. And then I grew up, and I realized that you don’t always get answers. Sometimes they never come at all and you are simply left wondering.

 

Does uncertainty weigh on your mind? Maybe it lingers in your heart. Nothing is certain, this we know though we may choose to overlook that fact because dwelling on it just reminds us how random a lot of life is. For people who are control freaks (yes, I’ll admit I’m one of those) or for others who insist on perfect order to their chaos, well, randomness is not a characteristic we are particularly fond of unless we can schedule that which cannot be scheduled.

 

Today is February 16, 2017. As I sip this coffee and prepare for the workday ahead, I can type with certainty that I am not headed to any diagnostic testing and therefore, have no plans to be stopping by any hospital anytime soon — to visit or to stay. Well, that’s not entirely true; there is that colonoscopy next week… but I’m sure that first time experience will lend wisdom of its own. I always try to look for a nugget of something to make me wiser in every action I take. Even if I don’t want the knowledge because it could be frightening or depressing. Knowledge is good. Always. I wake up every day with the intention of going to sleep smarter than I arose.

 

We should not be so fearful of uncertainty. It can also add some of the spark in our life. The other evening, I took part in a fun and beautifully romantic event which connected 20+ couples in the Bay area who all chose to renew their vows on Valentine’s Day — well, evening. We were one of those couples. It was not something we had planned to do — only arrived at the decision a few days before. And I can honestly say I wasn’t sure if we would even enjoy the experience, standing around in a sea of strangers reciting movie-quote vows read aloud by the Internet-ordained minister of events at a local historic movie palace. But it turned out to be a wonderful night, and one I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. To think, had I listened to my uncertainty, I might have talked us out of going. I can be quite persuasive, you know? But thankfully, I put a muzzle in Uncertainty’s piehole and ventured on and I’m glad I did.

 

Do not be afraid of what you don’t know today. Step forward and make it so. Yeah, I might have just stolen that from Captain Jean-Luc Picard.  Pretty certain about that. ~ Chris K  xo

 

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