ODOMOBaaT

NaBloPoMo 2021:  Do Good, Kid

Day 30!!  Thank you to all readers, and my fellow challenge tacklers, check them out–

Nancy over at Thoughts From the Back,

My fellow woman physician writer at Passion…unbridled, and

One of the most voracious readers alive, Love 2 Read 365!

Life is such a beautiful, terrifying, awesome, and dynamic balance of so many things, no?  I want this, the last post of a 30 day challenge with special meaning, to shine as a worthy conclusion!  I also want to have fun writing it, relieve myself of perfectionist pressure to ‘produce’.  If I had infinite time and inspiration (and required no sleep), I could write so many more ethical earworm posts, right?

Always Do Your Best—If You Can Figure Out What That Means

Sacrifice, But Not Too Much

Vet Your Sources

Nod to the Cosmos

Forgive Yourself

Find A Why

What else?

What a long, strange trip—the past month, the last two years—life. I bought a customized ring with ‘one breath’ imprinted, to help me remember to stay in the moment, to ground. I like it, and ordered three more for friends also weathering hard times. I still fall down—catastrophize and freak out so much more than I want to admit. I can find peace, then it escapes me. But my friends refer to the ring and remind me: One Day, One Moment, One (deep) Breath at a Time—ODOMOBaaT. Maybe it was my subconscious finding the win-win, sharing a centering life mantra with dear friends, so they could then reflect it back to me? Nice, how that works out.

Do you wonder about Sven? Happily, I can report that it is alive and well on the bottom shelf of the fridge. I continue to learn and experiment, to growl in frustration and keep trying—I will get the hang of this one day! Meanwhile, a little yeast assisted sourdough (YASD) makes for fluffy loaves that family and friends enjoy. And what am I after more here, mastering a challenge, or sharing yum with loved ones? It’s both and, of course, but when push comes to shove, I can let up on perfecting Sven bread (for now) and simply enjoy serving something warm that brings folks together in love and connection. ODOMOBaaT.

Will I have I done enough for Son to launch into independence by next fall?  What’s around the corner for Daughter, Hubs, MaBa, Sibs, my three friends, work?  Am I aging okay?  When will I finally feel solid in these healthier eating habits?  How can I write daily and get enough sleep, OMG?  When will we finally arrive at some stability and equilibrium with COVID?  How can I help people treat one another with more curiosity, kindness, generosity, humility, openness, and love?  ODOMOBaaT.

Self-awareness, self-regulation, connection.  It’s all an ongoing practice, an infinite game, no question. 

Our challenges loom.  Our gifts can shine, proliferate, amplify, and overcome—if we work together.  So much to do, so little and so much time, infinite chances—every encounter, every breath an opportunity.  Onward in solidarity!

As Mary Oliver asks, what will we each do with our ‘one wild and precious life’?  We don’t have to decide right this minute.  OD.OM.OB,aaT.  It will all be okay.

Reflect

NaBloPoMo 2021:  Do Good, Kid

Day 29.  It’s been such a long month that has also flown by.  If you’ve read along all this time, what stands out?  What resonates?  What’s redundant and boring?

I turned 48 this year, 4 cycles of the Chinese zodiac completed.  Looking back at 36, 24, and 12, wow, perspective!  Looking back from March 2020, when we moved all clinical activity remote and shut down all but the most essential operations at work, and pulled together all over work, to now…  So much has changed, and yet we are still us, still doing what we do.  I will find some time to look back on my 5 months away from patients.  Coming back to work has been exactly what I anticipated and also unexpected in many ways. 

“All that you touch You change.  All that you change, Changes you.  The only lasting truth is Change.  God is Change.” –Octavia Butler

I had a list of topics to cover this month.  But each day I ended up writing on an idea that inspired or moved me.  I hit most items on the list, and I can always write later on those still outstanding.  But looking back on 28 days, I’m really happy with what I executed.   Most of the time I set out to write one thing, and inevitably the piece changed to something slightly different.  Fascinating how that happens—and I’m satisfied that the messages are still authentically mine, altered as they were.  I would be happy if the kids looked back on these posts someday and felt encouraged or comforted by them, if they could hear my voice and feel my love.

Look back and learn.  Connect the dots.  See things anew, make new connections; find the light behind the shadows; bring hidden things out into the open.  Reflect with curiosity, humility, respect for your former and future selves.  Acknowledge all those who have helped you along the way, even by challenging or injuring you.  You are the culmination of all of your experiences to date, and then some.  Own it.

Marvel at the journey, take it in.  Be still, get quiet.  Let the reflections shimmer to a smooth surface, or not.  Just allow some space and see what can come.  I think it’s always worth the effort.

Decompress

NaBloPoMo 2021:  Do Good, Kid

Life often turns out not—so not—how we want.

How do we cope?  Over and over, ad infinitum?

Between hope, expectation, and reality,

Where creep the fissures?

When they propagate into crevasses,

What do we feel?

Disappointment

Guilt

Shame

Anxiety

Rage

Resentment

Resignation

Drop in there, name it.

Spelunk the caves, Shine the light.

Allow, contain; then soothe the hijack.

Find the way out—it may be different each time.

Run; in place if necessary.

Punch, lift, kick, jump, yell, throw—just do no harm.

Talk, but only to someone helpful (if that’s not you, find someone else this time).

Write.  Anything, everything.  Doodle, scribble, jabberwocky.

Take that pent up, swelling, potential(ly negative) energy,

Held under pressure like a great balloon of hot gas;

Expel it.

Aim it to propel you, ya?

In the direction of your meaning, your purpose, your mission,

Or just your peace for now.

Life may be an exercise in elasticity, among other things.

Practice holding strong tension, then releasing it fully.

Repeat.

Condition and train this discipline.

We’ got this.