Thursday, May 8, 2014

Let it go...

Braden and I have been 1,000 miles from home for about two months now while he goes through his bone marrow transplant.

When we left, it was still a gray, dull, and bitterly cold winter. Now it's a colorful, warm, and beautiful spring!

Our days consist of long walks that last about 2 hours each day (when it's not rainy or cold) in which we have found many little parks, watched spring flowers bloom, collected rocks, watched water fountains, chased white butterflies, talked to pigeons, watched robins pecking worms out of the dirt, talked to the police officers, played basketball in our room, spoken with each new neighbor from our room window as they stood on their balcony below us, chasing down garbage trucks, firetrucks, and ambulances...and various other awesome things.

You know...the important stuff!

I have largely unplugged from the WIFI and cell phone world.

I thought giving that up would be like losing a limb...

and it sort of was. :)

But Braden needs me right now and I have one job to get him well....

...and get us HOME with the people we love!

And "getting him well" doesn't just mean making sure he gets his meds, electrolytes, 2,000 calories, and 1,700 ml of fluids each and every means keeping him happy and active while we are in isolation and he can't be around people.

It's hard to be 1,000 miles away from Brian, Zach, and my friends.

FaceTime is great, but Hugs are much better!

I have wine :) but....

Braden just has me.

So, I have to take my job seriously,

and not so seriously.

We take detours every single day.  We learned to take detours long ago...

But somehow...this time so far away from home and just with Braden is different than simply taking detours.

I've been granted a rare opportunity to unplug from the hustle and bustle...

I'm not a minion to my phone and WIFI.

I am grateful for that technological world because it allows me to keep in contact with my friends and that ROCKS!

And sure....I do that from home as well, but this "time" is different.

At home, there is the constant rush of everyday life. Each day I have my checklist of things that must get done and tasks I need to finish.

I don't have that right now. My friends are taking care of things at home for me. How blessed am I?!

It did take me a few days to chill out, stop micromanaging, and just "let it go".

(I'm an admitted control least I admit that and own that) :)

What a wondrous gift this "down time" has been. It has allowed me to be on butterfly patrol, climb rocks, giggle, play, and enjoy time with Braden without feeling the constant need to hurry it up so I can "get things done".

What I'm realizing is that even though we take time to detour, we NEVER get time that has no pressure of the "to do" list and the hustle and bustle...

the constant "gotta do"....

...we don't get to ever let it go.

(and there is no cute snowman implied in that phrase).

I don't suppose it will ever be like the days of Beaver Cleaver and Aunt Bee from the Andy Griffith Show with hats, dresses, and chats over tea being the event of the day.  I'm certain June had a lot of things on her "to do list" with the cleaning and cooking and ironing...

but things used to be different.

I've only had my iPhone for about 3 years, I fervently waited because I didn't want to be accessible 24/7. I know myself too well and I can easily get consumed by that accessibility...

and others being accessible to me.

I planned for that consumption so I always have my phone ringer shut off. I don't have any notifications set for my phone. The only way I know if someone has called, texted, messaged, emailed, Facebooked, or Tweeted is if I pick my phone up and check.

BUT...I feel this obligation to be accessible. I have this need to check continually in the event someone needs something right away.

I didn't used to be that way...growing up I was only accessible during passing periods in the school hallways and occasionally on the weekends via our phone which was in the kitchen where my mom could hear everything I was saying.

There was no phone in my room,

and no TV in my room either, just the one in the living room with two channels that the rabbit ears on the console TV could pick up.


And while I used to moan and groan about all of that (constantly), I now yearn for that "unplugged" time to just be quiet and not have to worry about what has happened and who I didn't get back to while I was unplugged.

And being stressed about how I need to stop being unplugged because things are building up as I'm quiet,

and then worrying about how miserable it's going to be to catch up once I plug back in...

Can I get an AMEN??

When I was working and was at a meeting all day, I used to then spend hours after work catching up on my emails so others would get the answers they needed right away.

We are simply too "accessible"...

ALL the time!

We don't have down time, we simply can't "let it go" anymore. There's an unspoken expectation that we will answer that work email within a few minutes and if we don't, people are upset or disappointed.

That's really not a very healthy way to live but we are consumed by this constant accessibility, we have simply given in to that way of's now the norm.

I am very guilty of perpetuating this new norm. I have a huge need to be responsive, reliable, and accessible,

but this time in Philly has allowed me to let it go.

And THAT is a pretty big gift.

I'm lonely...I miss my 11 year old, husband, kitty, and my friends VERY much but...

there's never going to be another time like this that the biggest "to do" on the list for the day is collect rocks and watch the construction of a new building with my bald 9 year old.

I need to figure out how to "let it go" once we get home...

maybe I can schedule a "let it go" appointment in my electronic planner,

ask SIRI to create a reminder an hour before,

and set my meeting reminder for 5 minutes before it's time to relax.

Since I don't want to turn my notifications on, maybe I'll just stick with the wine thing.

Whatever it takes, I think we ALL need to find a way to let it go more often!