My husband got hernia surgery last week. Surgery is stressful enough, but add in having 2 young kids, COVID, and a crazy time at work and I felt like the weight of the world was on us when we walked into that hospital. I anticipating spending several hours there and good thing that I did, because it ended up being the entire day!
I came prepared of course. I had my healthy meals, water, an “energize,” to put in my water for additional caffeine, my laptop, and a good book. I planned to be incredibly productive while I was waiting for husband, but the day quickly took some unexpected turns. First, I ended up being able to go back with my husband for all of his pre-surgery testing which I was so grateful for, but, it also made me more anxious so by the time I watched him get wheeled away I knew that there was no way I was going to be productive in that waiting room.
Wait, what?! Me not be productive?! No way in a million years…….. I furiously typed in my password and logged onto my computer in the waiting room…. I was determined to “power through” but fate had other plans. After several attempts of trying to log on to the hospital internet, I went up to the information desk for further assistance where I was informed that the wifi for guests was not connecting properly today. “Alright God, I hear you,” I muttered to myself. Anxiety and no internet is not a good space for me and I felt my stress rising by the minute so I followed my gut and got the heck out of dodge. I went to Target. Yes, I know, I know such a typical “mom” thing to do, but hear me out on this one. I don’t shop… like, ever. I go maybe twice a year max with the exception of the Christmas season but that’s more about the ambience than the shopping. Other than that, it is online or bust, because hopping overwhelms the heck out of me.
On this day however, Target just felt right and it did not disappoint. They had CHRISTMAS stuff out before Halloween! Christmas y’all – my absolute favorite time of year! I grabbed a cart and immediately felt at ease. I gazed at holiday décor, found matching dresses for my girls, and may have picked up a few small stocking stuffers in the $1-5 bins. Feeling a bit better, but still anxious with no news from surgery I went to Starbucks. Yes I know, Target and Starbucks, I hear the jokes coming now, but I needed to get out of my own head and the chai tea latte from Starbucks tastes like Christmas (notice the trend here!) so I got in line and purchased a venti and headed back to the hospital.
When I got back I pulled out my book “Everybody, Always” by Bob Goff (which everyone should read by the way) sipped my chai tea, and waited with a calmness and positivity that was completely different then when I had left. This new, relaxed perspective was absolutely needed. If I had stayed in that waiting room the whole time my anxiety would have built up to a terrible level, I would have made bad choices around my health, worried with no ability to do anything about my husband, and the impact of that stress would have affected me for many days to come. While some people may scoff and say Target and Starbucks is a waste of my day, I completely disagree. Did you know that your location impacts your well-being? Your home, your car, your office, the places you meet people for meetings….. location has a profound impact on your relationships, productivity and stress levels, and mood. I knew that the hospital was going to be bad for me so I headed out for a change of scenery and came back refreshed and ready to be a strong support for my husband.
The doctor came out soon after my return and told me that surgery went well and thanked me for being so calm. Prior to starting up meditation and self-care, no one in the world would ever have said that I was calm so this was big time progress for me! The two of us watched another women yelling at the top of her lungs at every person walking by and we both looked back at each other with the mutual feeling of respect and understanding. Hospitals are incredibly emotional places. There are births, deaths, transplant, surgeries, broken bones, dreams lost and dreams gained. As someone that feels for EVERYONE I knew that the headspace the waiting room would create for me would not be conducive to me or my husband that I needed to care for so I took initiative and did something about it.
You can do the same thing. You don’t have to be stuck. You can always do SOMETHING! Life’s too short to sit in misery and anxiousness. Are we going to be sad sometimes….. absolutely, but it’s how we respond and move forward that matters. Trials and tribulations will come for all of us and grieving is part of the process, but staying there is a choice.
What is a place in your life that you are just waiting? Can you get up and move? Can you change your scenery and get a fresh perspective? If all else fails, I always turn it over to God. The magic of prayer is unlike anything else and whether the prayer is answered or unanswered, it’s always right.
As we enter my absolute favorite time of year, I challenge y’all to get out of the waiting room of your life and do something! It’s never too late and it’s always the right time to do what is right so go!
Go make a difference, fly your wings, and get the heck out of that waiting chair! John Asaraff said, “Your time as a caterpillar has expired, your wings are waiting.” Your time is now — Fly high my friends.
With love and lemonade,