Stopped in My Tracks

by on May 11, 2016

Stopped in My Tracks

Function AgeThe period of the last week of March and first week of April was a real adventure for me. I was working with a client in the late afternoon when suddenly I did not feel right. Making it through the session I quickly made it home. For the next couple of days, let’s just say my bathroom and I got very acquainted with each other. My condition certainly was slowing me down. Fortunately in that period my contacts with most of my clients was by telephone from my own home. I did my best to take care of myself before and after the sessions, mustering up whatever energy I had, for the sessions.

Continuing forward, slowly I believed I was getting better. My need to go to the bathroom as frequently as I had disappeared. I was able to eat more normally. In fact I was able to participate with my wife in the annual fantasy baseball league draft of which we are a part. And, then came Saturday evening, and stomach pains that interrupted my sleep for half of the night. Saturday evening was a walk in the park compared to Sunday evening. No sleep at all. Constant pain. Trying to find a comfortable position. Getting up to try and sleep in a chair or on a lounger. It did not matter. My body by Monday morning was telling me, STOP, YOU NEED TO REST, YOU MUST CANCEL WHATEVER YOU HAVE ON THE CALENDAR. I AM IN CHARGE!!! I was STOPPED IN MY TRACKS.

Frankly with very little choice, somewhat frightened, and not knowing what was going on, I listened to my body. I contacted my Doctor’s office. They provided guidance, advice and a course of action. A couple of days later I was actually well enough to drive myself to the Doctor’s office to check everything out. I was improving. I was able to describe all my symptoms and we were able to rule out more serious possibilities. It appears a nasty stomach illness decided to take charge of my body for the better part of 10 days or so, before ultimately moving on its way.

As is my want with almost everything that happens to me, I was able to make some analogies and take some lessons from the experience that I would like to share. And, I must admit, as the month continued on and right up to the present, they are staying with me.

One was in how I have conducted my schedule and activities. Like many of us, while having a schedule for the day, I always tried to fit in something else, even if it was not on the schedule. Sometimes I did that to try to avoid disappointing another. Other times it was because I allowed myself to get sidetracked, and I would say, if I just spend 15 minutes on this thing now, it is something that I don’t have to do later. What usually wound up happening was the 15 minute item lasted longer than expected, with its time spilling into the next item on the schedule, and having me rush around from item to item after that, not feeling pleasant about that at all. I have been far more respectful to honor and give my full attention to the item I have going on in the present, and knowing that other items that may need attention, need to be addressed in their own space and time.

Another item is I said to myself, wow, this must be something like how my clients feel when they are all of a sudden faced with a change in their life they did not expect. For my clients that is usually a loss of job, a suddenly learned of move for the family as a spouse’s job move catches a family off guard, or the reality that many of the ideas and methods they learned previously on how to search for a job have been replaced with new ideas and concepts. The unexpected makes all of us uncomfortable. Not knowing what to expect, or if the steps I am taking are the right ones, is a scary proposition.

Finally, as I recovered for good, the final lesson that stayed with me is there is no reason to rush back into doing things exactly the way you had been doing them. For example, my eating habits changed out of necessity while I was sick. While my appetite has returned, I have noticed I’m still somewhat more cautious and deliberate in my eating. If I don’t feel hungry I don’t eat, or don’t eat as much. My portions are less. And, while our society seems to encourage and even honor the multi-tasker, I have attempted to catch myself when doing so and give my attention to the task or moment at hand.

While being sick was no fun, and I hope not to experience what I did for a very long time, it definitely provided some lessons. Are you open to the lessons, the unexpected may bring into your life?

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