Have you ever experienced the phenomenon when a word or a phrase or a concept keeps coming up in your life? Like the universe may be desperately trying to get you to turn your attention to something? Well, that’s been happening to me. Ok . . . my son has been asking me at every turn (quite literally) for a Lego Star Wars set that was discontinued years ago . . . but that’s not what I mean.
For a while now, I’ve heard phrases like “trust”, “let it go”, and of course, “surrender”. At first, when I’d hear things like this, I’d mentally swat them away; there was no way in hell I had room for surrender in my life; planning, hard word, more hard work, and maybe a little luck . . . that’s what life was about. It certainly wasn’t about trusting the process, letting it go, or surrendering to what could be. In my defence, my experiences with the pituitary tumour, infertility and then the brain tumour shaped my very pragmatic outlook on life (altho one could argue these were exactly the times I needed to surrender most . . . but I digress).
This summer, I had a brief fling with the concept of surrender; even going so far as to purchase a book on the topic: The Power of Surrender. What lead me to buy this book, I have no idea (it likely came up on Amazon as a suggested book based on my purchase history) . . . I started, but dismissed it without finishing it. When push comes to shove (haha), I’d rather get scrappy with life than sit back and let the universe take over.
On Saturday night, the Husband cooked an amazing dinner for us all. The four of us sat as a family in the dining room, candles were lit, and we had a quiet enjoyable family dinner. Once the kids were done, and they were settled in the family room watching a movie, the Husband and I got to talking over a bottle of wine. Conversation turned to our upcoming trip to Disney. This is a trip we’ve made every year since the little one was born. Our first trip there was just a few weeks before the brain tumour diagnosis. That first trip was pure magic from start to finish; it was our first trip as a family of 4, it was the first trip to Disney for all of us; and everything about that trip was just amazing. Except for the fact that it was on that trip that I came to know, deep down, that something was very wrong – the symptoms of the tumour became unavoidable, and I knew I would have to see the doctor when I returned home. As a result, Disney holds a weird place in my heart; it’s a place where I experienced perfect happiness, but it’s also inextricably tied to the whole tumour saga.
Anyway, a Disney trip is all about planning. Our meals were booked 180 days ago. Fastpasses for our rides were booked 60 days ago; our entire vacation is laid out in an Excel spreadsheet. And if you have caught on to the fact that I really, really like traditions . . .you should see what happens at Disney . . . I try to recreate certain moments, photos, experiences on every trip. But on Saturday night, the doubt started to creep in. What if, I asked the Husband, I didn’t plan things right? What if, I asked, we want to do something other than what I’ve planned. What if . . . . .
Because what has been running around my head these last few days is the fact that on our road trip this summer, we/I planned NOTHING. Ok . . . we did have a few restaurant reservations for dinner, and we did have tickets to see a few baseball games. But otherwise, we arrived in each city with no preconceived notions or ideas as to what we should/could/might do. AND IT WAS THE BEST TRIP EVER.
Then I read my friend Rozanne’s blog. And guess what she was talking about this weekend . . . yup. SURRENDER. Rozanne is one of the wisest people I know; so when Rozanne broaches a topic, it’s my cue to sit up and listen. It was as if the universe had set out a giant neon arrow pointing me towards the idea of letting it go.
So, how does this all tie in? Well, I’m going to reexamine my relationship with the concept of surrender. And I’m going to start with our Disney trip . . . no more obsessively checking for different dining reservations, no more trying to re-jig the fastpasses or what I have planned for each day, and I’m really, really, really going to try hard not to recreate moments from past trips on this trip.
As I enter my 5th year post-tumour, I’m going to work on really letting that go and/or celebrating what that experience brought into my life.
And as I parent my kids and the Husband and I navigate our way with them through their next steps (new schools, new experiences), I will do so with an open heart and mind.
And most importantly, in this week that is always a crazy one for me (planning for the Older one’s birthday, halloween, getting organized for our trip, and I won’t lie, dealing with the mental issues that come with the anniversary of the craniotomy), I’m going to try to surrender to the business of it all, enjoy the business of it all, and accept that everything will work out just the way it is supposed to.
Nancy, I think you have nailed it on the head.