Handling Anything Is Everything
On Wednesday my mother had a mastectomy.
Knowing her recovery process would be long and somewhat lonely, I invited her to my house for a bit of post-surgery peace and quiet.
By Wednesday evening, everything was going according to plan.
The operation went well.
The spare room was ready with new sheets and a big, puffy comforter.
Mom was smiling.
Then, yesterday morning at 8:30am, three construction workers showed up to build a deck on our property.
It’s a long and irrelevant story as to why they started this project at the precise moment my mom was planning to rest but, needless to say, the timing was poor.
What was supposed to be a day of lounging comfortably in bed turned into a day of buzzsaws, hammering, and drills.
This is life, right? Sometimes it just doesn’t unfold the way we think it will.
So then the question becomes: What now?
Certainly in the grand scheme of problems, the fact that my mom’s recovery has not been peaceful is a “little” challenge, but I believe how we handle the “little” challenges prepares us for how we handle the “big” ones.
Patience is a muscle. The more you flex it, the stronger it becomes.
So instead of getting annoyed at the noise or sending the crew away, mom and I just giggle and get through it.
And, deep down, we both know there’s a lesson in this.
Because in the months ahead when her chemo begins, no one – including me – will be able to “bring her peace.”
She will have to find it alone amid the chaos of her situation.
Like we all do.
What I love about mindfulness is that it teaches us to deal with things as they are, not as we hoped they would be.
Of course, none of this is as we hoped it would be, but it is what it is.
The gift is learning to giggle through it.