What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)
prompt by Molly O’Neill
The last couple of days I have been considering my reflections with this #reverb10 exercise as well as the previous 30 days of truth...that has been a lot of self-reflection and navel gazing going on here…how in the world did you stand me, much less last this long? Well, I must thank you all for your morbid curiosity of my delving into my mad mind and the digging out of all of the lint and hubris that is in there. I can’t promise you that there will no longer be self-absorbed musings, after all this is MY blog. But I can promise you that at least for now there will not be any 30 day exercises of reflective pondering.
After all this, I am exhausted as I imagine are you.
I didn’t really see the core thread in this month-long exercise or even in myself until in the wee small hours of the other night in the NICU. During my downtime I have been enjoying my latest read, Alexa Stevenson’s Half Baked.
sidebar: OMG, read this book! No, I’m not just saying that because as a mommy of a 24 weeker with an equally dramatic NICU course as Alexa’s gorgeous Simone, I get the worry, the fear, the anger, the dark (but much needed) humor. No, I am recommending this book because this writer’s voice captivates you, draws you in and entertains the hell out of you while making you appreciate the hell and heaven that is the rabbit hole of parenting a micro-preemie.
I came across this passage during my downtime of caring for and chasing after two wildly apneic two pound babies on opposite ends of the room in the NICU and suddenly I got it.
“Progress in the NICU isn’t linear.” Wendy said to me once.
“Simone will get better, and then she’ll get worse, or have a setback. But then she’ll get better again. And that will repeat, over and over, but she’ll start covering more ground going uphill than she loses slipping back.”…”She will make progress, but slowly.”
This may be the Zen of Neonatology. At the time, I was very focused on the logistics:how many steps back, exactly, would there be? When would we start to gain momentum? Was there some sort of benchmark I could use? I expected the back and forth to end, but now it seems obvious that this shuffling, dance-like process is everywhere, even outside the NICU, though generally it occurs over longer periods of time. You stumble, recover, and hopefully, keep moving forward. Really, what more can you ask?
And suddenly, for me, there it was!
You don’t see it?
The dance…the NICU two-step that I have known for over the last twenty years of my nursing career and as the mommy of a former 1lb 6 oz micropreemie is life…it is life in general. In the NICU it is closely watched over, weighed and measured down to the last gram and milliliter and every single breath taken. But outside the NICU, we are just living it, just dancing. Sometimes we dance well and celebrate the lightness of our step and the giddiness and joy of it all. Other times we shuffle and trip, and stumble a little, and a lot. But, hopefully, we do keep moving forward. And might I suggest that, hopefully, we still can laugh…even just a little.
This last year there has been much shuffling and stumbling, two steps forward and one step back, and sometimes just swaying side to side. There has been much stress and worry, anger and frustration, tears and fears. But there has been moments of laughter, of joy, of exhilarating triumph and of blissful peace. But moving forward we seem to have managed…even if it is only a few steps. That is my core story, my central theme for 2010…as it has been for the years past and, I imagine, the years to come.
Thank god I still can laugh.
Really, what more can I ask?