With my new tendency in hand, I headed out for a wander. My body resisted.

Yesterday, we went to Preservation Hall. The iconic site of music we had never enjoyed. It was quite hot and humid, the dog days of summer are approaching. And I had an “extended” episode. I love this term; it is one used by my Grandma to describe a wide variety of occurrences, usually by family members. While these episodes are almost always uncomfortable (the real definition of an episode) for all parties involved. Mine was both quite predictable, yet completely unexpected. I regularly experience significant neck / back pain and brief dizziness. These are the intersection of two things; massive radiation in the head and neck area (cancer treatment) along with Orthostatic Hypotension (OH). I’ve had OH since my earliest recollection of my early teens. I’ve learned this Autonomic condition was exacerbated by the chemo (cancer treatment) administered. CANCER – THE GIFT THAT KEEPS GIVING!

As I headed out my body was off. A bit of neck and back pain, yet no dizziness. I trudged outward. Thoughts come streaming into my head during most recent wanders. Not this AM. Nothing was going to be easy. Progress for me in this area is not forcing it, just letting it come. It almost always does. AND this AM, that process tendency revised, it came in spades!

I love, admire and am a bit envious about the way JDT experiences our adventures and documents, quite beautifully, in a way that brings me by her side. I started thinking about yesterday and the extended episode. Again, my normal tendency would be to think about it in a scarce way. Nope, not choosing to do that. How could I do it differently? My mind shifted to Joan (no, not Jane!) Didion. Huh. I have written of my recent “crush” on Joan and her writings. Included in the Netflix “documentary” on Joan is a conversation suggests that she uses her writings as a form of self therapy. Of self improvement. CATHARSIS!

I wandered in the direction of Louis Armstrong Park. My new found tendency is to walk as NOLA is waking. This seems to help avoid those pesky episodes. AND it really feels like NOLA mostly wakes hungover from its perpetual party. Mostly LAP isn’t open yet. Its many gates are chained and locked tighter than a drum. Going “inside” to the comfort of its “embrace” mostly isn’t an option. This morning LAP was open earlier than usual. I resisted the comforting embrace and stayed outside.

My role at TYS (the baby I birthed) has evolved to include the opportunity to coach members of its emerging leadership team. I am really loving our interactions. I’ve always believed one attribute that made me different (boy did I value being different) was my willingness, or even need, to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. This attribute was a key element of my professional evolution. I have always had a low sensitivity to safety. THANK YOU MOM! I have just never valued safety. While my early coaching charged into the comfortable with being uncomfortable charge with little regard for safety, I’ve learned its value. THANK YOU TIM SHORTSLEEVE!! Today I coach differently. I honor the value of safety. I use a four step process that seems to be quite effective. Think of teaching a child to cross a busy intersection. The very initial efforts literally involve holding their hand. The final stage is to watch from a distance as they CONFIDENTLY cross themselves. VENN DIAGRAM!

So, I think (perhaps too much?!?) about my posts. I think about – What is my greatest hope? What is my aspiration? WHAT IS MY DREAM? I spent most of my life literally fearful of exploring the unknown recesses of my mind. I worried about what I would find. I once said to Dr. Czezak, “will I like myself when I get there?” She explained, there is no “there”, there is only journey. Hmmm? I rarely felt safe on this journey. Dr. Czezak first held my hand . . . My dream is to share with you, in as vulnerable way as my courage allows, my journey. I do not have photos to share. I only have my words and my experiences.


Published by gat2jdt2

60 something retirees (or semi-retirees) learning to live differently

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