Ladies and gentlemen, this week’s lesson is about patience. And wait, before you stop me to remind me that my word of the year is trust, not patience, let me explain.
At the turn of the year, each member of my art group selects a word for herself to use as a guide or a beacon through the coming months. Choosing a word allows us to set some intention for the year by reminding us of what we value, and what we would like to emphasize in our lives as we move through our daily chores.
My word for the year is trust. Trust is an important concept for me and a difficult one. It means that I have to give up the control that I hold onto tightly. I have to let go of control of situations, control of other people, control of information. It means that I have to move out of “fix-it” mode and trust the process that is life.
I’m having a conversation. I have to leave in 35 minutes. There is some information that I want to get before I go. I sip my coffee and look out the window at the sunlight on the snow. I am feeling impatient. I just want to ask the questions and be done with it like filling out a form.
I say “Beautiful morning.”
The conversation moves along at its own pace. Sometimes we are quiet. Sometimes one of us says something. I laugh. Information is revealed slowly like the pulling back of a curtain. Instead of the one word answers I would get by drilling with questions, I get small stories. I get a smile. Instead of demanding, I get sharing. Instead of resentment I gain some trust.
At the end of the conversation I am late to work but before I leave, I get a hug.
Trusting the process is about patience. It’s about letting yourself be in the moment and allowing yourself to really feel what is happening. It’s about trusting others enough to let them love you. In some ways, it’s easy. Relax, stop worrying and enjoy the ride. In other ways, it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Relax, stop worrying and enjoy the ride.
I am back in NH in a heat wave. After the beautiful weather in Durango, the humidity and heat are making sleeping difficult; especially when my two cats are so grateful to have me home that they snuggle their furry little bodies up as close as they can to mine all night.
The trip was a huge success. It accomplished all of the things that I hoped it would:
I had a wonderful bonding experience over the long six days of travel with my son. We seem to travel well together. We like the same kinds of food and are happy camping rather than staying indoors. The one night that thunderstorms forced us (ok, I’ll be honest here – he would have slept outside, I wanted a roof over my head in the rain) was the least pleasant night that we had. It felt like making the decision to stay inside put a curse on all of the events of the evening. The meal we had was terrible. So we tried Mexican food in Ohio – were we all that wrong? Everyone in the restaurant was speaking Spanish.
Seeing the college gave me a picture that I can refer to when I want to imagine him away at school. I can remember the mountains that provide the backdrop for the scene and the sound of the clock tower chiming. I can picture him running the river that runs through the town and driving the windy roads up to the ski area.
While I was there, I tried to keep my distance and let him explore his new life without his Mom looking over his shoulder. Even this was a good experience for me. I saw him making new friends and I experienced his care for me as he got up every morning so that we could have breakfast together. Anyone with teens and young adults knows that sleep is a precious commodity and to sacrifice it for your Mom is truly special.
Even the leave taking was an important lesson for me. I had thought about all the things that I wanted to say to him before I left; advice, warnings, all the things I wanted to “make sure” that he remembered – in the end, I abandoned all of those and gave him my vote of confidence that he will make the right choices and have a great year. After all, he is at eighteen, an adult. After all, he is a wonderful, caring, intelligent human being. After all, I am proud to be his mother.