As I write this, with a swollen jaw from gum surgery three days ago, I feel compelled to discuss the art of patience.
Patience. Easier said than done. Truly. My lesson in patience has been this holiday season. And this week, too. But I will start with last month. It was hectic as usual, but all of my tasks were completed just in the nick of time. And I mean in the zero hour nick of time. I will NOT do it that way again next year. Or so I say every year. I truly aim to have it all done next year in November because December is filled with recitals, birthdays, year-end deadlines, holiday parties and of course the countdown to Christmas. That countdown includes buying, wrapping, shipping and traveling. At the same time last month, our washing machine broke down twice, we had a gas leak in the back yard, I blew a tire on the road, etc, etc, etc.
You know the sayings.
When it rains, it pours.
Things happen in threes.
And as it all came to a glorious close by December 25th, I was presented with a nasty little cold/virus that was fierce and very contagious. So on Christmas Eve, I began to feel ill and by New Years one week later, my daughter and husband caught the same pesky virus that sent him to the ER with some scary symptoms. And just several hours after that, I had to take my girl to urgent care to treat her double pink eye, that was the end result of that stubborn and frustrating holiday virus.
Yes, I had to have patience that week for sure.
Patience was also practiced as my hubs and I waited and waited and waited for the chest X-ray results. When the physician called the X-ray, “beautiful” we both sighed with relief…and disbelief that this virus, which was not the flu or pneumonia, was so brutal. I don’t know where I picked up these unwelcome germs, but I was sorry that my family ended up sick, too. None of us needed antibiotics. We just needed patience.
My girl only had to be treated with eye drops to rid the pink eye. My girl is still not 100% and my husband is still finishing up with this illness. I am practicing patience waiting on this unwelcome holiday illness to finally and completely depart.
Patience was also my goal the week that I was sick, as I forced myself to stay in bed and be as still as possible for three consecutive days. For a busy mom, this is nearly impossible, but it had to be done because I had gum surgery to look forward to the following week. That patience paid off, as I fully kicked the virus quicker than my other family members who were truly not 100% able to stop everything for three days, as I had done.
Patience is still the word of the week this week, too. My gum surgery was three days ago and I must wait patiently for the healing to finish. Anxiously, I await for the uncomfortable and awkward swelling to disappear. I dislike having to take all of the meds that are required to get through the recovery process. My patience is tested when I still see so many pills left in the bottle that must be emptied.
Patience while waiting for a good gourmet meal in a nice restaurant is the kind of patience I don’t mind practicing, so having to stay on soft mushy foods for the next two weeks is not the kind of patience I like. Especially since I LOVE to eat. I consider myself an amateur foodie. This is not fun.
But a funny thing happens when one is forced to practice patience.
Patience is a good teacher. It forces one to slow down, take stock, step back and accept help. To evaluate the situation, be resourceful and to work with family as a team. A team that is reminded that we hold each other up in the challenging times. Patience gives a front row seat to thankfulness, if one chooses to look at it that way. With this gum surgery, I have been blessed by pals bringing me yummy curry from my favorite Thai restaurant, a healthy protein smoothie that my body needed, a homemade soup that filled my body and soul with warmth.
So, I sit here patiently waiting at home. Waiting for, what looks like a permanent jaw breaker in my mouth, to fade away. Waiting to feel good and strong again. The doc tells me that it has to get worse before it gets better. I wait patiently to finish all of these meds, as the drugs and post surgery have me feeling worn out. I count down the days when I can have all kinds of foods again. And the big day in two weeks, when the surgeon clears my mouth to resume all normal activities, which also means no more meds…oops…there I go again…getting impatient. I could feel patience slipping away just now as I anxiously typed certain words…
I can have.
When the surgeon clears me.
Resume all normal activities.
As I typed those words , I felt impatient all over again. One of my pals wrote “one day at a time” on my Facebook wall. I know she is right. I know that my impatient problems are MINOR and all will be normal soon.
Believe me, being forced to be patient also forces me to be thankful. Thankful for the good family caring for me. Thankful to my son for coming home from his dorm several times to help me out. Thankful to my amazing friends for their multiple offers to drive my girl where needed, delivered smoothies and meals. Nutritious drinks juiced for me by my thoughtful teen daughter.
Thankful for good doctors and even thankful for all of the annoying meds I have to take.
Shame on me for being so impatient when I count my many blessings!
I guess that is why it is called counting your blessings!
So if you are in a situation where patience is being forced on you, I wish you the gift of reflection. To be forced to stop and wait is also an opportunity to stop and see all that is around you.
A beautiful day.
Whatever your thankful is, hold on to that when you go through the times that require patience to be your guiding pal.
Now back to my meds, my swollen jaw, my soft foods, my cats…and soon my family will be home.
Oh, and a sense of humor is another wonderful attribute to practice during times of required patience, too. Last night my daughter thought I was giving her a mean look, when it was just how my swollen face is contorting my expressions. We had a good laugh about that and laughed even harder this morning when she told me that today I look a little bit like a Who from Whoville in The Grinch!
Laughter and gratitude. Good stuff as I continue to be patient.
One last thing…two notes to my readers….my Freebie Friday weekly giveaways will return next week when I am out driving again and can mail the prizes, so stay tuned for that. And I will be blogging about the gum surgery I had, which is a newer less invasive form of grafting. As soon as I complete the recovery phase, I will give a full report. Receding gums that need this kind of surgery is common.
So stay tuned and practice patience and gratitude as you venture through 2017, my friends.