I’ve missed a few days of blogging about balance. I’m off count. My plan is not being carried out as I had thought. And I’m OK with that. I have indeed been “busy”…thinking. And sometimes that’s the best I can offer. I like to think of it as preparation. Or sometimes clarifying.
As I said, a friend of mine was moved to a hospice facility last Thursday. At the time it was thought he would live just a few more hours. He rallied a bit, but not enough to make it back home. He is still under hospice care in place he calls “nicer than a hospital”. Says it’s like a hotel…with nurses. I take it he’s comfortable. When I visited the other day I was given the “5 minute” rule. He said he hadn’t slept well because of bizarre dreams, so bizarre he couldn’t even explain them. Then he said “Oh well, you’d understand it. I dreamed I was going to a race.” We laughed about that strange state you get in…half sleep, half awake…where your dreams and your real day can’t quite seem to separate themselves. That’s all well and fine for most of us, but when you are found jumping out of bed at random hours trying to detach your oxygen tank and catheter it can be particularly frightening to whatever family member has bunked in with you for the night.
That night I would go to bed, expecting a nice deep slumber after a long day of activity. I would not sleep soundly, but rather I spent the night dreaming…dreaming of my friend dreaming about going to a race. Each time I woke I would find myself all tightened up, gripping the sheets, legs cramping. And each time I lulled myself back to sleep I did so knowing I was safe, I was dreaming, and that it just might be interesting to play the dream out til the end. And in the light of the morning, my random dreaming and his bizarre need to go to a race all made some sense to me.
One of my favorite Bible verses talks about the “great cloud of witnesses”; all whom have gone before us, all those that have seen or done what are now our challenges, all who are watching from both here and now and times long passed.
I was glad my friend was going to a race. In triathlon, as with many races, you finish, and then you wait for your friends. You grab water, turn around, and perhaps choose to watch from the finishers shoot or grandstand. If your friends started way behind you, you have a longer wait. Sometimes you begin running the course in reverse, find a friend, and finish the race with them. Either way, it’s nice to have people at the finish line waiting for you… your name gets called, the cheers are louder…it’s much more fun. And no matter how tired you have been in the race, you always seem to be able to pick it up a little at the end.
Maybe my friend was going to one last race. He took a little while in transition, and has even sat in the medical tent for a while. It doesn’t matter if he walks or runs or crawls to that finish line; he will get there. And how nice to think that those have finished before him will cheer him in. On our next visit I said “It looks like you’re going to get to the finish line before us”, he laughed and replied “It’s the first time I’ve been able to do that!”. I told him I’d happily watch his back on this one. And of course, rest in the hope that he’d turn around, wait on me, cheer me on as I got closer, and come back to get me if I needed.
Keeping the main thing the main thing: life should be balanced. But if you have to stop and put all your eggs in one basked for a while, know that you can once again get back into balance.
“All my eggs” have not gone into the “vigilant friend who has kept a bedside watch” basket. I have been a visitor these last few days, but it’s more that my thoughts have been narrowly focused on my friend, end of life, living a good live, changing to lead a better life, losing a friend…you get it.
21/40 Spend some time, even five minutes, in quiet meditation every day. Pick a topic and reflect. I like to do this after my breathing exercise/relaxation time, as “wise thoughts” and “answers” seem to come my way.
So, I’m off the blogging-about-balance tightrope. And that’s OK. I have more important things on my mind right now. I’m still here. In the meantime, run your race with perseverance with the tools that you have!