"It is not the strongest of the species, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change."
~ Charles Darwin
I have thought of myself as a survivor for some time now, secure in my knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward change. I studied the work of William Bridges, an 'expert' on the topic of transition, and worked for years with organizations and individuals in the midst of change, as a corporate trainer and executive coach. And heaven knows, I've had plenty of opportunity to practice what I preached.
So, when some folks said, "You can handle this, you've done it before", I said thanks and set out to 'handle' it. I researched, made lists, put out the word, tossed inappropriate food, resigned from large group obligations, made more lists, cleaned and sterilized, gathered low salt and low sugar recipes - (and I don't even enjoy cooking), made yet more lists, etc., etc. The little engine that could.
This engine came to a screeching halt one morning this past week as I caught myself writing in my personal journal, overwhelmed, "I can't keep up with this pace. I'll get sick and then what!!"
It took that pause to recognize that I haven't done THIS before. The last time John was ill, we lived near the hospital in Houston for 3 1/2 months. When he was in most danger, he received 24/7 care from professionals - for weeks on end. I stayed in a hotel room not far from him where the suite was cleaned, by someone else, every day. We were never told his cancer was incurable. And we were 11 years younger.
I realized that morning that we are being called on to adapt our thinking, our attitudes, and our behavior almost daily, sometimes hourly. Each new piece of information - from our research, from friends and family, from our health care team, and most importantly, from our bodies and behavior - can call for a new decision. I took a deep breath and began to consider ways to be more gracefully and consciously adaptable every day. One day at a time.
So, today, I'm still in my nightshirt. I've found a good new mystery to read after catching up with some favorite TV shows. John is enjoying his respite from chemo and is engrossed in a sportscast marathon. The lists will wait until tomorrow.