Friday, January 21, 2011

being fine about being fine

I grew up with a very superstitious Jewish mother and not only learned, but internalized at the deepest of levels, not to ever jinx anything. Not to invite bad luck by proclaiming all was good. Not to bring attention to myself so as to avoid the wrath of the powers that be, whoever they were.

The word I grew up with is kenahura - a Yiddish term that I knew to mean curse, jinx, the evil eye. I knew never to talk positive so as not to draw attention to myself and the catastrophic things that most likely would ensue.

But now I have to let go of that. I can't donate my kidney unless I'm fine. No, unless I'm FINE. I have to be completely healthy, robust, stable. My systems nee to be in pristine working order. There can't be a shadow of a doubt about any test, any result, any anything. A team of people will be discussing my body at round table meetings and if anyone thinks I can't handle the surgery for any reason, I'm off the transplant train.

And so, I want to be, I NEED to be ok. More than ok. I need a clean bill of health, a gold star on all my tests.

I need to be fine and to own it in a powerful, constructive, don't even think of messing with my fine-ness way.

I'm saying it out loud. I am fine.

I want to be.

I need to be.

I am.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the power of positive thinking

Listen up universe - this is my plan. Izzy, my middle-schooler's school play opens on 5/19. I want to have successfully given my brother his new kidney by then, us both to be fully recovered and in the audience together that night.

We have 4 months to make this all happen. I know there are countless potential roadblocks. I know at any point things could fall apart.

But on a deeper level I know they won't.

I have faith that this is what's meant to happen and that all will be fine in the end.

This stance is more remarkable than one can imagine as I'm not big on faith. I'm skeptical. Cynical. A full-fledged doubter.

But not about this.

My brother's on the other side of the coin, which is where I'm generally most comfortable. Not getting hopes up so if this doesn't work out it won't be soul crushing. I have that too, fraying at my edges, waking me up in the middle of the night, it's the epicenter of my anxiety at the moment. Having said that, I'm not letting negative win. Or even tempered realism.

This transplant will work. This story will have a satisfying ending.

My kidney will be happy in its new home.

This is what's meant to be. And I will use every ounce of positive thought, prayer, hope, wish to make this come true.

That's it universe. The force is with us on this one.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

letting go of what you know

Yesterday I arrived at my yoga class 45 minutes early. Lunchtime classes during the week are at 12:30 but start at 1 on weekends—that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. With all that extra time I curled up on a bean bag chair in the corner of the studio and wrote. And wrote. And wrote.

It was a blog post full of angst, insight, lightbulbs, commitment to moving forward.

But, apparently, I didn't save it. When the teacher (a woman I totally and completely adore) sat down next to me and we got lost in conversation it seems I must have hit delete instead of save.

I can't begin to recreate what was. To be honest, I don't remember what it was I so profoundly wrote about.

But, after during and after class I had new realizations that sort of blew me away.

In class, these words flowed through my head:

letting go of what you know

It became my mantra for the second half of class. I kept repeating the phrase to make sure I wouldn't forget that powerful thought.

I was practicing next to another teacher, who seems, in some way to be in a similar place to me. Stuck. Not sure how to change things up. We'd talked for a long time about this last week - the desire for new, for different, but not knowing how to get there.

I told her about what the donation social worker had told me that resonated so strongly - that we learn how to be in the world before we're seven and keep being that for the rest of our lives. It's not necessarily who we are, but it's how we've learned to be.

I don't want to be that anymore.

I don't want to be afraid.

I don't want to be anxious.

I don't want to live in fear of falling apart, of anxiety attacks, of panic.

And then, while watching (of all things) The Princess Diaries last night, I heard this:

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. From now on you'll be traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be. The key is to allow yourself to make the journey.

Hard as it is, impossible as it feels, insurmountable as I believe it to be, I have to let go of who I've been and discover who I am. 

And this kidney adventure is challenging me to do just that. 

It's part of my journey to who I am, who I can be. And helping me let go of who I've been.