“Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself.”
~ Alan Alda
There were times as a dental hygienist I thought I couldn’t be effective.
Before I met my firstborn, I had reservations about being a good parent.
Recently, I’ve felt I could not go on, move forward, in the life we now lead.
In every situation above, I proved myself wrong. When I think back over certain situations or events, I am left to wonder: How did I do it, how did I pull it off, what specifically did I do to get through a situation?
As a hygienist, I relied on my training and later, my experience. The longer I was a hygienist, the more confident I became as an effective caregiver. One expects this might happen, but what about dealing with very difficult people, bosses and staff included? There were many challenging patients whose advanced disease made treatment very difficult, and many whose personalities made it equally difficult.
I’ve met a rainbow of personalities in the course of my career. During difficult times, I tried my best to do the right thing, do my job, stay away from drama, to not gossip, to be friendly and helpful, and go home peacefully at the end of the day. I stood firm when I felt I’d been wronged. There were challenges I simply felt I could not endure, but I did.
In the end, I relied on education and personal ethics, and who I’ve become because of both.
My sister came up with one of the greatest strategies of all time when it comes to parenting. She used to tell her children when they asked for something she didn’t want them to have that it could not happen or be true because “It isn’t in The Parents’ Handbook.” To children everywhere, put that in your pipe and smoke it!
When I think back on various times parenting my children, I am reminded of strategies used on me but also on personal goals. I am the recipient of wonderful parenting because I have/had wonderful parents. Lessons don’t die. My goal to teach early (be firmer with them when they were young) and then let them fly, worked. My sister and I are very proud of the people our children have become (if we do say so ourselves).
The principles I speak of come from within, and what has become ingrained in me.
I’m in the midst of a situation that requires me to s-t-r-e-t-c-h. I’ve had to call on parts of me that may have collected a bit of dust in the recent past.
- It requires courage unlike any I’ve known
- It requires quick thinking, the ability to put fear aside, and to act quickly
- It requires I think in emergency mode, at all times
- It requires I carry on, no matter how difficult
- It requires I speak up and loudly if something seems off
- It requires I be our own best health advocate; I’ve taken on the big guns
- It requires I be watchful, 24/7, and/or whenever I’m awake
- It requires I be present, in every single way, day and night
- It requires I surrender, because I have no choice
- It requires I trust; those who know me well know this is hard for me.
Every single point above is not easy for me. I’ve been stripped naked for all the world to see. I’ve never felt more vulnerable. So, how have I done it, how have I managed to function effectively as the wife of a man with brain cancer every day since September?
For each of the top three scenarios, I survived and managed because I did not doubt myself. Yes, I questioned, but in the end, I managed and acted and thought and did because something told me I could.
Deep down, I knew I could do it, I still know I can, and that is what propels me forward. I don’t know how; I just know I can. As a hygienist and parent, I have relied on me. I can do it again.
Blessings and thanks for reading. ❤