I did what I said I’d never do. I started a blog, then left it for a while. A good while. First lesson, of course, never say never. Second lesson — heed my own words. This time about docking.
My new friend, Linda, a career services director at a college I work with, named this period of my life. I see transition as having a launch, discovery, and docking phase. The Choose on Purpose Network had it’s launch and initial discovery phases in 2009, then took a turn I couldn’t have predicted. Long story short, Mom got sick, and I chose to become her full time caregiver. And that family docking took several months of my life.
This is where the notion of Guided Drift comes into play. I drifted into a job I was unprepared for (elder caregiving) and found myself living the notion of doing the right thing for right now. So here I was, docking in a role I expected, but wondering why did it have to come now? Everything I had poured my heart into for the last two years was beginning to roll, and all the experts were telling me that once you’ve got momentum, you’ve got to keep plugging.
Yeah, well, so much for the experts. Not everything in life is under our control, and I was going to have to learn to deal with disappointment and to make friends with patience. Then I simply slowed down, breathed, and tried to start paying attention to the upsides of this new situation. I was angry, impatient and frustrated for a while. But I did end up giving myself a good talking to at one point. I was busy and stressed and realized I would never get out of the twister aspect of the stress until I took hold of it. So on the fourth visit to emergency within two weeks, I was beginning to get the drill. Once you hit the halls of the ER, you’re in for at least a six hour wait before the patient gets a bed. So I sat down on the floor, closed my eyes and decided to just slip into the moment of being in ER. I can’t say it was meditative, or that it was relaxing. But I can say I started noticing all the sounds around me, and bit by bit over the hours, let myself just sink into it. Accept where my life was.
That became a turning point for me. I didn’t know it then, but I see it now like a flag on a downhill ski slope. Mostly it told me to stop fighting and to let myself dock for a while in this role. And so I did. It’s a great feeling to dock — like a boat nestling into its slip, you find some stillness and an opportunity to just float. Hence the reference to Guided Drift. I drifted into this role by the cards I was dealt as an only child. And half-way through I started letting the experience guide me into understanding how nice docking can be, even if you didn’t seek it out. So I turned what felt like a bad-timing situation into a resolve to make it work. And finally figured out that actually, time is on my side, no matter what — if I let it be.