Well, when I demanded a clear sign from the Universe a few days ago to help set my priorities straight, I should have been more specific. Originally, I asked for a clear sign that didn’t involve anybody getting sick or dying, but what I should have asked for was a clear sign that didn’t involve anybody getting sick, dying, or getting injured. That Universe, it’s always finding loopholes and technically giving you what you asked for…
On Thursday morning, Marty injured his back rather badly. Embarrassingly, it was a harbour-related injury involving an awkward crawl space and a really heavy umbrella stand, but we can always pretend it had something to do with skydiving or another extreme sport. In any case, he phoned me that morning at work to tell me in a brave but pain-ridden voice that he had herniated a disk in his spinal column, and right away it was clear:
I needed to be with him.
Both of us recognized Marty’s injury as my clumsily-asked-for-in-too-generic-of-terms Sign From The Heavens, and Marty even joked that I should act upon it quickly, before some other tragedy (i.e. amputation of his dominant arm) befell him. Knock on wood!! (Note to the Universe: don’t even THINK about it.)
So I did (act upon it, I mean– not amputate Marty’s dominant arm, knock on wood).
I had an honest, anxious-but-excited talk with my supervisor immediately following the phone call from Marty. I spoke about spreading myself too thin in the past and worrying about doing it again this year. I talked about my high standards for myself as well as my complete and utter disappointment in myself for not being able to meet them lately. We chatted about guilt, about carrying other people’s responsibilities and taking other people’s evaluations (real or imagined) to heart– so deeply that they physically hurt. We talked about bad habits, ruts, and familiar routines– about “jobs”, the dreaded 16-week period that takes place every autumn in our workplace, and about me being at an age where there’s still lots of time…
Time to take chances, time to take risks, time to make mistakes, time to make it big, time to take time out.
My supervisor was great.
She listened– really listened– while I spoke, and she said things in return that let me know she understood. Really understood.
It felt so good to get all of that off of my chest and out into the open. You have no idea.
And now I can’t get that glorious George Michael “Freedom (1990)” song out of my head…
Freedom! I won’t let you down. Freedom!! I will not give you up. Freedom!!! Gotta have some faith in the sound You’ve got to give what you take!!!! It’s the one good thing that I’ve got. Freedom!!!!!
Turn it up, baby! 🙂