We all live with uncertainty. It’s just that, for me (and others in similar situations), the uncertainty is more certain.
The certainty of uncertainty finds focus on particular events: “results” appointments, treatment plan discussions, starting new medicines, surgery. These events sit at the intersection of certainty and uncertainty in that everything could change at that point…or not.
As those intersections approach, I find myself getting in the zone. As if walking into a funnel, my world narrows: I take care of responsibilities at work, and then let them go; take care of home responsibilities and let them go; talk with friends and family, and then it’s just my spouse and me. At each departure, I receive thoughts, prayers, and well wishes that support me in ways I previously could not even imagine.
Eventually (e.g., as I enter the operating room), my world narrows to just me, and then I even have to let go of that, resting on a wealth of support and trusting those who will operate on me.
As I emerge from surgery and spend days walking the road of recovery, it’s like moving out of the funnel. My world opens up bit-by-bit as I re-engage with myself, my family, home and work concerns.
If my activities are out of sync with that funnel dynamic, it creates competing forces. For example, I was working on Nov 11 – the Friday before Monday’s surgery. That afternoon, I started to disconnect but I needed to stay present. I told myself to “buck up and get through it.” I did, but it was hard. Similarly, as I prepared to go back to work for a meeting on Nov 28, I wasn’t ready. I did it and then came home, but it took extra effort to be present…to even care about what was being discussed.
I realize that it’s a luxury to sync life’s activities with that funnel path. To the extent that I can do that, I’m grateful. To the extent that I cannot, I make do. Through it all, I’m exceedingly grateful for the support of spouse, family and friends.
In an ecology of love, people can relate in trust and face the future without fear…They can take uncertainty in their stride. Jonathan Sacks
Here’s a brief reflection on how to live with uncertainty from Brene Brown (read now)