Because I grew up in a land devoid of freezing precipitation, I decided to take a ski class in college. It equipped me with the skills necessary to get on/off the ski lift and down the mountain in one piece. I enjoy skiing a lot, when it is done on my terms: I do not purposefully attempt to create distance between my skis and the ground, I do not purposefully race at breakneck speeds, I do not purposefully run courses that are more challenging than a blue. Last week, I skied the equivalent of 3 black diamond courses. And I didn't even need snow.
I knew going into the latter half of the week it was going to be hard, but I had no idea. Here is just a taste of what the last 5 days of my life entailed (in addition to my usual duties):
- A husband with church meetings 2 nights, and overnight call the next 3 nights
- One 24 hour period without seeing Husband at all (see above)
- 2 unplanned doctor's appointments for baby, and a diagnosis of bronchiolitis. She's fine, but that required...
- ...a trip to the pharmacy and 3 daily nebulizer treatments added to the routine
- Soccer practice and a game for my big boy
- Baby waking multiple times each night coughing or crying
In my first few classes, I realized that if I paid too much attention to what the course held in store for me (groomed trail and/or what kind of injury or death awaited me if I lost control), I would become unnerved and my muscles and heart would tighten with fright. I learned very quickly that if I focused on what I needed to do now and only a few moves ahead, I could stay in control. When I got to the bottom, I would be amazed that I was able to accomplish something that initially seemed so impossible from the top.
This kind of focus is what got me through my rough spots last week. As life felt more and more like a cruel treadmill with no stop button or means of escape, if I focused on what I needed to do now- and not on the misery that still awaited me- I was able to handle things with a better sense of control.
So there you go. I don't know how this reconciles with keeping an eternal perspective, but it got me through the last 5 days alive. And the fact that I'm alive is remarkable.