I see another doctor today, up at the VA. I haven’t reliably had good experiences with medical care. That’s not an uncommon experience for people. I found myself feeling tense in advance, and aggravated ahead of any clear reason to feel aggravated, and on top of all that, I’m in pain. I was fussing over it internally, and it had grown to the size of a wee demon capable of wrecking my mood entirely – or my day. Considering the pleasant morning I had with my Traveling Partner this morning, that seemed pretty “unfair”…

I took a minute for a break in the sunshine – a rare sunny winter afternoon, uncommonly mild (although a bit chilly in the shade) – and asked myself “the hard question”; do I have a practice for this situation? I had to admit to myself, yeah, actually, I do.

I stood there in the sunshine, feeling it warm my back, vaping, blowing clouds in the direction of the clear blue sky visible between slumbering chunks of concrete and steel, pocked with windows. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. I started letting go of my assumptions and expectations of this appointment, allowing all that baggage to fall away. I gave myself room to accept my anxiety and my anger – then I let those go, too, with some self-directed kindness, and compassion. I finished my break, eventually, with a reminder to assume positive intent – yes, even about this – so I can go into this appointment with fresh eyes, open to a new outcome. Ready to listen deeply. Ready to answer questions from the perspective of (likely) sincere interest in my health and well-being. Ready to answer those questions gently, and directly, without a lot of “extra” discourse. One at a time, as they are, without reading into them. (Tall ask, honestly, still… a worthy endeavor.)

I’m okay. I’m ready for this. This moment here? It’s not about that. It’s about beginning again. 🙂