Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.
I burned myself pretty badly two weeks ago, and it wasn’t healing as expected, thanks to my stupid, sensitive body. I was reacting to everything: the antibiotic ointments, the bandaid adhesive, the nonstick pad, etc.
At my husband’s insistence, I saw a doctor. And at my doctor’s insistence, I saw a wound care specialist.
I was expecting an uneventful visit to the Bothin Burn Center this morning, but was surprised by a flood of thoughts and emotions as I waited for the staff to process me as a new patient:
- What constant stress the staff must be under.
- These poor folks in the waiting room, who had real issues that needed attention.
- How absurd it was for me to take up the doctor’s time, which could be used for treating serious burn victims.
- How stupid it was of me to be so careless, causing me to waste all this time and money.
- And worst of all: What if my carelessness had caused me to burn someone else… or a child? The thought alone brought immediate tears to my eyes, and the concern was later exacerbated when I saw a toddler, cautiously but curiously exploring the hallway with her parents, wearing a compression garment (to apply pressure over healing burns and grafts) around her teeny, adorable face.
But as usual, the bad thoughts brought good ones — details that I can never take for granted:
- How lucky that my loved ones and I are in reasonably good health.
- How fortunate I am to have the healthcare and resources to take care of any issues that do arise.
The Calm app sent me this reminder this morning. With all that’s going on in the world right now, I appreciated it.
It also reminded me of a principle that my dad reiterated to me throughout my childhood and young adulthood. It won’t translate as well as I’d like it, but the basic concept was that, especially as a girl/woman (🙄) I should be calm, steady, grounded, and ocean deep. Take a small bowl of water, for example. Any minor disruption (a shake, an object falling in, etc.) can be catastrophic and immediately empty the bowl. On the other hand, it takes much more to cause any noticeable disruption to a large, deep ocean; it can withstand great storms and still return to a state of calm.
Despite its sexist undertones, the lesson was a good one in mindfulness, and one that I’m still trying to practice.
After 10 days away, I’m home. I’m excited to be with my people here and get back to my routine, but I’m also a little melancholy knowing that I won’t see my coworkers for an entire year, if ever again. (I’ve never been good at goodbyes or finalities.)
I admit that that sounds dark, but it actually makes me very appreciative for the time I do get to spend with them, which is why I do everything I can to make the most of our week together.
Here’s a random, disjointed glimpse of my GM, minus most of the work stuff. Because, well — it’s work. It’s kind of weird to take photos of people in the middle of a meeting or class… though there’s a few of those too. 😀
Gorgeous sights. Face swaps. Surprise doggos. Improvised lobby dance parties. Late-night eats. Catching up 1:1. Prom. Immature jokes. Honest conversations. Peace signs. Homeroom. Twinning. Champagne. Domains. Nodules. Surprise connections.
As someone remarked this week, “You’re really good at burning the candle at both ends.”
Cheers to my team, and I hope to see you all soon.
Here’s my dad sacrificing his arms so that they can be Lily’s footholds as she climbs. Basically the most accurate analogy/depiction of everything my parents have done for me and my brother.
did you really think she was a tender flower you could trample upon, and damage her very soul? she is wildfire. and she is coming to devour you whole.