Yesterday, we had tree-trimmers here at our house to clean up the trees that were overgrown and also to make room for new growth in the future. We live in a house that is very light and bright, however I was surprised how much more light and clarity of vision we have now that we’ve peeled back the layers of debris and overgrowth. Today, I have views of nature and blue sky that were not visible to me yesterday. This got me thinking about how Smart Women know the importance of trimming back the layers of their lives so that they can keep their vision clear and focused on what’s most important.
A few weeks ago, I had surgery to remove one of my healthy kidneys in order to donate that kidney to my husband Greg, whose kidney was failing, so that he would enjoy a more vital, healthy life. On December 1, we both were admitted to UCLA Medical Center. Everything went well regarding the surgery, however, when I woke up in the recovery room later that day and became aware of my surroundings, I felt restrained and an overall feeling of loss of control. As the hours went by (and the pain meds began to wear off!) I realized there were 4 “obstacles” that I needed to overcome in my journey to again feel in control of my life. The 4 “obstacles” were: forced oxygen, a catheter, an IV in my arm, and being strong enough to stand up and walk without assistance. This got me thinking about how Smart Women need to overcome the “obstacles” in their lives in order for them to be in control of their destiny.
As women, we can sometimes carry a heavy load of responsibility. We are nurturers by nature. We tend to say “Yes” more than “No.” Over time, some of the roles and responsibilities you take on no longer serve you well and can become “obstacles”. There have been times in my life that I’ve felt as if I was being held captive to some of the roles and responsibilities in my life. What are possible “obstacles” right now in your life?
Yesterday, we had tree-trimmers here at our house to clean up the trees that were overgrown and also to make room for new growth in the future. We live in a house that is very light and bright, however I was surprised this morning when I discovered how much more light and clarity of vision we have now that we’ve peeled back the layers of debris and overgrowth. Today, I have views of nature and blue sky that were not visible to me yesterday. This got me thinking about how Smart Women know the importance of trimming back the layers of their lives so that they can keep their vision clear and focused on what’s most important.
In my work with women, one of the most essential exercises that we do together is peel back the layers of their lives and take a look at what’s working and what’s not working. It’s important to take a look at each layer and if necessary trim the excess so you can live each day doing what’s most important to you in your life. The challenge for most of us is in the “letting go” of what no longer serves us. Sometimes there’s so much debris in our lives that we are unable to clearly see how even just a slight trim in one area could create a dramatic positive impact.
This morning, as I sit here at my desk looking out the window at a beautiful, sunny fall day, I’m a bit at a loss on how to begin this article. This article isn’t any different from the others I share with you each week. As usual, it’s about my own life and the reflections that I believe are helpful to other Smart Women. This article is about loving deeply, giving gifts and feeling fear along the way. Sounds like something all women deal with—yes?
Over the last few months, I’ve been going through testing at UCLA Medical Center here in Los Angeles to determine if I might be a possible match to donate one of my kidneys to my husband, Greg. Greg has Polycystic Kidney Disease and one of the affects is possible kidney failure over time. His kidney function has steadily been declining and we’ve known for some time that this day would come. What we didn’t know until now, is that I am, in fact, a match! On Tuesday, December 1, we will go together to UCLA Medical Center where I will undergo a procedure to remove one of my healthy kidneys and Greg will receive that kidney so he can feel healthy, energetic and enjoy life to the fullest once again.
Why do I tell you this story? Because what I’m going through right now holds many similarities for women. Women love. Women give. Women have fears. Some days I want to go jump in my bed, pull the covers over my head, go to sleep and wake up to realize that this has been a bad dream. Do you think I’m scared? You bet. Do I have anxiety? Of course. Will I feel the fear and do it anyway? Absolutely. How do you feel the fear and do it anyway? I’m sure, as you are sitting here reading this, you are thinking about some fears that you have, right? And it’s possible that you haven’t been able to overcome that fear yet.
My son Jack recently joined Cub Scouts here in our community. His “den” leader is an older man, sort of a grandfather type who is very wise and shares some interesting information with the boys (did you know that if you’re in need of the police, you should dial 311 and not 411?). When a boy becomes a Cub Scout, he receives a book about what it means to take on this role. An early part of the book is about following a “set of values.” They encourage the boys to know, commit, and practice these values. This got me thinking about how Smart Women know, commit, and practice their own values.
When I was growing up, I don’t remember many conversations about values. I was told to always say please and thank you. Always tell the truth. Always be on time. Respect your elders. These were the basic “values” in our home. Good stuff to be sure, and ideas that I pass on to my own children today. However, the world has changed since I was a little girl. Women today play so many roles. We are creative beings with Big Ideas, Dreams, and Goals. We take care of our spouse or life partner, children, aging parents. We run large and small businesses. We are active in our communities. We are the “glue” that keeps everyone and everything together. (I went to visit my Mom and sister for a few days and before I departed, I handed my husband Greg a 3-page single-spaced document of what needed to be done over the course of 5 days to keep the family running smoothly!)