This is the story of Pam and John; she in her early 50’s and John is 62. Pam is a college professor. John taught at a local community college until diagnosed with Parkinson’s in March 2008, then Lewy Body Dementia in April.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

letting go of control

Today instead of a sermon, a member of my church gave a message on stewardship. Only he is a real estate developer who in the current economic situation may be facing bankrupcy, so it wasn't about giving money to the church. Instead, it was about his trying to learn from his experiences this year to stop trying to be God, stop trying to be in control of what happens. He said he hasn't had a transforming moment, a moment of surrender and then everything is different. Instead, it is more like Jacob wrestling with the angel all night. But he knows that being in community helps. And while he didn't talk about this I know he has re-invented himself several times before.

Today I got done two tasks that I had put off for months--revising a professional article and buying air tickets for a Christmas trip. In both cases I was afraid that there would be problems because I had put the task off so long, but they went smoothly. So I got away with being gentle with myself, not forcing myself to deal with those things earlier. I felt "I do what I can do."

I really don't know how much is reasonable to expect myself to be able to do. John can still take care of himself, though I have had to take over a lot of family organizing. My time isn't terribly full (particularly if I count the work time I could use for writing projects). But knowing the situation we are in is such a drain on my emotional energy. I think I have let go somewhat of trying to plan too much for the future, but I tend still to be braced for something bad to happen. How can I let go more of wanting to be able to predict my days and be more flexible to take advantage of what opportunities I have?

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