Coming through a challenging pregnancy, birth, and recovery for everyone created new people in all of us. We took away a few tricky qualities that we’re still working on, but overall both Tere and I came away with a new sense of appreciation and gratitude that we hadn’t understood before. It was a tough lesson to learn under very difficult situations but we eventually got it. If there is anything I try to encourage for new parents or anyone undertaking large change in their life, it’s patience, because in time all things become clear.
I read once that great CEO’s have a keen knack for knowing when to make a decision. It’s all about time and information. If they wait until they have all the information they need, the time to decide has passed. If they rush a decision without enough information, the odds of making the wrong choice are high. So the key is to wait, gather just enough information, and act at exactly the right moment when these two worlds meet. I think there is a good bit of “art” to it. Patience.
I saw something once where this guy gives away “gratitude rocks” which you’re supposed to carry in your pocket so that every time you touched it, it would remind you to be grateful for all that you have. This is a tricky lesson. In our 21st century, high-tech world, we are all moving at great speeds climbing the corporate ladder in our ever quest for more. More of what –I’m not sure, but we all want more. We had a great evening last Sunday at our house when a young singer-songwriter came to do a mini-set for our friends. We had lots of food, everyone loved the music and I poured lots of wine. It was a lovely evening. One of our friends found Tere and me in the kitchen to tell us how important we were to her. She took each of our heads in her hand, pushed all three of our heads together and leaned in close to tell us that we were loved. Right then, I was grateful for all the people in my life that support me every day even if I don’t see them. Gratitude.
For us, patience and gratitude produced a need to give. We realized quickly that there were lots of people around us that gave of their time, their expertise, their love and somehow we needed to give back. We loved going back to the hospital to visit the nurses who took care of Tere while she was on bed rest and soon they asked if we would talk to a patient. We agreed and soon we were visiting a number of soon-to-be moms, all on bed rest at Cedars-Sinai’s Maternal Fetal Care Unit. We met some great women and I hope we inspired them to tough it out through those agonizing months of nothing but online shopping, hospital food, and constant wake-ups to be poked and prodded. We’ve even stayed very much in touch with one family now with twin boys living in San Diego. In fact, our son Free pretty much peed all over their house on one visit as we were beginning to potty train. Oy!
My point is that sometimes the best way to get what we need from the world when we need it most, is to give. When we’re stressed beyond belief and think we have no more energy, give. When our patience is thin and we want to hide, give. When I’m angry and want to have a pity party of one, give. When the world is spinning and feels ready to cave in, give.
I hear it comes back tenfold.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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