Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Proactive vs Reactive

Did you ever have an encounter when your heart almost stopped from fear or panic? When you encountered a person or situation and you felt you had no power except to watch things unfold?

Having kids will grant you experiences like that-

Like the time my son had a collision with a telephone pole while riding his bike...his forhead split open and needed 57 stitches to close him back up. For a while, as I held him-bleeding- in my arms waiting for the ambulance- I had a few moments when I was unsure if he would live or die.
Those are moments that age you.

There was another time when my daughter was bitten by a Brown Recluse spider when she was 6 (and weighed only 40 lbs)- and it took me several hours to feel confident the blister on her hand was related to the fever and vomiting.

She was such a tiny little thing, limp and hot in my arms as we carried her into the emergency room...my heart ached over every minute we had to wait for a Dr. to call her back. I watched the poisonous red line travel from her wrist towards her elbow while we waited...praying that an IV and antibiodics would be administered in time. Little did I know then she would require surgery and a 3 day stay at the hospital- but she was a trooper and recovered beautifully, except for a rational fear of spiders she has to this day.

Both of these events happened over Mother's Day weekends- 2 years apart, and in both cases I wasn't paralyzed by fear-- I was motivated by it- as to whether or not my heart stopped, that was irrelevant...I had to take care of my children.

In a crisis there is always something that can be done- even if all you are doing is praying your way through it. Taking a proactive stance is often better than simply reacting. Thinking is proactive. Asking for help is proactive. Listening to advice is proactive. Being STILL and quiet is proactive.

To this day I don't "spook" easily, but from time to time it does happen. Every now and then I am reminded that I am not made of steel, but of flesh and blood with a host of faults that make me vulnerable. I trust easily, love quickly, connect with compassion, and I'm often bewildered by the sometimes ugly nature of humans...but if these are my flaws- then my strenghts are defined by a strong backbone, and unwillingness to surrender without a fight, and a faith that good will prevail in my life.

And "good" does not mean "easy"- rather it's often the opposite. "Good" means work, it means thinking and asking for help when I face something difficult, it means listening, and it means being still and quiet.

I'm here, being quiet while I face a difficult issue (a few actually). Thinking about an action plan, asking for help, and being a good listener. I'm sorry that I had to "blip out" without much warning but I did what I thought I needed to do.

Thank you to those of you who were concerned and sent me a note...and for those of you who were just wishing me well and sending good vibes my way. I felt it :)

8 comments:

The Phosgene Kid said...

I've been in situations where training and instinct take over. Surprising how calm and cold I can get when necessary.

SJ said...

So you did get my vibes? Good.

This post has me thinking... how do I react in times of stress.... hmmm

K9 said...

youre solid as a rock (thats what i told timmeh) and i dont worry worry, but i do worry a little about this recent thing. you need a dog. a real one that lives at your house. maybe a rotty or a rhodesian ridgeback!

foam said...

...and what about that eno river snake bite from a couple of years back? ..
anyways, i've blipped out on my blog a couple of times without explaining myself .. i was just gonna sit back and wait ... and then contact you .. but here you are again..
i know k9 thinks everybody ought to have a dog ..
but maybe you really do?

frizzy scissorhands said...

yeah ... a dog. when i had a dog ~ a blonde afghan hound, a male (of course) ~ he was so protective of me he would only permit familiar men around me ... he always barked when strangers came up the driveway to the front steps ... he never bit anyone ... his amazing presence seemed to warn those away who needed such warnings. Funny, dogs just seem to know and sense things we humans seem to miss.

this latest thing has me concerned too. do take care. i sit here and wonder, what can be learned from this? i called you and left a message ... call me anytime, ok?

Bad Bob said...

It's amazing what you can do when you have to.

It's nice to be able to read your blog for inspiration.

iamnot said...

S had pneumonia when he was 2. Seeing him lay there in the emergency room, struggling to breathe...felt like my own death.

Please God let me die before my children.

Effortlessly Average said...

"Did you ever have an encounter when your heart almost stopped from fear or panic? When you encountered a person or situation and you felt you had no power except to watch things unfold?"

I hope to God I never have to feel that with respect to a child, but the last time I remember feeling it is when I was on the phone with my then wife, she said she was divorcing me, and I believed her.