Yesterday in my office, somebody in a therapy session described how responsibilities and pressures — at work and at home — seemed endless to them. I asked, “Do you ever get a break from all this?” In response, I thought I saw an endless-yard stare — doubt and worry without end.
I knew my day, yesterday, would end. Days always do. At times, though, obligations,* concerns,* needs,* unexpected situations,* and unfinished business* can seem endless. Why? Because there’s always more to do and there are always tasks not being done.
That’s why I invite myself and others to focus on what we are doing (instead of those endless things we aren’t).
Another person I saw in therapy — who has been working on improving self-confidence and the ability to experience and express joy — realized something important. This person recognized that despite the mind’s ability to endlessly worry, worry, worry, worry, worry, worry, worry, this was an important, personal truth:
Considering that bad things have happened to this person in the past, I felt endlessly grateful to witness that non-endless, 5-worded sentence. I’m hoping the positive results of healing realizations (like that one and others) can seem as endless to people as
- paralyzing self-doubt*
and other non-helpful thoughts and feelings I observe, which can make anybody’s life seem truly endless.
Last night, after a wait that seemed long — if not endless — to me, I finally spoke with one of a seemingly endless crowd of cardiologists, regarding a stress test I took a non-endless number of days ago.
Here were my endless hopes for what the cardiologist might say to me:
Ann, we looked at the results of this stress test measuring the interactions of you, your unusual heart, exercise, and oxygen and …. congratulations! You and your heart are endlessly strong! Well, actually, nobody’s heart is endlessly strong. But your heart, Ann Koplow, is as strong as anybody else’s! You are a WINNER!
However, despite my endless capacity to hope for the best (and, simultaneously, expect the worst), the cardiologist — rather than sounding like an endless series of endlessly enthusiastic game show hosts* I’ve seen in my many years watching TV* — sounded more like a cautious, consulting cardiologist. That is, he said the tests were inconclusive. Then, he gave me his prediction of what I needed, which was major heart surgery, sooner or later.
I just met this cardiologist, so I don’t know if his expertise or his knowledge of me is as endless as I might want it to be. And, I am meeting, tomorrow, with another new — to me — cardiologist for whom people seem to have endless respect, affection, and faith.
However, before my post today seems endless, I want to tell you that the cardiologist yesterday, in our conversation, used this word
about my heart.
Words, to me, can be endlessly powerful. I reacted to that word with what felt like an endless amount of fear.* Worry, frustration, resentment, and defiance were all in there, too. I don’t like people using words like that about my trusty heart, which has kept me going for so many days, months, years, and amazing experiences.
So I responded, to the cardiologist last night, with questions. Questions are my endlessly useful weapon/protection/instrument/magic. If you ask anybody who knows me well, how many questions I ask, they might answer
The questions I asked the cardiologist, after he used the word “weakened” for my endlessly unusual heart, included:
- Do we know for sure that my heart is weakened?
- If we were able to compare my heart now to what it was a year or two ago, would it seem weakened?
- If my heart is weakening, is that happening gradually or quickly?
The cardiologist responded, to every question I asked, with
That’s a good question
which is something I’ve heard, endlessly, for a very long time. And, despite his kind competency, the cardiologist could not end my endless-seeming uncertainty* and confusion* in our conversation, last night.
Here’s a question I did NOT ask that cardiologist:
If my heart is weakened, WHY DO I FEEL SO FRIGGIN’ STRONG?
As I write this post, I am in the middle of compiling a list* of questions to ask Dr. Michael Landzberg, Congenital Cardiology Expert Extraordinaire, when I see him tomorrow morning, at Boston Children’s Hospital.
I resolve, as my readers are my witnesses, to add that last question to my list, now.
And because of the strength of
- that question,
- my feelings,
- my hopes for the future, and
- the tiger
I am deciding to keep my profile picture
as it is — if not endlessly — at least, for now.
Because I endlessly hope to avoid hurting and disappointing others — including inanimate objects like PENs, for heaven’s sake — I shall now present a visual series-with-end, taken yesterday by your endlessly humble photographer:
Appearing, above, are Carla, Danise, and Kathy at Cardiac Rehab AND Penny the Pen (who has been appearing in a non-endless number of New Year posts here, here, here, here, and here).
In that last photo, as you can see, Penny is taking a break on one of the workout machines at cardiac rehab. I — even when my workout on that particular machine seemed endless — did not.
Last night, when I started writing this post (which is coming to an end), I thought of this song:
You can find “The Song That Doesn’t End” by Shari Lewis, Lamb Chop, etc. here on YouTube.
Today, as I was ending this post, I thought of this song, too:
“Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst,” from Mel Brooks‘s The Twelve Chairs can be found here on YouTube, at least for now.
Also, I found this long but not endless tribute to Mel Brooks and songs he’s written for his movies and stage musicals:
Endless thanks to all who contributed to and who are reading this post — which includes you, of course!
* Which can all seem endless, but actually are not.