It's Hump Day Giveaway time! I had a few people email to tell me the new theme made them giggle like a junior high boy... to be honest I tried to think of a million different names, but the response to this one just cracked me up so I stuck with it. Feel free to giggle to your hearts' content, peeps... I won't tell anyone.
***** ***** *****
Not to beat a dead horse or anything... but did I mention I can open a window and breathe fresh air right now?
Just making sure you didn't miss the memo.
I'm sitting in my living room with the door wide open writing this post, thinking back to Friday when I sat here enjoying fresh air for the first time in ages. Susie had called on her way home from work and, of course, I was excitedly relaying to her my fantastic news. We were trying to think back to how long it had been since I could have a window open and she recalled that she knew exactly when it was. The last time I went anywhere without breathing issues was on June 12th... the next to last day I had to renew my driver's license.
Susie and I almost share a birthday; I'm her elder by 2 whole days since mine lands on the 13th and hers is on the 15th. And I really appreciate that fact every year when the girls and I get together for supper and they all remind me that I'm the ancient one of the bunch. Of course I remind them it also means I'm wiser, but they seem to enjoy the beauty that comes with youth too much to care.
It was almost a month to the day that we celebrated my birthday when Susie called as she and the boys were out running errands. She was telling me about some event that had happened while getting her license renewed and my heart almost got stuck in my throat. Having not driven anywhere in ages, it didn't even occur to me to check my license... and sure enough it was expiring the very next day.
Now, originally this story started out funny. We both panicked and she told me that she and the boys were just bumming around all day, so they would grab lunch and then come pick me up to take me to get it renewed. I was bustling around as fast as I could to change and get presentable for the ensuing photo... my main concern being the fact that five years ago I took a really good driver's license photo, and now I had been on steroids and looked like Theodore, the fullest-cheeked chipmunk of the bunch.
So when Susie picked me up in the sweltering Iowa heat, and I had on a sleeveless turtleneck, I thought she was going to drive right into the building because she was laughing so hard at me. My theory that the turtleneck helped cover up some of the steroid look of my neck only made her laugh harder. And through the insanity of all of this, reality still hadn't hit me.
My friend was picking me up to get my driver's license renewed because I could barely walk to her car on crutches, let alone drive. My biggest concern was what my photo was going to look like and that I didn't want to retake a written test that I barely studied for when I was 16, for fear I wouldn't pass.
Can you say denial?
It wasn't until we were pulling into the parking lot that it dawned on me. It wasn't until that moment I looked at Susie and said, "You know... I couldn't pass a driving test. They'd watch me try to get into the driver's side of the car and tell me no before I ever turned on a key."
Her eyes got sad and she said, "I was wondering if you were going to mention that."
I can still feel the knot in my stomach that I had eight months ago. That realization that I was like my Grandpa Joe when he had Alzheimer's and they had to hide the keys to his truck because he wouldn't hand them over ... he didn't want to let go of that part of his life, and couldn't accept the fact that it wasn't safe.
But my brain kept thinking... what if? What if they come out with a new medication and I suddenly do better and then I could drive and it would be harder to convince them to give me a license? What if the summer was better than the spring that was supposed to be better than the winter that I had hoped would be better than the fall?
Which is the only excuse I have for entering the DOT, trying to act like it was totally normal to walk in on crutches, and getting my license renewed. It's the only excuse I can give for answering all of the worker's questions honestly... until he kept asking me about my disease. Asking me if I ever jerk in pain, if it would be a problem when driving, if it was something I was concerned about. And I stood there, sweating in my turtleneck because I was trying so hard not to jerk in pain from the nerve zing that was pulsing in my leg... and I told him the only truth I could... that my doctors hadn't put any restrictions on me and they knew all about my condition.
I didn't mention the fact that we had never discussed if driving was a good idea or not.
To put your minds at ease... I didn't so much as open a window to my condo the last eight months, let alone go for a joy ride. My car has sat in my garage with a dead battery for almost a year now. Driving was something that I hadn't been able to do for a long time, but it wasn't until I stood there - feeling the burning realization - that I knew I had yet one more thing in my life I had to let go of.
I love this phrase: "Blessed is the person who finds out which way God is moving, and then gets moving in the same direction." It took me until January to finally make the decision to let go of the thing that kept me from moving in the direction my life had already headed. My nephew Thomas is turning 16 this summer, and since they need to get a car and I need to get rid of one, it was a pretty good match. And truthfully, knowing that it is going to someone I love makes it easier to let go than if I just put an ad in the paper to sell it. I don't know why, but it is.
What matters about this story is that the minute I let go of the notion that I needed life to change, rather than to change my life, the knot in my stomach went away. The moment I stopped trying so desperately to walk against the tide my life was flowing, I was relieved.
So, on this "Hump Day Giveaway" I made a canvas with the saying that helped me let go of something I no longer had a use for:
To win the canvas, leave a comment about something you have let go of, or need to, to make your life more manageable. You can comment until midnight CST and I'll announce the winner tomorrow!
Oh, and if you've already won previously, do keep playing. I'll be doing this every Wednesday so there are plenty to go around, and if you win more than once you can give them as gifts!