We met on the job, over 30 years ago. Iris started working as a CRNA in an extended care facility in northern Michigan. I was her preceptor and we quickly became friends. I believe she was fresh out of high school or soon to graduate. I am about ten years older than Iris.
Before meeting Iris, I was friends with her ‘now and only’ husband. They have been married over 30 years. Isn’t that grand? I think it is stinkin cool!
I watched their children arrive, grow up and bring forth grandchildren. More than that, I relish reflecting upon how Iris has grown and matured. She continued with her passion for nursing, becoming an RN and LOVES working in critical care units. During most of our 30+ years, we had hundreds of miles between us. Our visits were few, yet we never lost touch.
We do not always see eye to eye on everything… and we shouldn’t. We do respect what the other has to share. There were times, Iris would share a story or event, followed by something like, “..and they did not have a choice. They had to do that!”
And I would counter with, “Yes, they had a choice. You always have a choice. They did not have to do that. They made the choice to do that.” Iris would shake her head and disagree, time after time.
Our ‘in-person’ visits were not often, but when we were together, we could chat up a storm. During one of those such visits, a few years ago, she said something that took me by surprise.
Out of the blue and off-topic, she said, “You know, I did not use to believe you when you said everything is a matter of choice. It really is though!” I was nodding and grinning.
Iris continued, “I like to share with my patients…..”:
How you heal, is a matter of choice. It is all up to you.
You can choose to be positive, knowing you are healing and stay focused on what you need to do next. Chances are, you will heal quickly and have fun along the way.
You can choose to be negative, feel sorry for yourself and dwell on what you ‘cannot do’. Chances are, you will heal much slower and be miserable along the way.
I thanked Iris for ‘choosing‘ to share that with me, we chuckled, as I got up and gave her a hug. Then we ‘chose’ to sit in the yard, each with a mug of Iris’s special herbal tea and watched the sunset together…..in silence. We do not always need to chat, to enjoy each others presence. 🙂
- How do you feel about ‘choice’?
- Do you feel there are times when you “have no choice” in the matter?
- Do you believe you can choose to be happy when you are feeling down?
- How about the other way around?
- If you are feeling really joyful, could you then choose to be depressed?
- I believe so.
- How ’bout you?