I was conditioned at an early age to anticipate the other shoe dropping. I watched that shoe drop all around me as a child, so as young adult, I still held my breath wondering when it would. Sometimes it did, and sometimes it didn’t, but the only times I remembered were the times that shoe fell hard.
For probably 15 years, I have worked on retraining my brain and redirecting my energy so that I didn’t create a shoe falling from the sky. For a long time, I really didn’t even find myself holding my breath at all.
Now, I find myself holding my breath. I hold it about Amore’s heart, and I hold it about how well I am moving about since the pump removal. If I can notice that I am holding it, I can remind myself that today is all that matters, and I can breathe out.
I didn’t notice I was holding my breath until Monday, but I am sure I held it all weekend with Amore. I let out my breath enough to sleep in my bed instead of the floor with him, and to take Duke to the Homeless Emergency Project on Monday.
Breathing out was possible because someone was with him while I was gone. Yesterday, he was alone and I realized after my third hour at HEP that I was holding my breath until he was checked on and I heard he was ok.
Monday I also had some trouble driving, and realized I was holding my breath. I am waiting for the moment my leg won’t drive me because of what I remember about losing my ability to drive when my illness first started. I am holding my breath waiting for the other shoe. Maybe there aren’t shoes up there waiting to fall from the sky.
Amore isn’t holding his breath. If anything, he is acting like nothing ever happened over the weekend. He does what he can and then rests, but he is only living for the moment. He only cares about what is happening right now.
I am trying to follow his lead. Today is really all that matters. Things happen, but they aren’t shoes, they are just things. When they happen, I deal with them.
Living for today, like my dogs do, means that whatever happens is embraced. The trick for humans (me) is to work at not attaching that good or bad label to what happens. It won’t be a shoe. Both shoes are right here, right now. There is no other shoe.