The woman in the front office handed me a copy of the imaging request the doctor had just filled out. She said to call and check up on its status by the end of the week if I hadn’t heard anything by then.

I sat in the car a minute before turning the ignition while my thoughts spider webbed in different directions.

I thought about last year’s yearly exam and how relieved I was to learn that after genetic testing I do not have the Lynch Syndrome. My maternal family history is laden with ovarian, uterine and most recently, ureter and bladder cancer. I don’t think anyone enjoys getting prodded at their yearly exam but because of our family’s score card, each yearly visit is a recipe note scribed with a little extra apprehension and an extra large sigh of relief when results return within normal limits. 

snake plant on a windowsillLess than a week from my ultrasound, I’ve was experiencing a whole salad bowl of emotions.

I’ve dissected some of the “what-if’s” and though I’m aware my lumps could very well be something that’s not cancer, my family history steered my thoughts left quite a bit since I received that order in hand.

Tonight, just like the one before, my husband throws his hands up as he works through his advanced calculus class. I sneak at a glance at two of my thriving snake plants

The snake plant, or mother-in law’s tongue, is one of my most treasured house plants. I have one that sits near the kitchen, another that shares a wall with my dry sink and a small one that overlooks one of the small living spaces from a television stand. The sansevieria trifasciata has grit and can endure the most inexperienced of thumbs. The muscle-y snake plant can thrive under a variety of conditions, even the not so pretty ones. Quite honestly, I’d benefit from chilling some and going with whatever may or may not come next. 

Waiting can turn the best of us into nail biters.

I’ve put effort into embracing routines with calming qualities, and I’m seeing sprouts of my intentional work. I don’t know if you’re experiencing your own salad bowl of emotions over anything in your life. But if you’re waiting on something that’s giving you jitters (maybe PCS orders, a housing assignment, a deployment, or an appointment of your own), I recommend focusing on one or two things that might center you. 

Here’s a short handful of the routines that have helped me:

  1. Walking: I like to get in an early evening walk whenever time allows. Instead of listening to music, I look at the mountains and listen to the coyotes that have been howling along with “Colors” in the evenings. Taking extra steps allows me to take in the community around me while pushing away any thoughts that aren’t serving me well. 
  2. Gardening: Every evening, I empty the kids’ left over water into my gardening can for next time’s use. My indoor house plants and outdoor aloe have been kicking along nicely since we moved in a few months ago. I loved my plants before my appointment, and their rhythm has only grown in importance since. Testing their soil with my finger to gauge if watering is needed, adjusting the blinds during the day, and watching my kids take interest and care for them swells my heart and calms my soul. 
  3. “Landscaping:” Our front garden space is covered with small rocks that get kicked onto the driveway and sidewalk almost daily. I enjoy taking the push broom and shooing the runaways back into their places around the front tree and coming back to life shrubbery. My husband says my efforts are fruitless, but there’s something empowering about this simple motion. 
  4. Cooking: I’m the type of person who’s not disappointed if I don’t have to cook. We recently purchased a Ninja Foodi, and I’ve been testing new recipes on a regular basis. Some have turned out delicious while others have made me swear to never attempt again. But there’s just something about figuring out a new appliance that’s been a wonderful distraction. 

All of these rhythms are simple in nature, but they’ve been so good for the soul and I plan on making these long term habits. 

And if you are waiting on something, fretting over impending news, or feeling overly anxious in this current climate, I hope that you can take comfort in some simple routines and that you find your resolution soon. ❤️

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