Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Go Ahead, Take Over

Humming a little tune is so refreshing.  For the past few months would save my voice for Mike to come home, or to explain something pertinent to the children, and well up with frustration that it fell on deaf ears, or even worse, that they could not understand me.  I have spoken over the past few months like I have a lasso around my tongue, a marshmallow stuck to the roof of my mouth, or talking through a muzzle. Such is the way the Myasthenia Gravis flareup has been, but thankfully I have a voice whether I have a voice or not. And I have been able to hum a tune and talk the past few weeks which has felt amazing.

I'm slowly starting to shift my glance to dread of medicine to gratefulness for medicine.  Don't we all need to be held up by something anyway, and what's wrong with a few tools, discoveries, and tries to get a fully-lived life back?  I'm shifting my gaze from doing millions of things for others and moving to the me, myself and I. A day does not go by that I don't want to connect a few people, amazon about 20 presents to people, or invite friends over to visit.  As I handed ideas over this week, they took flight in the hands of others who were passionate, and it felt very good.  This summer, I was instrumental in starting an upper school orchestra at the kids school, and that was just about as my illness started to take a life-consuming turn.  Peace filled my heart as Jesse called me last week and said that a current teacher at the school will be taking over the program.  He said it with such a kindness, hoping this would alleviate a burden on me and was sensitive that I may be upset at letting the program go.  My response inside and out was that I am more happy that the children will have consistency than I am disappointed that I cannot teach the class. Isn't that what teaching is about, consistency, giving students methods and tools to find their own role in the world.  I'm so relieved.  Another handful of ideas were handed over to the hands of people excited about them, and such is the visionary role I always hoped to have. 

It amazes me that I have slowed down enough, hired enough help, had droves of love and support from family and friends to be able to stop and realize that my favorite thing is being a visionary.  I haven't researched the title, but probably will.  Not the dooer, the grunt-worker, but my excellence is in the connection of ideas and concepts to push forward a vision and hand it over to other leaders who can make it their own. 

My memory was jogged back to my student teaching experience, as one of my former students just began this week.  The best thing my lead teacher said was, "Make this program your own." Floundering through rehearsals, lessons with some punk kid puffing on his saxophone for the 7th week in a row while I'm trying to talk, the other teachers left me in charge.  In the room alone with the kids lessons, teaching and teaching, floundering and teaching.  Then, the glorious day after 7 weeks that I looked the punk in the eye and firmly, and loudly (which is a challenge for me with other people's children), said, "Don't play while I'm speaking." Three of the music teachers in my sight-line must have heard me through the office glass and gave fist pumps to the air like I just rocked a concert hall. There it was.  They were trying to get me to raise my voice for 7 weeks in these abstract ways, and its not until you have a leadership role of your own where you really learn and have platform to excel.

Mike learned this in residency.  Once he was a SAR, he would hover over the interns and JARS, only to realize the feedback when he finally let them go and run their own patients and report, was that they gained confidence and leadership, and valued the experience, failures and all. I believe those guys and gals are better doctors now because of his teaching and giving them a leadership platform to excel on.

How are we supposed to build up each other if we are throwing down ideas and driving them at the same time.  How shall we be good counselors if we are offended that the receiver doesn't take our counsel? How can we be good leaders if we are not raising leaders to take our places and become better than our own self?

We can't.  You raise the bird and let it fly.  You work on ablating the heart and leave the beating and rhythms in the hands of God.  You pick the medicine to take with the least side effects and the most hope.  And you tell someone your idea and let them run. Without a patent or a harness.

My favorite part of my gym is that my personal trainers train like I used to teach musical theater and orchestra.  Kids, this is your show.  Learn it better than me. Do it better than I ever could.  Add in your own spins when you know it well enough and it will be fun. It is yours. Kids will blow your expectations away and run with newer and fresher ideas. Reign them in when they get crazy and you have a great show.

Fitness class, this is your body, you can do this.  You didn't want to get out of bed at 5 this morning, but you are here!  Come on, you can do this, need more weight? Is that challenging enough for you?

All the confidence in the world won't discount the blessed controller of all things.  Even if I let everything fall into other hands of leadership, I would have faith to say that God is still, in his perfect and wonderful plan, allowing things to happen. 

A helpful book on the topic of God's leadership in our many works is Calm my Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow (link to Amazon).