Back to My New Normal



I Thank God for His healing power!! I was sick for 6 weeks and it was no walk in the park. What started out as the flu morphed into an antibiotic resistant sinus infection. My body is on the mend and I'm finally back to blogging.

At first I was really upset about getting sick. You see Type A personalities do not set well with having to deal with things out of their control. I couldn't go to work, I couldn't lecture, I missed skills lab and clinical with my students, I couldn't talk for long periods of time (maybe this wasn't a bad thing), other people had to pick up my slack, my husband had to take care of me (he's still alive and of sound mind). I was literally flat on my back with no energy.  Eating, bathing, and walking to the bathroom were major daily accomplishments. Then something was dropped into my wee feeble spirit-I, I, I, me,me, me.  As a woman, two of my God given talents are being a helper and a mutli-tasker. But the transition from helper to helpee is not an easy one, sometimes it is an abrupt one. If I can't help then I'm not multitasking, oh my! At some point in your lifetime you will be on the helpee side of the table, if you haven't been already. I was on now on the helpee side of the table. I was no longer in control of my situation. Needless to say I was one unhappy woman. Yet what type of message was I sending to those around me? Especially to my children.  How can I preach/teach/model the concepts no man is an island or there is no I in team; when I was so focused on what I was not able to do.

We are all apart of a team called the human race. During our life time we are placed into several different subgroups within Team Human Race. For example, our families, the workforce, our friends, our community, our organization/club affiliations, spiritual/religious connections, as well as some I may have forgotten. Each one of the aforementioned connections should possess a team atmosphere. So what exactly does "team" mean? I'm glad you asked.

While obtaining the definition of team, I forgot how important the context in which a word is used is so detrimental. For this purpose, according to Merriam Webster the definition of team is a group of people who work together. If allowed I would like to add my $0.2 to this definition. A team is a group of people who work together towards a common goal. During my time of illness is when I was reminded of the great teams I am fortunate to be on.

My co-workers are more than amazing. Everyone pitched in to help make sure our students received the best experiences in spite of being one man down. My husband and I vowed to God and  roughly 200 other people we would be there for each other during sickness and in health. He was doing what he was suppose to do. If my teammates had not been there for me; I cannot imagine how I could've progressed from sickness to health. Even my boys called to check on me to make sure I was doing what I was suppose to and not giving their dad a hard time. The prayers from all my team connections were an intricate component to my recovery.  This illness turned into a journey of humility. We say we are team players, but do we really have a team mentality.

In order to be apart of a great team you must be a great teammate. There's no way people would have been so willing to help if I had a consistent "all about me" mentality. Everyone on a team has a role. You must know your role as well as the culture of the team. Sometimes you are the point guard running the show, sometimes you may be the post player getting down low doing the dirty work underneath the basket, other times you may be on the bench rooting the team on to victory. You must be enough. Comfortable enough, confident enough, and humble enough to be and/or do whatever the team needs in order to accomplish the common goal. By the response of my teams, I guess I've been a pretty good teammate.

In the late 80's Kayrn White recorded the song "Superwoman". The song was depicting her perspective of a one-sided romantic relationship. She lovingly sang about all the things she did for her man and how unappreciative he was. But when she sang the chorus you knew the light bulb was on and shining bright because she belted with conviction "I'm not your Superwoman!" The question I had to ask myself while lying in bed was: Who said you had to be Superwoman? Followed by: Was I in a one-sided romantic relationship with the IDEA of how I should be? Who gave me my cape and my shiny red boots?  Who said I had to be all things to all people no matter what the cost? Who really was unappreciative of my efforts? The hard core, truth of the matter answer is- I did and I guess I was. As awesome as Superwoman is, even she is a team player; I mean she is apart of the Justice League isn't she?

I know I'm not the only woman fighting what appears to be a never ending battle. We do it all! Carrying the babies, birth the babies, take care of the babies, cook, clean, work, network, referee, chauffeur, balance the books, event planner, master scheduler, and the list goes on and on. Just because we CHOOSE to do it all, do we have to? STOP IT RIGHT NOW!! Who cares if they don't do it like you do! And if it doesn't get done, will the world literally stop turning? Nobody cares but us and no the world keeps on spinning. I thought I had come to terms with my humanness, but in reality I hadn't. After 6 weeks of being dependent upon others, I had to let it go. Let what go? The guilt of not being able to do my part.

I am still adjusting to my new normal (sometimes I think shock therapy would be easier). It's truly OK if I cannot perform as expected 110% of the time. I'm learning not to care about how a task is completed; I'm elated the task was completed. All is right with the world if I cannot accomplish every item on my to-do list and the most amazing part is so I'm alright as well. I can now honestly speak truth when I tell my children and my teammates no man is an island or there is no I in team. I never knew the Beatles' song "With A Little Help From My Friends" would become my mantra during this time. Count me blessed! Not everyone can call their teammates friends.

YEAH TEAM!! And GO BADGERS!!!!

© Allison R. Bethune