July 2021

My husband had a medical procedure the other day and the plan was for him to go to the facility and I would meet up with him when he was ready to come home.  I was a little anxious, concern for my husband, but continued on with my morning activities and prepared to leave at the designated time 9:30 AM or so (Positive Moment {PM} #1).

This was the first excursion into Manhattan for me since before Covid, so taking the subway added to the anxiety a bit.  I took a seat on the subway and started working on the crossword puzzle when I received a call from the medical facility as the train was crossing the bridge.  I answered the call fully aware that those around me on the subway were within earshot of the call and used my inside voice which I tend not to do when talking on the cell phone, a problem for everyone but me it seems (PM#2).  It was the doctor calling to tell me that all went well (PM#3) and that my husband would be ready to come home in a couple of hours and that I should time my arrival accordingly.

Since I was already on my way, I figured I would have time to get a cup of real coffee and sit in the park at Union Square to pass the time (PM#4).  As I was sitting in the park I imagined I was a tourist, minus the Bermuda shorts and “I Heart NY” tee shirt, seeing the City for the first time.  I chuckled to myself as I wondered if they still sell those tee shirts (PM#5).

When I finished the coffee, I headed into the facility, passed the check point up to the 4th floor, and took a seat and continued to work on the puzzle.  The waiting area opened to an atrium, and I could hear someone playing the baby grand piano (PM#6) down below causing me to think I was at a day spa instead of a medical facility. At some point I asked the person at the front desk–who was not there when I arrived–to make sure I was in the right place and was directed back down to the lobby.

In the lobby, I was directed to call the unit on the floor that I just left to find my husband’s status and was told it would be a while.  It was suggested I take a walk (PM#7).  Leaving the facility, I noticed a woman of a certain age getting out of a taxi relying on her walker followed by her companion who was using a cane.  I noticed the curb had no ramp and went to her and asked if I could help.  She declined, but I stayed by her side and watched as she and her companion perfectly navigated the curb. I assisted by steadying her, and both she and her companion thanked me profusely (PM#8).

When my husband was released, we grabbed a cab and I told the driver that we were going to Brooklyn where the sun rises and sets.  His response was typical of an NYC cab driver having to drive to one of the outer boroughs, a grunt, if that.  I chuckled to myself (PM#9). We arrived home safe and sound noting the time was 11:30 AM, and we still had a good part of the day to enjoy (PM#10).  We both sat to relax and took a nap (PM#11).

In roughly two hours I experienced eleven positive moments during an event that is generally quite stressful.  I owe this to my awareness of my surroundings and sense of humor.  Instead of allowing the mind-churning-anxiety to overcome me, I turned my attention outward where there is always something to see and appreciate.  Laughing at some of the absurdity helps to distill the anxiety even more.  I was relaxed and delighted the entire time.