Knowing and learning

When an activity doesn’t go as planned are you more likely to say something akin to dangit or that’s interesting? I am more likely to say that’s interesting especially if I get to learn something new or unexpected from it. I love learning something new, applying it and helping others with the newfound knowledge or skill. I often use as my personal tagline when I doodle on notes and it is the motivation for almost everything I do.

There was no point in having cancer and surviving it if I cannot apply from the experience.

Another view of the world is the need to know before attempting something new. Know it will work, know it will be worth the effort and know it will be viewed positively.

For me there are times when I am perfectly content giving something a whirl to find out what happens and other times when I have a very strong need to know what I am about to try will work the way I need it to.

It’s not hard to predict. As long as it is safe let’s give it a whirl. When I have any doubt or worry about its safety more proof is required.

When my oldest daughter was tall enough to ride Diamond Back, a huge roller coaster at Kings Island in Cincinnati, I experienced terror at a whole new level. It is a seated roller coaster with a shoulder harness that my husband and I had ridden many times before. This was her first time and a girl not much older than her checked to see if her harness was down on her shoulders properly—-while texting. Seriously, the safety of my daughter was entrusted to a texting teen. I clicked her harness down one more time. As we went up the first big hill I clicked her again and held on to it as we went down the hill, you know, because I could hold it down in the event of a failure. When we got off the ride she complained that her shoulders hurt a little from the pressure of her harness. To this day, eight years later, she remembers her first trip on Diamond Back as the best ride ever, it hurt a little and scared her mom so much!

My husband was rather put out by my behavior because of all the dozens of times we rode Diamond Back together I never once so much as asked him if he was in safe let alone clicked him in myself. To this day my husband will point out each time I am worried about the girls safety and don’t even check in with him, I roll my eyes very loud at him.

I knew the ride was safe, been on it many times. Never heard anything bad about it on the news or anywhere for that matter, living in Cincinnati, we would definitely have heard something. But put my daughter on the ride with the person checking her safety and texts simultaneously and doubt enters the picture big time. Did the person who determined minimum height requirements really know she was tall enough? What if she slouched on the ride? Is there something visual that the girl checking missed?

Where was my let’s give it a whirl this will be fun attitude?

It was gone. Just gone. Replaced with doubt and worry.

The same was true for receiving a cancer diagnosis. I needed to know. I wasn’t really interested in giving any part of treatment a whirl to see if it works. All of a sudden I became a ‘need to know’-er. I knew my reasoning, I had cancer and wanted to live, that is pretty compelling. I knew that I wanted it to all work properly the first time, also pretty compelling. There were also a hefty amount of doubt and worry. I wrote them all down, no matter how silly it seemed or how unrelated it might have been and went over them with my doctor. We didn’t move on until I was satisfied with the answer to the question.

When I run across a person with a desperate need to know I start asking questions. If we are going to be able to proceed all doubts and worries need to be prioritized and addressed together. Why prioritized? Addressing the largest concerns first often negate the need to address the smaller ones. Why together? That is the only way to ensure they are being addressed properly.

Look at the texting teen at the roller coaster. Does my concern about the text being really important need to be addressed when you let me know that she is in fact a youthful 30 year old roller coaster designer using an app on her phone to determine the exact clicks needed for someone my daughter’s height and weight to optimize safety and enjoyment?

Try it for yourself if you don’t do this already, try this with other people who are exhibiting a need to know when you need to get something done. It is amazing how you can turn worry and doubt into a give it a whirl attitude.

Published by survivorsherpa

I am a wife and mother to three daughters, a chemist and a breast cancer survivor. I would very much like to help others by caring and advocating for them while sharing my experiences and tips that may help to thrive during and after treatment.

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