When I was little and just learning to ride my bicycle, I had training wheels. They were my friends; I trusted them and depended on them. They kept me safe. They prevented me from falling, helped in the process of turning corners and gave me confidence to do new and different things and go where “the big kids” went. When I grew and became stronger and steadier on my bike, my dad removed them.
Without training wheels, I became adventuresome, daring and maybe even a little brave. I learned to ride bigger and bigger bikes. I learned to balance and ride with no hands and even “pop” wheelies and ride them up and down the street outside our house.
Eventually, I grew out of my bike and began to drive…with my father sitting in the passenger seat, he became my training wheels.
Today, at the age of 51, I find I’m still depending on training wheels—my husband. He drives me everywhere I need to go. He takes care of all our business. He even makes my doctor’s appointments when I need to see her. He keeps me safe. He prevents me from falling on my face both figuratively and physically. I’ve noticed recently that when we walk together (in the grocery store for example), he stays right by my side and keeps a hand ready to steady me if I stumble. How safe that makes me feel!
However, as much as I appreciate his attention and his thoughtful concern, I’ve begun to realize that I trust him maybe a little too much.
I friend of mine recently lost her husband. He died in a tragic construction accident. Her husband, like mine is for me, was her rock. Without him, she’s lost.
Seeing her struggles, having to learn to do for herself all the things her husband always did for her, is painful for me. She’s having such a hard time, and I have realized if I were in her shoes, if my husband died today, I’d be devastated. Not just because he’s my soulmate and I’d miss him desperately. But, also because I don’t even know for certain which pharmacy prepares my prescriptions! I’ve decided it’s time to take off my training wheels.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not kicking the hubster out of the house and getting a divorce. But, I am determined to learn how to do for myself some, if not all, of the things he’s been doing for me, for so long. Things like making my own Dr.’s appointments, driving myself to the grocery store and even the hardware store. I can buy nails as easily as he! I think…
I depend on my husband. I need him desperately every day, all day. Yet, becoming so dependent upon him that I can’t even make my own phone calls, limits me and the heights I might be able to reach on my own. It also traps him in a cage of responsibility.
What kinds of training wheels are you depending on?
Is it time to remove them and stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone?
I know it’s time for me. Today, I’m going to do something I haven’t done in a long time—by myself. I’m going to jump in the truck and run to the pharmacy and pick up on my own medicine! It may not sound like much…but it’s a start!