Waiting to Exhale

Dear Reader:

Yesterday as I walked by this particular camellia bush I noticed this exquisite bud just ‘waiting to exhale.’ As I stared down at it intently…I half-expected to hear a “Whoosh” sound as its blossom unfurled in front of me. Instead I made a self-discovery…it was me who was holding her breath in anticipation.

Waiting to exhale….I started thinking about the number of times and diverse occasions throughout my life where I found myself consciously or unconsciously holding my breath…waiting to exhale. My memories are full of personal examples.

Childhood, youth, and adult competitions….from trying out for a role in the elementary talent show to waiting to hear if I made cheerleader to teacher of the year. (I didn’t make the talent show, did make cheerleader and on my second attempt…did make district teacher of the year. 🙂

But then came motherhood where upon reflection, we mothers hold our breaths a lot for our children’s competition…I held my breath each time the football was thrown to Walsh since he was a wide receiver in high school, I held it when Tommy was putting in high school division golf or when Mandy was running for (and elected) secretary of her senior class….the competitions were many and varied…some ending successfully, some not so much… but all part of growing up.

I recently read an article from a doctor who has discovered that inhaling deeply is still important but exhaling completely…getting all the carbon dioxide out of our systems prevents shallow breathing and lung distress. The article concludes:

“The optimal breath brings fresh new oxygen to fill your whole torso and spread throughout your body to enhance life force. Then you can be present and able to engage in your next activity with full body, mind, spirit… and breath!” (Source: Breath in Motion: Why Exhaling Matters Most – Betsy Polatin, Contributing writer)

Not dismissing the medical concerns of incomplete exhaling…don’t we also associate holding our breaths…with pure childlike excitement…like waiting to see what Santa brought us or an engagement proposal…our first-born child….those memorable scenes from our lives?

When Mandy was just a little thing…(a few months up through about two)…she would stop breathing if Dee Dee and I were pushing the stroller too fast through a mall or even holding her and walking too fast, if we pushed her too hard on the swing she would simply let go in fright…or would go stiff and turn purple.

Dee Dee and I spent the first few months of her life waiting on baby Mandy to exhale…followed by a blood-curling scream! Didn’t know then babies could have anxiety attacks…to this day Mandy still doesn’t handle big crowds well or tight places…and ends up leaving more times than not.

So until tomorrow…Breathing…the most important thing we do each day… with little thought or concern… until the day we can’t catch our breath and then it becomes the most important thing we wish to resume…immediately. We would give away everything we owned for just one more breath.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Yesterday I got a “snow day” and it made me so happy. I had my monthly oncology exam scheduled but I got an office call saying they were completely backed-up and my oncologist had looked at my latest tests and said that unless I was having problems…she could wait and see me after Thanksgiving…some time in December if that suited me.

I was beyond happy…a “free” day with sun in the sixties! So I planted pansies in my “Dutch iron shoe planters” Pam gave me…Luke helped me plant the newest grandchild Japanese Maple…a productive day to create new life and appreciate the autumn colors in the garden.

The orange colored Japanese maples look good against the Clemson bottle tree and the sassafras leaves are gorgeous in the fall.

Jakie’s CD class had its Thanksgiving feast and invited parents…Mandy was teaching but John was able to go and it was too cute. It was easy to spot just how much work Jake’s teachers put in this special event…let’s hear it for the hardworking teachers in our classrooms.

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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6 Responses to Waiting to Exhale

  1. bcparkison says:

    Breathing…Oh my.. Son #3 is really into doing it right and fuss,fuss,fuss when he catches me holding mine while doing something hard….like struggleing with the garden hose. lol
    Hard to break old habits.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I am so guilty of holding my breath too…it is why the article on exhaling properly caught my attention…and same thing…watching television and holding my breath in a certain scene or while listening to something exciting or even worrisome on the phone…I am a big time breath holder….but at least I am conscious now of what I am doing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    So many times in life I have told myself to just breathe and to be still.and know that I am God. Loved the pictures of Jake…too cute


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I have to talk to myself more and more these days it appears…it is just a matter of time before I am that crazy old lady who talks to herself and/or holds her breath all the time. 🙂


  3. Pam says:

    Love that the Dutch shoe planters finally have flowers in them again! You have the green thumb that I never had! Hugs! Pam


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