It has been a rough past month. An abnormal result on my yearly GYN exam meant having to come back for a colposcopy and several painful biopsies. The ten-day wait to hear the results felt like a lifetime. But today, the call from the doctor’s office was nothing but good news – all cells normal; no cancer!
I had just come out of the bank when I realized I had missed the call. I sat in the car for a few moments after hanging up and cried. Hard. It’s difficult to keep all the emotions, fears, regrets, etc., bottled up so you can focus on the things you have to get done for everyone else. For this moment, it was MY time to take care of ME To close one chapter and begin a new one.
I drove to work, feeling lighter and more positive about life in general. Things I wanted to do but haven’t done I’m now considering once again. Walking to work, this little “gift” only confirms that there are greater powers looking after you.
Don’t ever forget that. I certainly won’t.
When you purchase a pair of Lauren Conrad “girlfriend jeans”, only to discover they look like “mom jeans”. False advertising…or maybe I should just stay out of that section of the store altogether.
Aw, what the heck. My t-shirt will cover up the waistline. At least my Converse look cool.
Today, 39 years ago, I remember packing your hair dryer in the blue Samsonite case. It was the same one you’d had since you were nineteen. You were now 35. You hadn’t been feeling well during Christmas, so Dad was preparing to take you to the hospital.
I was used to these regular visits to doctors – checkups for things of which I had no knowledge, save the fact that I knew your skin was getting harder and harder by the day. Your fingers cracked and bled, you had difficulty holding a fork to eat, and now, you were so physically exhausted, a wheelchair had been rented.
I didn’t know that the scleroderma you had also weakened your lungs and caused pneumonia.
I also didn’t know that, sitting there on the bed beside you as Dad packed a few things, this would be the last time I would ever be this close to you.
You died in the hospital five days later.
There are so many times I have rehearsed in my head the things I should have said to you. The things I should have asked of you. How I wanted us to have a”secret sign” that would let me know it was you, paying me a visit on each day I graduated. When I was recovering from the hysterectomy. When I turned 50 a few weeks ago.
But I was eleven. I had no idea those things would be so important down the road. I had no idea I would outlive you.
It never gets easier each year. I just learn to deal with it the best I can.
And I still sit, wait, and look for signs. Just like I think you did
My office held its traditional monthly birthday celebration this morning. My best friend made the cake – an intoxicating combination of chocolate, raspberry, and red wine.
I couldn’t contain myself. I blame it on being about two days from turning 50. So, THERE.
137 days left.
I have to get myself on some kind of plan, or I’m going to be quite disappointed when I reach age 50 in December. Right now, I weigh the most I have since right before my hysterectomy at age 38. Actually, if the scales are telling the truth (which, unfortunately, they usually are), I weigh more.
So, it’s time to get a game plan going here. I need an overhaul. A complete overhaul — mind, body, and spirit. That means, I’m going to have to get serious and focus, which is often hard to do because there are so many shiny, neat things out there to distract me from my purpose. And ice cream. And comfy couches. And exciting new projects.
This is going to be a challenge, and I’m going to need some support. And some ass-kicking. I’m going to have to make some decisions that require me to let go of some things I had wanted to take on as projects – it’s time to figure out which of those will best serve my goal… and which need to be packed away for another time.
I’m a bit unsettled about this but know it needs to be done. My life and my health in this next chapter of life depend on it.
Besides, when December 10 rolls around, I want to be able to KICK… STRETCH…and KICK, just like Sally O’Malley. Hell, I might even buy myself an outfit and purse just like hers to wear that day.
She’s my heroine. I just love her so. ♥
Okay. So here’s our first project. Let’s answer some kickass questions about life. Answer them from your heart–not based on what you think others might want to hear. Some of these questions might be easy. Others may cause you to think a bit. There might even be a few that you have difficulty answering right now. That’s okay. There are no pass/fail grades for this project. It’s what you want to make of it.
I’ll jump in here as well and answer a few of them, too.
What’s always on your mind? If you were in a bookstore, what section would you gravitate toward first?
I’m always thinking about creative projects. Something that gets me energized and using my brain. Colors, sounds, photos… When I go to the bookstore, I automatically head for the “self-help” and “bargain” sections. I love to look through books to see how they’re designed.
What are three things you care about most, other than family, friends, and meaningful relationships?
What positive things do people say about you? What do they thank you for most often?
Who inspires you? Who would you most like to be like? Heroes/heroines… role models?
I am inspired by Brené Brown, who talks about the courage to be vulnerable, Elizabeth Gilbert, who has an amazing gift of being able to write and a dry sense of humor, and Marie Forleo, who has managed to do what I’m trying to do here…but with MUCH more polish and style! Of course, I’d really love to have the joy of life and ability to tolerate others that my grandmothers had.
When you’re at your best, what does it look like?
When do you feel most powerful, passionate, free, incredibly useful, and inspired?
If you had a chance to be known for something special or unique, what would it be? What’s the legacy you want to leave behind when you depart this world?
What is your biggest fear? What’s the thing that scares you most in life?
Okay, I’ll jump back in on this one because it was one of the most difficult for me to answer. My biggest fear is that, in pursuing my writing and sharing my truth, it will hurt others. When I write, I like to be in my own space. Sometimes I feel that I’m being selfish by doing that.
What scares me most in life? At this age, things like cancer and never being able to get out of debt keep me awake many nights. I am a master worrier. I need to get over that.
…and the big one?
What do you REALLY want for your life?
So… how was that? Do you notice anything in particular about your answers?
Do they provide you a glimpse of what you desire for your life at this point in your life…and in the future?
Which questions were hardest to answer and why?
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the “comments” below if you feel comfortable. Let’s get a dialogue going here!
Or… if you’d like to share your thoughts with me privately, please send them to email@example.com.
Next week’s project?
Uncovering the layers of the past to reveal who you are today. (Yeah. Heavy stuff.)
We’ll look at experiences and events (positive and negative) that have impacted and affected you in some way. Then, we’ll take those events and create a “six-word story” about your life.