Life is a balancing act. My life has a lot of moving parts. (Everyone’s lives have a lot of moving parts). I am trying to regain some control about how I move through the sticky parts without blurring out the good parts, too. Because I do that. I try so hard to fix the broken, or avoid the pain, that I rush through or numb out the good stuff, too. It’s a lose-lose because really, all the hard stuff usually just takes time. But I end up covering my eyes so all I feel is the fear and anticipation of fear, not letting myself enjoy the ride.
I’m slowing it down now by making a list. Here are the things that went well, and not-so-well, lately.
THE NOT-GREAT LIST:
- Change. You would think my depth of experience in dealing with and adjusting to change over the last year+ would leave me in good condition to embrace change. Not really. If anything, having to make so many accommodations for disease has left me less energetic for shape shifting circumstances. I’m ready for a whole lot less change, actually. I’d sign up for boring tomorrow. But that is not what has been served up for me. Life is keeping me on my toes and I’m adjusting to big changes at work…which means big changes at home. I could do without the mental, emotional and financial strain. Really. So I’m really not excited to slog through another nail biting round of “What Happens Next?”
- Holes. There is, for sure, a hole in one of my expanders. That means that every day I watch with an almost apathetic curiosity as my left side shrinks and the tissue beneath becomes softer and squishier. It is only a matter of time before it goes flat. This is annoying, physically disappointing, but fortunately not very painful. It may mean I will need to have it surgically replaced before my reconstruction- which of course is blah. It definitely means they will have to borrow skin from my abdomen when reconstructing the breast. I am not psyched.
- Breaks. Financial trouble? Cool, cool…How about we blow out the back window of your only vehicle? Oh, did I forget to mention that? We sold one car with an eye toward replacing it with something newer because it was starting to need a financial investment that I thought would be better spent on a car that would last longer. The television that we were donating to Goodwill tipped backward in the car and shattered the window. I honestly didn’t even know that could happen. Again, I’m super stoked to learn something new.
- Commas. I don’t know how to use them and they drive me nuts when writing and editing. Please forgive my sentence-structuring sins.
- Parenting. So…I’m learning that every now and then my kids will hit a phase that totally stumps me and at the same time it’s kind of an important moment. I know enough to know that I’d better not screw up but I really don’t know how to do it right. It’s these moments when I think, “Boy, I’d better hand this off to a real adult.” Then I disappointingly look around and realize I’m that adult. Crap.
- Insomnia. Enough said.
- People. I have great people around me. Even though I have to say good bye to two friends I love (in the work sense anyway), I have still made some excellent hires who have my best interest at heart. I don’t know how or why I get blessed with these people, but they are certainly adding a lot of comfort during a tough time. Also, I still get lots of love and support from friends who read my writing. Thank you to everyone who continues to prop me up. I definitely appreciate it.
- Walking. Because of our one car situation, I basically walk everywhere. Work is only three miles away so my commute is roughly 1-2 hours, depending on if I can catch a ride with Tom at some point. Yes, it requires advanced planning but I think it’s been really good for me. I get out and use my body. I enjoy the sunshine. I even enjoy the rain (not so much the snow though). I listen to good music, or a podcast, or I dream up fun creative ideas. I literally stop and smell the flowers. It’s my moving meditation and it snuffs out the urgency to replace a vehicle until we get back on our feet.
- Work. I still have an amazing office and I continue to have the joy of doing work that I love. I have an advanced degree that I had the privilege of earning and I work with good clients, good opposing counsel, and good staff. Not all is lost!
- Politics. I know. But I have had the great, great pleasure of supporting Rob Quist in his bid for U.S. Congress. On Sunday, I was given the opportunity to address a group of 5,000 at a rally for Quist. Talking to that many supportive people about something I am passionate about- health care access- was the thrill of a lifetime. It felt good to be heard and to be able to use my voice to advocate for people who desperately need it. Also, I got to meet Bernie and that was pretty neat, too.
- Concerts. A friend of Tom’s amazingly hooked us up with tickets and meet-and-greet passes to see Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. It was a lovely, happy distraction that snapped me out of laser focusing on the hard stuff. I am so appreciative of the kind gesture and it was a night I won’t soon forget.
- Friends. I’ve gotten to see some of my oldest, best friends lately. Seeing the people who have chosen to have me in their lives reminds me of how incredibly fortunate I really am. It is restorative, it is healing, and it makes me feel like me again.
- Family. Tom is good. The girls are good. Even Walter (our dog) is good. The magnitude of that should not be discounted. They are everything that matters and they are good. That’s more than I could ask for. Really.
- Health. The little Mazurek clan is mostly healthy. I do not have active cancer cells in my body any more. My husband and children are healthy. Again, huge blessings.
- Montana. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and it is one of the most stunning times of year. There is snow on the mountains and sun in the sky. Yes! Thankfully I made my one car commitment during the best season. Nailed it.
I could, and probably should, go on but I think it’s easy to see that there is more to celebrate than wring hands over. On the whole, I know I’m okay. More than that, I know it’s all a matter of perception anyway. I am really happy I took the time to step back from my pity party to see the big picture. Also, I’m going to force faith that things will get easier. If not, perhaps we shall become nomadic sheep hearders in New Zealand. Bahhhh!
Give ‘Em Hell