A pessimist believes we begin to die the day we are born,
An optimist believes we must live every day until we die. ~ Me
A few days ago, I found out that the time I had hoped for when I had breast cancer in January of 2011 is coming to an end. I thought that if I could just have two to four good years to enjoy life and my family, it would be enough. In March this year, I celebrated three years since cancer, perhaps now I’ll see next March or at least Christmas.
The sad truth is that it’s never enough time and the problems of life get in the way. My family is spread all over the country; money and transportation has kept me from being with them. It’s a bit late now to try to get to all those places and embrace the family that I love, including those great grandchildren I’ve never had the opportunity to hold and get to know. I should have tried harder.
These three years have been good, better than many of the rest. I’ve done more taking care of myself than I’ve ever done before. I kind of like fussing over myself, doing the little things you know a loved one enjoys. A special food, a day by the river, a trip to the museum, a night at a local play, and lots of journaling, nobody can live well without journaling, in my opinion. That was my plan; the reality is that there has been a lot of journaling and not much else. It’s really no fun to go or do anything alone. It’s a comfort of sorts to know those things are there if I choose to do them.
I learned a lot about myself in these 3 years. I learned that a personal and private spiritual belief is important to me, and an area of my home has become a sanctuary and source of connection to Infinite Intelligence for me. I learned that I need conversation and companion-ship as much as air and water. I learned that deep within me was an old grief, guarded by my little child self, waiting for me to find her, care for her, and help her lay the sorrow to rest. I learned that our inner child IS the artist, the writer, the source of laughter and light-hearted-ness.
Creativity saved my sanity when I could not physically leave my home. Even a simple activity like adding color to drawings of plants, animals, and stained glass window designs created relaxation, comfort, peace of mind, and hope. Did you know there are beautiful adult coloring books for sale? One of the activities we did at the Cancer Survivors Annual Celebration of Life turned out to be coloring. There are free online pictures to print and color as well. I love my colored gel pens or artist’s colored pencils. Even if you don’t think you are an artist, you can be a colorist. We learned how in kindergarten.