That at age fifty-one I would be walking with both a pronounced limp and a cane.
That at age fifty-one I would be walking with both a pronounced limp and a cane.
This is where I spent the first 12 years of my life. I really miss it, even at age 51. I went home this past weekend and toured my old neighborhood. My teenager was with me and I showed him my childhood home, my elementary school and all my favorite hangouts. Everything seem to be so small. The faces sure have changed- diversity is truly on Queenanne hill and I love it. The roads seem narrower- and things seemed almost overgrown. But it sure felt good visiting where I grew up.
The idea of being 50 is just weird. The truth is in less than six months I’ll be 51. One of the creepy things about getting older is that the time goes by much faster – oh, and things from my childhood appear much smaller. For instance my childhood home seemed like a huge house but really was a small bungalow. Waiting for Christmas was always something that seemed to take forever. I couldn’t wait to turn 10, or 13, 16, or 18, or even 21. Looking back I want to say that I was even excited to turn 25. I’m not sure when time began to pass me as if I were standing still but it did. I the blink of a eye days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into years and before I knew it three decades have passed since high school.
So what I’m trying to say is I welcome 2014 with open arms. My hope is not to make or keep resolutions so much as my goals is to learn something new every day, embrace each day fully, be grateful for my time on planet earth, love my family and my friends to really stop and smell the roses and experiences that we all have.
We all sit side-by-side in those uncomfortable chairs. We read old magazines from 2005 – we read newspapers from last week – we make small talk – we text – and we wait, and we wait, and we wait. We see red rimmed eyes, we see friends, partners, and family members holding hands and giving reassuring pats on the backs of those they wait with. We hear “.Mrs. Smith would you please come back with us for more pictures there’s something the doctor would like to talk to you about.” And we know that is secret code for we think you have cancer. We mouth I’m sorry when we know someone has gotten bad news. We pray, chant, meditate and secretly hope to whatever deity is around that it’s not our turn. As we look at each other we wonder what our personal stories are. We are someone’s partner, wife, mother, daughter, sister or friend. We worry about being sick, we worry about surgery, and we worry about dying.
I really worry about dying.
Friday was a really long day. I was at the hospital all morning having a lump looked at. The waiting part was the worst. You see, I have always had this feeling that it’s going to be my turn in the cancer barrel it’s just a matter of when. So many friends before me are part of this ugly club and I watched, waited, held hands, and worried right along with them. When I discovered this lump and I confirmed that this lump was truly here by my husband and then by my physician I just felt resigned.
Thankfully I have a really good circle of support. I have an amazing friend who lives in Minnesota who is a breast cancer survivor who has been through all of this shit. She talked me through my wait time and what to expect.
Thank you Kathy I love you.
I’ve had lumps before and I’ve been I think pretty calm about them because they’ve always been the same – however, this one wasn’t the same. It was different, hard, not painful, and it made my doctor nervous. When he got nervous I got nervous.
The weird part about all of this is that it turned out to be negative and it wasn’t really a lump it was an enlarged lymph node in fact I have got many many lymph nodes in my body that are enlarged- that is another issue and the puzzle that we have to solve next week but for today there is no cancer and I am so thankful.
So for today I feel like I dodged a bullet
I’m just gray.
Which I don’t think is much different than being just “meh”
When we first meet someone and decide to embark upon a relationship most of the time our best foot is put forward. And then after time we begin to get comfortable and sometimes incredibly complacent. We began to speak to our significant other pretty much any way we see fit – and that doesn’t always mean very nicely.
The farting in front of each other begins – the door is left open when we pee or God for bid poop. We forget to say please and thank you and I appreciate you and sometimes the I love you’s are replaced with grunts – or sometimes even silence. Passionate kisses turn into pecks and sometimes pecks turns into kisses on the forehead or the cheek.
Often we become lonely. And we try to fill that void or loneliness with something. That something to some people is food, to others it’s alcohol, to even others it’s drugs, shopping, sex, or other people.
And when our world crashes around us and we look at the ruins at our feet more often than not we are just so dismayed and outraged and we wonder how in the fuck did I get myself into the situation in the first place?
How did I get here?
So then we begin the often brutal and very painful process of really examining who we are, what motivates us, and why we are making the choices that were making at present time. Kind of like Humpty Dumpty – but we hope for a better outcome.
What I do know is that in my 20s I would have had one hand on my hip and my other arm out pointing at someone and saying this is your fault ! this is your fault ! this is your fault ! you make me feel blank!!!! Refusing to accept any responsibility whatsoever for my choices or my life.
In my 30s and well into my 40s I would have gone the other way and fact I did go the other way and I accepted responsibility for every fucking thing. Everything was my fault! And I wore that martyr badge so goddamn proudly. Lay it all on me! I have big fucking shoulders! I can carry the burdens of the world on them just try me out!
And so now I am 50- The age of balance and hopefully enlightenment. More importantly I’m beginning to become inundated with my feelings. I’m not just happy or angry. I am everything in between.
So for today I am gray.
Typically when I avoid this space it’s because I’m trying to
work plow through a bunch of shit. And this time is no different. However, I am thinking that perhaps what I should be doing is not avoiding this space but embracing this space. Writing through my stuff, writing about my stuff, feeling my stuff and recognizing my own personal growth.
Five years ago I would have been panicking.
10 years ago I would have been wallowing.
15 years ago I would have been running as fast as my legs and credit cards could take me.
30 years ago I would have been at the bottom of a gin bottle blaming everyone else.
So for today, I’m facing all of this bullshit head-on. Because after all, it really is just bullshit because all of this is just temporary.
I am realizing that at age 50 I am more comfortable with boundaries then I have ever been in my life. The part I’m needing to work on is enforcing those established boundaries and not feeling guilty when others push back against those boundaries. They can push back all they want but there’s nothing that says I have to bend or negotiate my boundaries.
When I look around me and see all of the discomfort, negativity, and insecurity in the world I often find myself hoping to God that I’m not part of that which makes our world such a sucky place to live sometimes.
So, I’m doing my part. I’m plowing through my shit one issue at a time. I’m old enough to realize that there are some things I can let slide. I’m smart enough and old enough now to pick and choose my battles wisely. and I’m cognizant about the shit that I need to square away. It’s really okay that there are some things I don’t tolerate anymore, and there are some things that I’ve drawn a line in the sand about.
Even more important I’m understanding how vital it is that I be genuine to myself and that it’s really okay for me to change my mind.
I think that’s all for tonight.
No, not me thank God. However it struck someone who (whom) I adore. Mid 40s, married to a lovely woman, two beautiful children, one of the healthiest individuals I know.
Stage IV Colon Cancer. Asymptomatic. (sp).
Lots of chemo
a big surgery
he didn’t even eat meat
he was healthy
or so he thought
I am just nauseas