Thursday, January 23, 2014

Turn, Turn, Turn

The song says there is a time for every season. And I have to remind myself that there is time for everything. It certainly does not feel that way some days. Now that I have allowed myself to slow down from the crazy, hectic days B.A.C. (before ass cancer), I have come to recognize a few things about me. Foremost in these realizations is that I am generally slower than the average bear. It takes me just a bit (or more) longer to do a whole host of various undertakings. I've always been a "quality over quantity" kind of gal and most definitely had my bouts with procrastination. So, perfectionism set aside, I find that when I have the time to spend on something that I will take the time allowed. If that timeline happens to be fuzzy-ended, then I will most likely take quite a lot of time before completion.

With many things it is a case of allowing myself to become completely immersed in the experience. The best example I can probably give is with cooking. I enjoy perusing my notes and cookbooks until I've decided upon the most desirable mutation of a dish. Then I maul my ingredients; smelling and tasting and slicing and prepping as needed. Now that I've already been at it for quite a while, I cook the food, staying at attention and tweaking until I'm satisfied (and comically, no longer hungry typically). This is a fond past-time and I most enjoy spending a chunk of my day in the kitchen. Yet I can also find myself feeling inefficient and time wasteful. I have plenty of cooking experience, both professional and personal. So it seems to my mind that I should be quicker with the whole process. And I can be when the situation demands such. But in the casual world I tend to putter or idle while engaged in most activities. This compulsion towards productivity and efficiency is a remnant of my B.A.C. life and something that I hoped I had moved beyond. But adjusting into regular life again has found me crossing paths with old familiar mental tendencies.

So I again find more internal work to be done. My days tend to run at the extremes of very busy or all pajamas all day. Or I'm just not at home at all. Which is great until I get a hankering for home. I try for acceptance in all days, but I must admit that the PJ days are hardest. As much as I'd like to settle into this whole "retirement," "take it easy" kind of thing, I often find myself questioning the lack of substance in those lackadaisical days.

In short, I've been a bit out of sorts lately. And I'm uncertain how to get back to a nice balance point. I feel like I am super busy and conjointly not doing much at all. However, checking the calendar and doing the math shows that I have been traveling or visiting for 40% of the last three months. And this trend continues for at least the next couple of months. So I am apparently busier than I recognize.

Recognizing and then turning that recognition into a mindful understanding and acceptance is the next step. I humbly and honestly admit that expressing this struggle to the masses of the internet feels rather strange. It seems like an almost egotistical complaint. I am certainly very lucky to have the opportunity to take this time for myself. To do, or not, as I like. I remind myself often that if I do not end up in the long tail (less than two percent), that I will be happy and lacking in regrets for taking this time and these years for whatever the hell I want. But it does not necessarily ease the concern for my use of the days. I've spoken before about having to-do/read/watch/finish lists that we will never be able to fully complete. There are certainly some days in which I feel like my life clock is ticking faster than others, and the weight of those lists grows heavy.

And I despise that it could sound like I'm complaining. I am living life to the best of my abilities and feeling blessed in so very many ways. Maybe it is partly the winter months of cold and dark that have me in a contemplative mood. Maybe it will just take me a while to figure out life on the other side of healthy again. Either way, thanks for listening to my ramblings. As the song goes, "a time for every purpose under heaven."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Saying Sayonara

2013 was a hell of a year. A very busy year and full of so many good things. There was that four months of pesky chemo interrupting my fun. But I finished scaling the cancer mountain and am looking forward to a new year of good health. That's my resolution, to stay healthy and cancer-free. I am excited to see how life will unfold on the other side of this journey.

I gained a lot of terrific things this past year. A few of my favorites are a nephew, a stronger relationship with my sister, my first passport stamp, the return of health, more love for my family and tribe, and memories galore. Lots of traveling and I certainly hope that continues in the months to come. Two week-long holidays are already planned for March and May, a good start.

It has been a while since I've shouted out a thank you to everyone out there reading this and helping me to keep smiling through all the difficult times. Your support is indescribably wonderful and I am deeply appreciative of all the small and large ways you've assisted and have been a part of my life. Cheers, Salut, Chin Chin, Kampai! I wish everyone the best and happy times to come in this new year.