So, one foot in the land of the living, and one foot in the land of the dying. That’s where I’ve been for quite awhile now, learning to lean into this place in balance, without too much one way or another. Too much dying, well… and even too much living brought on several very close calls with the death thing. So I learned to walk the tightrope.
Now, it seems, I am in the realm of Recovery. I think. Which, while I am profoundly grateful for this, has it’s own teaching and learning curve.
When I first found out I might live awhile longer, I called my friend who went through a pretty terrible cancer, ten years ago, and has been cancer free for quite awhile. “What do you call this new place?” I asked her. “Recovery”, she answered. Hmmm…. So, I’ve been trying that on for size.
My first concern is that people will think that I am now well, and can go back to my old life, the one I had about six years ago. Nope, that isn’t going to happen. I still feel like shit and have very little energy in life. Essentially, I am still very ill. So I deal with other people’s expectations. And my own. Trying to find a new balance and new meaning, due north. Please do not expect that I can now do the things that I used to do. I cannot. And the pressure to meet these spoken or unspoken expectations isn’t good for me, either. I understand this, however. We are all pretty sick of death and dying these days, including the planet. I get it.
Every day I seek the parameters of this new realm. Can I attend a meeting, and take a shower and make supper in the same day? Maybe, maybe not. No way to know, I just have to continue taking this one day at a time.
When people are near death, all sorts of things get put on hold, perhaps forever. For example, I didn’t get dental care I needed, because…why? I was going to die soon. I didn’t get my second cataract surgery done for well over a year, because, well, I was going to die soon, so why go through that? Need new underwear? Why? If I’m going to die soon (can you begin to hear that refrain?) I don’t need any new clothes, I don’t need I don’t need I don’t need I don’t need….
And now I do, because it appears that I will be living for awhile longer now. So, teeth, eyes, underwear… I’m catching up slowly. Clean up my lap top, deal with the 6,000 emails on my computer, and so on. Cleaning house slowly. Thinking about our garden.
One thing I’ve done which gives me a great deal of pleasure is to buy a Planner. It’s called Rituals for Living, Dreambook and Planner. (www.dreambook.vision) Think a Planner for hippies, if you can imagine. Very well done. Made here in Portland by a local couple. One day I realized that I can probably, maybe, hopefully, actually begin to have a plan for my days and months ahead, instead of, well, not.
By the way, have you ever heard Eva Cassidy sing? Zowee, what a voice. She’s been dead since 1996, but is topping the charts all over the place, as people hear her voice. She and Cat, what a pair. They keep me joyful. Check out her singing “It’s a Wonderful World.”
My theme for 2019 is, surprise, Recovery!