This is nothing more or less than the record of my journey from chaos to peace. And I know for the process to be of any value to me or others, it must be authentic. What I want to write about are all the great things that are happening, the changes I’m making, the successes I’m having. And those things exist. Just today, my dad (who walks to my house 2-3 times per week) came into my living room and said, “Are you cleaning this, or is someone else?” I sort of laughed and said, “What do you mean?” And he said that he’d been here on Monday, and everything was picked up, and he’s here today (Wednesday), and everything’s picked up, so what’s going on? I just told him we’d been making a few changes, but I felt really good that someone who is usually not all that observant (sorry, Daddy) and doesn’t live with us has noticed an improvement.
Back to being authentic – this means I share the hard junk, too. Well, yesterday, I didn’t write. I made dinner, sat at the table, and felt like my head was going to drop right into the plate – I was just that tired. While I was waiting for dinner to finish cooking, I had picked up a magazine and had seen an ad for an iron supplement. And it made me remember something.
Now, I need to explain something about being disorganized, or “scattered” as I sometimes call myself. Things flit into my brain, stay a very short time, and flit out again. This is changing as I develop the habit of writing things down; but what I remembered was this – I recently had my blood drawn by my oncologist and something came back low (something red) and I had this thought – maybe I’m anemic, and that’s why I’m so darn tired. I looked it up and the number that was low was a flag for pernicious anemia, which can be helped by taking vitamin B12, which I’m now taking.
Well, this got me thinking about my life over the past few years. I wasn’t this person, this disorganized, scattered person, before I had cancer. I was the mom that made sure every piece of a toy was kept with the toy, every pair of Barbie shoes were matched when they were put away, and nothing ever got lost. Now, so many things are lost, but the most important to find again are my sense of direction, my sense of purpose… my sense of self. In the past, I’ve used “feeling crummy” as an excuse to put my pillow over my head (usually figuratively, sometimes literally) and block everything out. Yet last night, even though I was so tired I could have cried, I was never tempted to give up this work. Not once. This makes me realize something – I have a sense of direction. I know where I’m going. And I have a sense of purpose – I desperately want to get there and I’m not going to stop. I think this place I’m headed is where my true self actually resides, so each step I take is one step closer to finding “me.” I can envision it – this person I want to be. She is not scattered – she is together. She is not in chaos – she is at peace. She is the author of her own story, not some sidelined spectator. This is my life, and this is who I want to be. If I keep walking this path, if I never say quit, then this is who I will be.