"Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows." -- Michael Landon
When I first finished up my chemo treatments and was tagged with the "remission" label, I was in a very fragile place: I was at The Edge. A lot relieved. A little scared. Suddenly. . . the colors were brighter. The sky was bigger. Things just tasted better. Change had come. I was learning to live with the uncomfortable certainty that . . . life really IS limited. So make it count! I threw open my arms. I embraced the world around me. I lived like time was precious. I stepped away from The Edge. But I was still close enough . . . to think about it all the time.
In that first year after chemo, I reached out to people and activities and dreams in a way I never had before. I tended to say . . . "Why not?". . . "Let's do it!". . . "I want to". . . "YES!" I didn't stop to overanalyze; I opened myself to possibilities; I didn't get bogged down with things. I was really clear about what was important and what I wanted to do and who I wanted to do it with. And that felt really good!
And now? (Nearly) three years since?
Well. Even though, from time to time, I get close to The Edge again, for the most part, I'm finding my angle of repose -- that point where I've settled in to what's comfortable; to what seems "normal;" to-almost-but-not-quite where I was before I had cancer.
And, you know. . . this bothers me a little.
As I slide into a new angle of repose, I can feel myself losing that openness. I'm starting to feel frozen by "oughts" and "shoulds"; I'm starting to say "yes" to things that aren't really important to me; I'm starting to feel like there is plenty of time.
I've learned that being a little close to The Edge. . . isn't necessarily a bad thing. I mean, if your angle of repose lets you believe that there are plenty of tomorrows ahead of you. . . you may miss opportunities to seize today. (And I actually like reaching out for those opportunities!)
This is the "anniversary-time" of the awful, dark days of my initial cancer diagnosis and the beginning of my treatment. (Three years, now!) It's become a time of reflection and remembering. This year, I'm haunted by this new angle of repose; this feeling frozen; that, perhaps, I've actually stepped TOO far from The Edge.
And then, a week or so ago, I read one of Mary's posts. . . about the One Little Word project she was doing for 2011. When I read her post, I was struck! Like, in the words of Tom in Four Weddings and a Funeral. . . "lightning bolt city!" Something about what she wrote resonated with me, and really got me thinking.
One little word (an actual word, not the project) has been surfacing in my mind for a few weeks; a little voice that keeps getting louder. I didn't realize there was actually a "program" designed to help you listen to that word -- but, WOW, was that an interesting concept!
After a quick pow-wow with Mary, I decided to join the One Little Word program myself. Yeah, I'm quite late to the party. Which is fine. What it means is that I'll have to move through the one-month exercises at my own pace. And I'm okay with that. I'm ready! I need this.
One Little Word. . . has been there for awhile.
One Little Word. . . is getting louder.
One Little Word. . .is needing to be explored.
One Little Word. . .