It’s been a long time! Suddenly I seem to be perpetually busy and time is quickly passing me by! It’s as if I’ve stepped back into my pre-cancer busyness, yet, unlike my pre-cancer days, this busyness doesn’t quite fit the way it used to. It now feels confining, constraining, exhausting, and draining. It is constraining to my own health and well-being; I just can’t do it anymore!
This realization came to light in December when I was at my pre-treatment doctor’s appointment. I was feeling particularly exhausted that day, so when the doctor asked how I was doing my response was something like: “I always seem to be tired. I want to take naps yet I don’t have time. I’ve been really busy and I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been doing too much or if it is related to lymphoma. I’m worried.” In response he noted that I had said a very similar thing at my appointment in September and he asked me what I was going to do about it: how was I going to prioritize my health and well-being?
This question has stayed with me, and I’ve been noodling about it since. I’ve contemplated how my post-diagnosis life has changed and how my hopes and dreams have shifted as a result. I also realize that I’m redefining “success”, embracing the possibility that life can be different than I imagined, and trusting in the mystery and wonder of life more. Through all of this reflection and contemplation I’ve realized that it’s time to step away from my safe place of busyness and step into the unknown: my health and well-being.
As such, in late December I made a commitment that January would be “my last busy month!” This doesn’t mean doing nothing or being idle, instead it’s about doing less and “being” more. It’s about exploring my dreams and passions more and spending less on time on “to-dos” and “should-dos.” It’s about making decisions that support my health and well-being and saying no to the things that aren’t in alignment. It means critically asking the question: If this was my last year of life (of which there is no indication to suggest it is), is this how I’d want to live it? It also meant saying no a lot more, and saying yes to the things that feed my soul. If there is anything I’ve learned on this journey it is that life is too short not to!