August 21, 2018

All Quiet on the Midwestern Front

Here I sit this morning while Pandora's Brunch Cafe Radio plays softly in the background, my froth topped chai by my side while I enjoy the dimly lit corners of my home with great thanks to this overcast day that is reminiscent of early fall.

It's always hard to know where to start after a long absence. It has been a summer of fun, laughter, travel, letting go, new beginnings and peace. It has passed quicker than can be believed which seems to be a constant refrain as I grow older. My baby, who just yesterday was watching Little Bear with me and asking me to sing her nightly lully while she clutched her blankie, is now a senior in high school. Does she even know where her blankie is now? Is it okay that I still put Little Bear on sometimes and revisit those special days? The future holds so much promise for her and for us too but I can't help but sometimes long for the days when my babies were babies and they needed their momma. I already feel nostalgic for this year that has just begun and I know there are many bittersweet moments ahead for me. So many lasts and firsts. All as it should be.

My mind is frantic lately. I find myself googling "how to quiet your mind" because it seems even as I start one task my mind is filled with ideas of another. I grab my phone often to add something to one of the 15 lists I keep there. I live in constant fear that I will forget something, that very important task or brilliant idea, will slip through the sieve that is my memory these days.

I start a project, put it down, work on a different one, research dining room tables, sewing my own clothes, natural fiber dyeing, search for sweater patterns, cast on a new pair of socks,  deep clean the mudroom, organize the pantry and under the stairs, hand wash my knit socks, organize and sort out my wardrobe. And all the books. And the fabric. And the yarn.

Should I paint the studio? Sew new curtains? It's all so exquisitely, exhaustingly endless but for someone who planned to spend this year intentionally, I seem to be at the whim of my short circuiting brain. This process of sorting through every possession I have, getting rid of those things I don't love or which no longer serve my needs is giving me great peace. What's left in it's place are clean and well organized spaces, as well as space in my mind for the things that are far more pleasing.

I recently read this article and this one about "Highly Sensitive" people. I had never heard that term before and have never in my life identified so deeply with something. Somehow reading this made me realize that I have felt like I needed to apologize for who I am and this somehow made me feel validated and like I could proudly own it. My desire for peace overrides all else.

So just as I'm immersing myself in peace, we have decided to begin some renovations around here, starting with some smaller projects this year and culminating in a complete to the studs and subfloors kitchen/dining room renovation. I already know how that chaos will send me into a tailspin but hope that I can minimize the stress by keeping my eye on the end result...the kitchen I've been dreaming about since I first began tearing pages out of magazines 30 years ago. Good things come to those who wait.

June 29, 2018

What a Difference a Year Makes

Today is the one year anniversary of my double mastectomy. I can scarcely believe how quickly it passed. It's not something I dwell on, and I was kind of excited to get to this day and mark the occasion and then put it behind me. I woke up today surprised that I was feeling quite emotional about it all. I have teared up several times from the weight of all I'm feeling.

I'm not sure I have the capacity to explain it today, while it's still so raw. More than anything I feel deep gratitude, for my health, for modern medicine, for the journey and more than anything for the people who held my hand and were there for me in every way during that time, in particular my amazing friend T and my strong, tender, loving husband.

Aside from gratitude, I also feel strength like I've never known, and the knowledge that I can do hard things, and come out the other side better for it,  a comfort in my own skin that is completely new to me and a thankfulness for this imperfect body.

I've no desire to dwell in what was, either before my diagnosis or during the healing of my treatments. I've no desire to live my days in fear of what could be, although it is nearly impossible to not dip your toe in that pool occasionally. I'm living my life for today, at peace with what is and full of hope for what lies ahead.

I have all that I need to be happy in this life and I wake up and go to sleep every day, thankful for that.