Time has this way of marching steadily by, whether we want it to or not. There's so much I've been wanting to do for the past couple of years, and kept putting it off. "Later," I would tell myself, "I have to focus on something else for now." It took me nearly two years of telling this myself to realize that "later" was simply a means to put off the inevitable. There are some things for which "later" is not an option.
In October, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. It felt like such a huge blow, and the concept of "later" for allowing time for things to sink in, or gain some perspective, was simply not there. The loss of control was quite possibly the biggest hurdle to tackle. There was only now. We have to address this now. We have to address this now. We have to address this now.
It's now January, a solid three months since the initial diagnosis. The first round of treatment for my mom ends tomorrow. It hasn't been an easy road, especially the last two weeks (and the next two, we're told), but there's something about having looked forward to this date, and now finally reaching it, that feels good. It's just one thing, but it feels right.
I have spent the past year and a half being heavily stressed at my job. The stress of starting over, doing something new, was enough to keep me trying to keep making things better. Things that were determined to not get better. It took me a year and a half to acknowledge just how stressed I was, and another few months to realize that carrying on like this just wasn't feasible for me anymore. So I put in my notice, a good seven weeks notice, and set to work making changes.
Time, unusual creature of wisdom that it is, graced me with something unexpected. I started to feel lighter. I started to think about new possibility. I started to look forward to the end of January because suddenly I had things I wanted to get done, new ideas I wanted to try. These aren't new things; I've wanted to try them for at least three years now. But this is the first time I've dared to open the door to possibility. And while I've allowed these new ideas to take flight in my mind, the stress of my day-to-day life has slowly been lifting. The fog I was operating in has slowly been lifting, and for the first time I can see the things that left me sad and stressed. When I turn around, I see the things that excite me and invigorate me.
Cancer leaves its mark on you even with the possibility of remission, and so too, it seems, does stress. I hope the year ahead has less of both. One I can't control, but hopefully, the other one I can.