Monday, December 13, 2010

Welcome to Week Three's Epiphany

Today is the start of week three of radiation.  I'm getting used to the routine now, Monday through Friday at 10:15 a.m.  It's a little strange how if you do something often enough, it starts to feel almost normal to you.

There is something very comforting about a routine.  I learned that a long time ago from my pets and kids.  We've got a dog in our house who knows exactly when it's 5 p.m., on the dot.  Well, she gets a little confused when we switch to Daylight Savings, and then for almost a month, she is convinced at 4 p.m. it's 5 p.m. and actually she's right, but we have to remind her about the time change and all.

Right now my routine still revolves around my cancer treatment.  As you know, its been months now.  It's still a daily project and challenge and reality.

I can't say I've accomplished much in these last eight months.  Not the usual things I might have hoped to.  Like cleaning out the garage or finishing my second novel.  I have though, had more than my fair share of time to think and be introspective and I've used it well.

When faced with the reality of your own expiration date, I think it's common  to think about your bucket list.  You know, the things you'd like to do or see or accomplish before you kick the bucket.  You might think this started for me when I was diagnosed, but actually it happened before.  My bucket list came into sharp review when I turned fifty.  I started to really worry about it, and beat myself up for how much of the list there still was to do.

Eight months into treatment, that has changed for me.  Occasionally I think about the list, especially as finishing my treatment is coming into view.  There is nothing though, on that list, that seems anywhere near as important to me as it once did for making valuable my life.

I realize I may never see the pyramids in Egypt, or eat little fishes on the patio of Le Sirenuse in Positano, and may never publish one of my novels.  I may never play the piano as I'd like, or skate at Rockefeller Center in December.  I understand now that life is short and shit happens and it's anybody's guess how many of these things I will check off my list.  I can plan and dream, but life may have other plans for me.

There is something though I can do for sure.

Every day I can show up as me.  Holy Shit that was holy.  Say it again.

Every day I can show up as me.

Every day I can say what's on my heart or mind and not edit myself to try and please or protect someone else.  Every day I can tell the people I love, I love you, you matter, I love you.  Every day, whether I'm climbing the steps of the Statue of Liberty someday, or baking a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for the boys in this house, I can do these with love and intention and the fullest expression of me.

There is no understudy for me.

There is no sugar substitute for me.

There is just this one me, and I was created this way.

Every day I perfect embracing my imperfection.

Every day I am condensing into a richer version of me, like a damn fine coulis.

Every day I celebrate that for every time I felt like giving up I kept going.

Every day, if I accomplish nothing else, I can say I love you.

Every day, I can show up for this life as me, and how overflowingly grateful I am, every morning receiving the gift to do it all again.

Even on those mornings when I lay inside a vault, with my arms above my head, and close my eyes to daydream but can still see the red beams when they flash across me.

Even then.

I am glorious.  Me.  Just as I was intended.

Hello Debbie.

Meet Debbie.

This is your life.

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