Friday, May 28, 2010

The incredible advantage of rebuilding your life one piece at a time ...

The first words out of my mouth when I listened to the report that said 'probable malignancy' were .. 'I don't have time for this!'. The weeks that followed were a process of dismantling my life, letting go of everything that wasn't absolutely necessary. Thinking I couldn't possibly be away from work for more than a couple of weeks, I ended up being off for six months for surgery and chemo. I entered a comforting cocoon of focusing only on healing and very little else. Those closest to me seemed amazed that I was able to have such a positive outlook. It's easy to be positive when you're living in a protective bubble. No work stress, no worrying about housecleaning, no set schedule other than doctor's appointments and treatments. My every need anticipated and and met by my son, sister, and close friends. The whole world stood still while I took the breast cancer ride. Many days were my '2x2' routine .. up two hours, a two hour nap. If I felt well, maybe a walk, or sitting on the deck in the sunshine listening to the birds. If I didn't, I could dive into my bed anytime I wanted. One focus .. give my body and spirit all it needed to overcome cancer. It worked. The cancer is gone, I'm back to work, and rebuilding my life.

I learned a lot of things (maybe I should make a top-20 list of those things). At the top of the list was learning what was truly important in my life, and what could be eliminated. When you remove everything (and I mean literally *everything*) except nurturing your soul, you have the incredible advantage of rebuilding your life one piece at a time. I had long hours to sort through my own beliefs, my own faith; what I wanted for the rest of my life. It was time to come through on the other side with a new sense of the essence of my own soul, a new confidence in my strength, a new appreciation for the woman I am.

Off and on for the last few years I've battled depression, looking for a way out, feeling like I was all alone, abandoned by friends, sometimes family, and even God. I had gradually withdrawn from any emotional attachment. My life was primarily work, coming home to watch the old 60's soap opera, 'Dark Shadows', and cuddling with my beloved kitty, Badajan. I didn't realize how much I had isolated myself. Cancer taught me that I not only want to live, but I want to revel in life.

In January I went back to work. I danced down the hallway singing .. 'I'm back, I'm back!'. It was so good to know I still had a job, I still had my office; I could resume my life. Only now I had a choice to add back only those things I truly wanted. I gave much thought to my faith and started searching for a place I could express and nurture that faith in an atmosphere of loving, caring, unpretentious people .. a place where I actually fit in. I wasn't so sure that place existed (and that's a whole 'nother post .. 'Finding My Place').

Now I take workplace politics less seriously, I've recognized I'm not a heretic because I embrace a Sacred Feminine presence, I made peace with God after many years of feeling like He let me down. I take time to watch & listen to the birds. When friends invite me to join them for dinner, I say 'yes!'. If I want to spend all evening relaxing and watching a movie, I do it and don't feel guilty because my furniture's dusty. Now I make time for 'girlie weekends' with my sister and niece. I've worked diligently on making my home my sanctuary. I'm burning the pretty candles. I'm opening a bottle of wine just for me.

I feel like I'm in a shop choosing what I want in my life, in my future. I'll take one of those, no, I don't want that, oh yes .. I definitely want one of those,

Thank you Cancer for ripping all the 'stuff' out of my life. I'm rebuilding it my own way .. one piece at a time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Friday Flashback - Jim Reeves (August 20, 1923–July 31, 1964)


He'll Have to Go - 1960




Welcome to My World - 1964



Distant Drums - 1966 (Posthumous)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thanks Ms Linda!

A quick note to say thank you to http://heartsongshymnal.blogspot.com/ for sharing the technicalities of embedding video clips in my blog. It was her 'Sunday Sounds' that led me to posting 'Friday Flashbacks'. Hoping to be back to writing very soon!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Flashback - 1963

Finally got to order glasses this week .. hoping they are in by the end of next week. Thennnn I'll be able to see and can catch up on blogging!!

In the meantime .....

Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers.



Blowin' in the Wind

(Thank you Bob Dylan)

How many roads must a man walk down,
before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove fly,
before she sleeps in the sand?
And how many times must a cannon ball fly,
before they're forever banned?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist,
before it is washed to the sea?
How many years can some people exist,
before they're allowed to be free?
And how many times can a man turn his head,
and pretend that he just doesn't see?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

How many times must a man look up,
before he sees the sky?
And how many ears must one man have,
before he can hear people cry ?
And how many deaths will it take till we know,
that too many people have died?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

And while we're in 1963 ...



Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I've been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again

The only girl I care about has gone away
Looking for a brand new start
But little does she know
That when she left that day
Along with her she took my heart

Rain please tell me now does that seem fair
For her to steal my heart away when she don't care
I can't love another when my hearts somewhere far away

The only girl I care about has gone away
Looking for a brand new start
But little does she know that when she left that day
Along with her she took my heart

[Instrumental Interlude]

Rain won't you tell her that I love her so
Please ask the sun to set her heart aglow
Rain in her heart and let the love we knew start to grow

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I've been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again

Oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter
Oh, oh, oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Flashback - 1965

My Girl - The Temptations

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Flashback - 1968

Go ahead .. turn it all the way up and dance!

Chain of Fools
The Queen - Aretha Franklin

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Flashback - 1967

One of my favorites. Isn't it amazing how songs unlock vivid memories for us? Even over 40 years later.

A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Procol Harum



We skipped a light fandango,
Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor.
I was feeling kind of seasick,
But the crowd called out for more.
The room was humming harder,
As the ceiling flew away.
When we called out for another drink,
The waiter brought a tray.

And so it was that later,
As the miller told his tale,
That her face at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale.

She said there is no reason,
And the truth is plain to see
That I wandered through my playing cards,
And would not let her be
One of sixteen vestal virgins
Who were leaving for the coast.
And although my eyes were open,
They might just as well have been closed.

And so it was later,
As the miller told his tale,
That her face at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Flashback - 1968

The Queen - Aretha Franklin