Six months is too long to go without keeping up on a blog of any kind. If this were a blog which was monetized and I were relying on its income, instead of simply as a way to share my silly thoughts, I would be in dire straits.
Since I last posted, I audited more Spanish classes at my local community college. It has not done much for my ability to speak, but I can certainly understand more. Admittedly, the tenses beyond the present and simple past kicked my butt. I plan on re-auditing the both Spanish II and III again in the winter and spring quarters. I am also bound and determined to find a place where I can volunteer that will keep me (at least) speaking occasionally. The more I hear it, and attempt the communication in Spanish, the more I will retain.
In the late spring (May and June), I came up on an anniversary of my diagnosis of stage 4 Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs)/Carcinoid Cancer. It has been five years since the fiasco of 2012, when I was told that I “have six months to a year; two, if lucky.” Each year, I have a little “fight” with myself surrounding those memories. I keep reminding myself that I am LIVING with stage 4 cancer, NOT dying of it!
I am grateful for this life, and am also grateful for the decades of other challenges throughout my life–family, military, my choices, failed relationships (romantic, friends, family, career)–that have prepared me to handle all that has been dropped in my lap. Of course, I am ever-so-thankful for the good things that have also come from life. Sometimes, the challenge is staying focused on the good that comes from each and every situation, even though it is not always easy.
I truly believe it is a mindset that comes from releasing ourselves from the shame and guilt that has been heaped upon us by systems (family, school, religion, military, clubs, cliques, etc. ) that feel the need to control us…to make us “behave.” I have become more and more aware this year of just how much I chose those paths over the years, because I somehow felt so damaged and in need of being fixed.
I have held onto a lot of “clutter” in my life, literally and figuratively. I have used this to keep people “out”…to isolate myself. Honestly, I have done this much of my life, whether things, people, or thoughts. I am working on the de-cluttering process in many facets. Whether things, thoughts or people, all can insidiously take over our lives, leaving us no room for taking care of ourselves first. I am continuing to do some hard work surrounding some of those issues and, I am happy to say, with much less guilt.
Just 12 days ago, I had a birthday–my 62nd. It has been a challenge to wrap my head around this number. But it is just a number. Since I never believed that I would see 58, I am always surprised. I do not dwell much on it, but try to wake up each day and simply say, “Thank you.”
There is always much more that I could say, but I will call it “a wrap,” for this evening.
I will simply end with one of my favorite quotes from Ann Landers.
Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead. That is where your future lies.
Remember, dear readers, we are all living with something. Please do not allow it to keep you from enjoying life.
Love, joy and peace to you…