Saturday, January 24, 2015

Staying Present

It's a weird thing to grasp, something that was so awful, yet I'm so thankful for the experience. I don't know if I'd say I've come to terms with it all yet, but I've definitely made progress. It's no longer the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning. What I've come to realize is that this damn prosthetic in my mouth keeps me present. It smacks back to the here and now and I think that's a good thing.

I'm very aware of the monotonous routine of daily activities. When I'm eating, when I'm taking a bite of food, drinking something, my posture while swallowing, saying certain words, and brushing my teeth. Those aren't things I just do without thinking, I'm very much aware because I have to be. I have this little device in my mouth that allows me to perform everyday activities such as talking, breathing, eating, and drinking. It also reminds me of when I couldn't eat solid food, when it was a struggle to talk, breathe, and swallow. It makes me appreciate so many little things and so many little moments so much more. It smacks me right back to the present moment and I am grateful for that.

It's no secret, life will not always go our way or according to the plan. But that's ok. Take a deep breath. What matters is how you respond, how you bounce back, how you deal. I've used this quote before by Mastin Kipp, "Your power is always in your response, never in your circumstance." I love that line. It's powerful, it puts the power in your hands.

I often wonder if certain things or thoughts will ever go away. Will scans always turn me into a ball of nerves? Will the fear of it returning ever go away? Will I really always have this thing in my mouth, forever? Maybe those things just change in regards to how I think of them, but the thought of it is still there? I'm approaching my 3 year anniversary of diagnosis and surgery. I usually hate this time of year. All sorts of reminders of things I never want to be reminded of. But it feels a little different this year. Or maybe its how I'm relating to it all is what's different. I don't have that loathsome feeling towards it, I don't have that same anxiety of it approaching, I definitely still have all the memories, I don't think that ever goes away. I don't know, but it just feels different this year. Is that growth? I wouldn't say I'm excited about the anniversary of it all, but I am excited in the sense that this time of year is approaching and I'm actually ok. This is new territory for me. I kinda like it.

Always remember...Be thankful. Everyday.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My One Little Word for the New Year

"There are years that ask questions and years that answer."  -Nora Neale Hurston.

Here's to a new year, new changes, new goals and a fresh start. In actuality, we can choose to have a fresh start any time we want. It's totally on us, the when and where makes no difference. But there is a collective buzz in the air of setting new goals and resolutions for the start of a new year.

Since I'm finally posting this, it's interesting that we are almost two weeks into the new year and you can already see people settling into old habits and that 'New Year, New Me" buzz is starting to fade. Nothing in 2015 is going to change unless you do. It's important to have little reminders or something to refer to through out the year to bring you back to that mindset. 

I don't necessarily have New Years resolutions in the traditional sense. I go more along the lines of how do I want to feel this year, what can help me get there? What do I want more of, what do I want less of, what can help me get there? How can I continue to grow as a person, what can help me do that? I think how you want to feel is just as important as what you want to do. It's important to pay attention to mind, body, and spirit.

There's something exciting with a new year and new possibilities. That 'clean slate', 'fresh start' type of magic. Although I have a lot of that for this new year, I think it's important not to get caught up in that either. The here and now is what really matters. It's a constant balance of appreciating and celebrating what we do have and the life we've created while working to further ourselves more.

It's no secret these last few years have been tough for me (years that have asked questions)... maybe with the exception of the last 9 months or so. This is probably the first time since the Big C that I'm genuinely excited for what a new year will bring. The last few years I was just so relieved they were over and I made it though another one, the new year was an after thought. I was just glad I made it through the last one. I've felt major growth this past year or so and I'm excited to start a new year looking forward to more of that.

This year, along with a couple family members, I'm participating in Ali Edwards One Little Word Project. You basically pick a word for the year, a word you want to invite into your life, something to focus on, reflect on, and invite in each day throughout the year. Each month there are little prompts and creative activities to help you really get in sync with your word. The word I chose, although it felt like it really chose me, is Explore. These past few years have been massive for me in self-discovery. Being sick, being broken, being lost, and eventually finding myself again. I've learned so much about myself and about life and I want more. I want to go deeper and explore more. Explore my comfort zone, my fears and weaknesses, my dreams and triumphs and everything in between...I just feel like I'm still searching.

I'm excited for the possibilities of this new year, whether it's one that asks questions or one that answers.

Always remember...Be thankful. Everyday.