A New Year

My Grandpa, Captain Charles Treadway, riding in the first gasoline powered fire truck in Indianapolis, In.

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year to You All.

Finally, I’m writing a new post.

I had a lot of things I had wanted to write about last year. But we ended up the having 6 major fires in our area. We had bad air in our skies for a good 2 and ½ months. Our plans got cancelled, rearranged, and then canceled again. We were able to take a short vacation in the mountains for a few days, which was really nice. But other activities again got canceled. Finally, the fires all subsided early October and it seemed we could relax again.

When the smoke cleared, the days filled up with activities. Some things, that I had once been excited about doing, just didn’t seem to interest me anymore. As the fall progressed, I realized that I was still changing from the reset I began a year earlier. I was sad. I was struggling. I couldn’t bring myself to write.

It’s a little hard to write about joy when you don’t feel that way.

I had thought for a while there was something wrong with me. I brought out all of my “should” thoughts from years gone by and bombarded myself with them.

 You know the phrases I mean.

“I should be over these side effects by now.”

“I should be stronger (or thinner, or smarter, or whatever).”

“My body should be back to normal.”

It shouldn’t take this long…”

 “I should be excited about doing this thing.”

Honestly though, it was just a bunch of nonsense. I learned a long time ago that one of the words that would be great to remove from the English language is “should.”  It’s a false word, of sorts.

Granted, there are things form a moral perspective that you probably don’t want to do (think the 10 commandments, here). So, I can see using the word “should” at that moment.

But should usually means that someone wants you to do something that you don’t really want to do. It could be family, or friends, or even yourself, telling you this.

When I tell myself I should be doing something, it’s a fallback response for me. I’m not sure what the right thing is to be doing, so tell myself I “should” do it, instead of just admitting that I’m unsure.

There really is no right answer.

I forget that it really is okay to not know the next step, to question something, to take time to figure out what is going on so you can make an informed choice.

I finally realized this, that I needed to assess. So, I took the rest of year to try to figure things out.

I took some meditation classes, a few yoga classes, an 8-week mind and body connection course, chatted with some friends, listened to music, and listened to some more friends. I spent a lot of time just being quiet and trying to reconnect with myself.

What I finally figured out for myself is that I’m fine. 

There’s nothing wrong with me.

We are all just trying to figure things out, right now.

My hubby is good at reminding me of the obvious in times when I’m looking the wrong way.

He summed it up this way:

“You have been isolating and socially distancing for nearly 3 years now. You isolated during your cancer treatment and just when you were feeling stronger, COVID hit, and you had to go back to isolating. You finally got your vaccine, we saw friends, then COVID reasserted itself, and next we had a bunch of fires. You had to isolate again. Of course, you’ve changed. Who wouldn’t?”

And he’s right. He’s also very patient ( and we laugh and blame my struggles on the long since gone chemo brain fog).

I’d also add in the I’ve also been fighting change because it was inconvenient, not what I wanted, and because I was afraid of the outcome. Part of me really yearns for the way things were. I’m comfortable when I know what to expect. I don’t like walking on marbles, trying to keep my balance.

I know all of this is normal, too.

Now we are heading into a new year. It means more change. It means more uncertainty. It means more discoveries.

But I think I finally understand what I can hang on to during all this, as I figure out just who the new me is.

It’s knowing that things always change. The things we love may change and morph into something more beautiful than we can see right now; the things we don’t like, will eventually pass on as well. It’s the ebb and flow; it the rocking back and forth of life.

I guess knowing that is enough.

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