This weeks resolution was a real eye-opener for me. I had a number of epiphanies over the last seven days. I believe this was the result of a number of factors coming together. The first was the resolution to stop yelling. I was humbled by how often I had to invoke the resolution in my daily interactions with my children. The house is definitely better for it. In the moment I took to consciously decide to not yell I also thought about what to do instead. On more than one occasion the resulting conversation was productive and left me feeling proud instead of drained. Additionally, this week coincided with the beginning of the Lenten season. My Lenten offering was to forgo the aimless time I spend reading nonsense on the MSN page. Would I be any less of a person if I didn’t read the fifteenth article on clearing clutter out of the pantry? This has been a major revelation for me. I had no idea how much time and energy I wasted reading mostly nonsense. Though I had convinced myself that this was the way I consumed news and therefore stayed up to date on world events, it was not necessarily so.
In reality, this was the way I escaped from my problems by absorbing myself in the world’s. I was filling my days with news and noise because I was scared of the silence. I think my mother did a very similar thing when faced with my diagnosis. It is hard to face the reality that Olivia’s life is not guaranteed. Her cancer could come back and take her away from us. There, I said it. That is the thought I have tried to distract myself from thinking. That is the worst case scenario but, not thinking it won’t make it any more or less likely to happen. In the meantime, my frantic escape from reality is making me miss the time I do have with her and everyone else for that matter. It has only been a few days since my MSN fast began and I already feel more connected to her and focused in general.
When we were in the hospital with Olivia receiving her chemo treatments the distraction was necessary to maintain my sanity. I was wishing the days to pass with a fervor I have never before known. The countdown to the next treatment, next round, next modality was my sole focus. Anything that would speed the time between was welcome. By the end of her treatments, the treadmill was going so fast I couldn’t simply jump off. Now it is time. There is pleasure in a leisurely meal, a board game, a walk. I need to try to shake this sense of hectic that follows me around. Tuning out the noise of the world and tuning in to the music of my life was the first step.