Monday, October 1, 2012

My Packing List

She decided to free herself,

dance into the wind,

create a new language.

And birds fluttered around her,

writing "yes" in the sky.

- Monique Duval



A recent post about her growth journal
by my friend and fellow blogger Tina
of Tickled Pink Woman
inspired me to kick off this new journal today.
Thank you, Tina!

One year ago today, I will always remember how my life veered off of its path.  I was caught off guard because the diagnosis I received that day was the same one which had been ruled out just days before - lymphoma (in my case, a form of follicular lymphoma, a blood cancer in the bone marrow.)  It is certainly not an “anniversary” to celebrate, but what I can celebrate a year later is my current health and remission, my life back on its path, albeit a different path, and this new journey of healing, discovery, growth and fulfillment. 

What has been on my essential “packing list” for this journey:
* Love - embracing and appreciating the love I am blessed to receive and freely giving and expressing my love to others
* Compassion – a greater understanding of and support for others who are experiencing their own challenges, while remembering to look inward with compassion as well
* Focus – on healing physically and emotionally, and learning how to move forward with awareness, but without fear
* Patience – looking forward to being liberated from maintenance chemo treatments, but in the meantime, accepting strategies that increase the odds in my favor
* Commitment – to live life more mindfully and more passionately  
* Courage – to pursue new experiences, adventures and dreams…now, not “someday”
* Confidence – in maintaining my health, in turning dreams into reality, in creating a meaningful and worthwhile “second chance”
* Creativity – infused into daily life
* Realization – that life is precious and sometimes precarious, and there are no guarantees; remembering how important it is to live fully in the here and now and to maximize our time in the present
I admittedly feel solemn today, not only in reflecting back on last year, but also in response to very recent disheartening news concerning a loved one.  I’m sending him much love.
For any of you who may have veered off your own path, I wish you love, support and a “packing list” to help you along your journey.