Happily Ever Now
After two university degrees in the health sciences, and twenty-three years of practice as a physiotherapist, I find myself pondering what to do with the rest of my life. Having been told that I was dealing with stage IV colon cancer almost a year ago, I have come to terms with "the rest of my life" might be a year or two. It might be five. Then again, I could defy the medical odds and go on to live another ten to twenty years. There are people who die unexpected every minute of every day, many not knowing it was to be their final day here on earth.
About a decade ago, I contemplated what I would actually do if I was told I had a year to live. Where would I go? With whom would I spend my time? I assumed that if I had longer than a year, I would work as I would need the income. Nowhere in the plan was the notion of a global pandemic with restrictions and risks that would keep me from visiting my aging parents, my sister, and my nephew.
Reflecting back on my life, I have lived it well. I have felt the joy of love, and the pain of loss. My life has included travel with friends, and solo travel where I've met people from other countries, who I now consider friends. I started a physiotherapy practice, which grew organically, and then sold the business to a younger entrepreneur. I have been able to help people with my skills as a physiotherapist, and guide them with my passion for teaching what I have learned from my own journey. I wrote and published a book, titled Happily Ever Now, outlining my personal struggle with self-worth and self-esteem. An ongoing process to be sure.
As I climbed Montserrat, Spain on April 4th 2018, my fifty-first birthday, the sun was rising behind me, casting a warming glow leading me up the steepness of the mountain. Twice I stopped to decide should I continue to the top, or head back down and not run the risk of missing the start of the lecture. The quote by Thomas Merton gave me to motivation needed to continue to the top.
"This day will never come again."
A diagnosis of cancer forced me to recognize each new day, as "the rest of my life." Not just to read about it, but to actually experience it. This is in part of what I hear people saying they are learning from the global pandemic. That life can change in the blink of an eye. People are re-evaluating what is important in their own lives. There can be the pull to return to the fast paced, productivity and busyness of life.
"Busyness is what you give your time to. A purpose is what you give your heart to."
In the dream I was drowning in the sea of busyness
Gasping for a breath of fresh air
The sea was angry
A heavy weight pulling from below
It was dark
The end felt near
Voices from the shoreline sang out
Be still and float
So, I did
Thank you to all who have been the voices on the shore for me during the past year (and throughout my life). I might not always see you, but I really do know now that I am never alone. You have all be life preservers for me. I am grateful that you are all part of my life.