I’ve been a bit quiet when it comes to written words lately. That’s not to say my mind hasn’t been sorting through many words trying to sort through which are worthy of pursuit. This year has put me in a position of pondering ideas, thoughts, and perspectives in manners I never knew existed. While I have long sensed a need to be purposeful with my words, purpose has taken on new meaning. Words are more meaningful.
I laugh a bit at that last sentence. A mantra of mine for many years has been “words have meaning.” In fact, I think it will be a title of one of my books…someday. I’m not talking about definitions in and of themselves, but I’ll save this expansion for another post…or a book.
Having experienced cancer and finding myself still wandering through this experience, I think my senses have been heightened in certain areas. There were physical senses that were certainly impacted by treatment. My sense of touch was altered due to neuropathy and my sense of taste took a hit as well. Thankfully, they are returning to a more normal state. My sense of hearing was already on a decline, as well as vision. The joys of aging…and that is not a complaint. 🙂
Anyway…without worrying about those five senses, and for those who are counters, I realize I only named four of the senses, I’m talking about a different category of senses.
It is nice in a very great way to have regained my physical senses, but it’s been good to have gained heightened senses such as being:
THANKFUL — yes, its a season of Thanksgiving, but in reality my season of Thanksgiving has been expanded. It is more than just the period of time that arrives each November. The twist our lives took has caused me to see through eyes that I believe are clearer. There is a lot more to be thankful for and a lot less to complain about.
MINDFUL — walking into the treatment center every week for seven months gave me a sense of my self in relation to others. Seeing people come and go, seeing their families and friends impacted by cancer, seeing caregivers impacted by those they served, gave me a sense greater than my self. On more than one occasion while walking through a grocery store, I would have the thought “no one here knows I have cancer.” Sometimes that was a good feeling as it made life seems a bit more normal. More importantly, it gave me a sense of being mindful of others, as I didn’t know what loads they were carrying. I also have a heightened sense of mindfulness in relation to my surroundings. I hope I continue to breathe in and soak in what is around me in a manner that has become greater due to experiencing cancer.
JOYFUL — joy is a choice. It is not an always an easy choice. There are things beyond my control that challenge the choice to be joyful. I imagine this will always be the case. But in seeking a FUL life, I’m seeking to choose joy.
FORGETFUL — oh, this is certainly a part of my life. There is no doubt in my mind that chemo brain is real and it still impacts my thoughts and conversations. This frustrates me, some times more than others, but in moving forward, I can tell I’m already forgetting some of the pain of the past year. Perhaps, forgetting isn’t the right category here, but the pain is not my focus. I don’t know if my forgetfulness will continue due to treatments or just aging, but either way…it’s not all bad. I’m looking ahead, so there is a forgetting (at least somewhat) what is a behind that occurs for me in that process. Cancer will always be a part of my story. I can’t forget that.
THOUGHTFUL — I have experienced thoughtfulness in such a variety of ways as many have reached out to remind me that I am valued. Smiles and tears have accompanied the thoughtful words, gestures, gifts, hugs, and prayers. I have a sense of the importance of thoughtfulness. It is powerful! It helps in healing! It helps with life!
GRATEFUL — Without getting too much of my word geek on, I want to note the difference between thankful and grateful. Being thankful takes on the role of an adjective. It requires a giver and receiver. Being grateful is a state of being! It is a noun. I am grateful for what is. I’m seeking to remain in this state.
None of this means life is easy. But, my life is full and I’m seeking to live a FUL life.