Saturday, February 1, 2020 (EST)
Time in Bayshore Gardens, FL
When you are given a few days to a few months to live, time takes on an entirely new importance. When I saw today's time banner, I felt a wave of anxiety crash down on top of me. I thought I had accepted my diagnosis, but what I was feeling was not acceptance. I felt panic- January was gone. How much time was left? I felt myself slipping into a cycle of anxiety-driven thoughts. Time to put the brakes on... consciously slow my breathing and tap into my personal bag of tricks. Here's what works for me...
Brew a pot of fresh coffee... something about the ritual of making coffee helps me relax and focus on the moment. While the coffee brews, I dig out all my old Jimmy Buffett CDs and stack them in the player. I know you youngins laugh at all us Boomers and our CDs, and lord knows how you must laugh at the sight of aging Parrot Heads. That's okay, someday your kids and grandkids will laugh at you.
Okay, I now have a steaming cup of coffee, Jimmy singing to me in the background, a couple cookies to nibble on, my blog open and ready for my ramblings. Have I blocked out all those uncomfortable thoughts and feelings? No, that's not my intention. I know from experience I can't just make feelings go away, they will hunker down and wait to ambush me again. As Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins would say "Ain't nobody got time for that".
So what the hell is going on with me? I thought I had accepted what was coming, or rather what wasn't coming. There have been other little clues that I'm struggling with acceptance thing more than I wanted to admit. I'll catch myself thinking I'm going to do this or do that when I feel better. I forgot I wasn't going to get better. Or I'll get an email ad from one of my favorite online shops, and quickly click the link to see if they have new colors (oh, how I love color, dontcha' know?) or styles I must have. I have no need for new clothes. I recently bought 2 dozen pairs of panties when there was a great sale. Now I'm wondering if I'll have enough time to wear them all. Anyway, you get the point.
Now back to looking at the fear and anxiety the time banner set off this morning. Though the rational part of my mind understands and accepts I will die soon, the emotional part of my mind is having some difficulties with it. I think it's important that I acknowledge my moments of fear and panic, not give in to them but recognize it's normal and to be expected from time to time. This dying ritual is a process that won't always move calmly forward. I believe this last walk still has surprises for me, and some may even be remarkable. I'm open to it! Now back to staying in the moment...
With that settled in my mind, I often seek Mike out and share with him what's going on. Then ask him if he is struggling with the same thing or something new. Anything I share with him, suddenly becomes lighter, as I hope it does for him when he shares with me, too.