Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A New Normal

I have always done my clearest thinking while writing. My thoughts seem to untangle themselves as they take shape on the page. If I choose to leave them in my head, they just seem to swirl around causing chaos and confusion. I suppose that they would sort themselves out just as well if I were to speak them aloud. No one has ever accused me of not being able to express myself verbally. But, I live a quiet life brought about by years of transient living and the only people that seem to cross my path on a daily basis are my husband and teenage boys. I have learned over the years that anything verbally communicated to them must be done in a single sentence and, optimally, one that only involves a simple subject and verb. So, that brings me back to writing. I have not maintained this blog very well.This is partly because I have embraced chaos and confusion the last few years and just let insanity grow in my head. But, mostly, it is due to the fact that what I needed to write the last few years was so personal that sending it out into the abyss of this blog was more than I was willing to share, even with the Russians. Instead, I filled up several journals with a copious amount of complex questions accompanied by an occasional answer.

I find myself facing one of my most personal crises to date. But, instead of beginning another tastefully bound notebook, I find myself, once again, drawn to the abyss. My thoughts and feelings need somewhere to go besides the basket next to my couch. They need room to breathe, to work themselves out and to hopefully return to me with some much needed clarity. I don't know how they will come out or in what order they will present themselves, but I do know that they will show up when it is their time to be released.

About a month ago, I sent out an email entitled "My Life at the Moment" to a select group of friends around the country. They had nothing in common with one another other than the fact that at some point in the last 30 years they had played the important role of friendship in my life. I was facing a scary and uncertain future and I needed to know that I wasn't alone. I needed to know that someone knew I had been diagnosed with breast cancer a few months before and that I was about to have a terrifying surgery to remove not only the cancer but my right breast. I just needed to know I wasn't alone. That was my only motive. I knew that some of them would encourage me and others would pray; I also knew that some wouldn't respond at all. Looking back, it was never about the responses. Actually, what I really wanted to do was scream into the universe my anger, fear and frustration, but being a semi reasonable adult that wasn't an option, so a group email was the next best thing. This email loop became a way for me to check in with myself weekly, to let me know where I stood in this process. Gradually, the responses became less and less. My updates had run their course. I had gone through the surgery and survived. I was healing at a normal and expected rate. I was given a less than desirable but typical post surgery treatment plan. My updates were becoming nothing more than one more email to have to 'check' in already out of control inboxes. I completely understood; it was never really about them anyway. It was just a way to make sense of it all. I have put the email loop to rest. But, find that I still need to send updates out to myself to let me know that I'm still here. I still need answers to all the questions and fears that haunt me daily. My hope is that with each post God will begin to provide the clarity needed to move into a new and unexpected normal.


  1. You made me cry. Thank you for letting me share in your journey. I know that I will learn and grow too.--Janice

  2. Thanks, Janice. I am grateful to have you on the journey with me.


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