I really need to get blinds for my office.
Thank God I have them in the master bath.
Two words. Dance party.
Sunday morning. Need to work today, after working yesterday too.
Would be so easy to bemoan what is going on in our lives. Chemo soon to start for my sons’ father.
But I’ve got this.
This is not my first rodeo. If you’re a new visitor to my blog, background here on the last five years. Whew. Still standing, all of us.
Stage four cancer is nothing to celebrate. And yet, I know there is muck to come. Hard times. Crying in the car, at unexpected inconvenient moments.
Here’s the cruel and insanely sane bit: life goes on. No matter what is happening to you, to your loved ones or around you—life continues to be served up on a plate to you each and every day.
When my mother was in hospice, the world felt too loud to me. Too busy. Too cheery. I felt something should stop.
So this morning was a choice. Wake up kvetching about the hand life has dealt us, a day full of work, dinner to make.
Or host a dance party for one.
I dragged my tired behind downstairs, got my portable speaker, plugged in the iPhone playlist and away we went. In the shower, Nana Mouskouri helped me open my eyes with the beautiful aria La Habanera from Carmen. Luke Bryan tired of the mellow vibe and urged me to shake it for him. I did. Furiously, as I sang at the top of my lungs. (See above comment re: blinds in the master bath). Then Flo Rida chimed in and we got “Low.”
Aretha and I belted out “Chain of Fools” as I dried my hair. And I commiserated with Three Dog Night about never having been to Spain. I disagreed vehemently with Dean Martin as he crooned to me that “You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You.” Tsk tsk, Dean. Such a message.
It was all well and good until I ran down to my office in my bathrobe to grab my reading glasses, still shaking it to” Laffy Taffy.” Which is when I glanced up from my desk to see my next door neighbor, just back from a prolonged trip to Georgia, was home. Not only home, but outside in his driveway, smiling and waving as I shook my booty. I may have missed the blinds but at least I had donned the bathrobe.
I smiled. And waved back. I mean, what else to do, right?
Here’s the deal: Life continues to throw us curveballs. But in the moment—just this moment, I can celebrate. The New York Times, written by some of the most talented writing minds out there, awaits in the driveway. So does a cup of coffee. I’m currently working on a project with two of the brightest, nicest veterans of journalism. I’m honored and continue to learn. My dog lies at my feet as I write, looking at me adoringly, despite watching me shake my booty, extra 12 pounds and all. She even seems to forgive my off-key singing at the top of my lungs.
Among the other bits I feel thankful for—celebrating a good friend’s birthday this weekend, one who is done with cancer, chemo and surgery. She is ready to begin anew. Seeing another sweet old friend I get to see far less often than I’d like as she came to town for a conference this weekend. The mattress soon to be delivered that will replace the 17-year-old rock I’ve been sleeping on. The ability to connect with all of you through the written word in this strange ether we call the Internet.
I’ve done the whimpered “thank you” bit. I have sat in my car, outside of hospice more than once, and fallen apart. Trying to thank God for the good and the seeming bad—knowing it’s a mix I may not understand in the moment. Barely able to get the words out because it hurt so much.
I’m done plunging to the depths. I’ve done that bit. No more whimpered thank you’s. They are not enough. They mean I’m succumbing to viewing things with my tiny human brain, instead of from a broader, divine perspective.
No matter what is happening, my thank you will be clear and resounding. Accompanied by dancing, blinds or no blinds.
How I go through this—how we all go through the tough bits—is a choice. I know the pain will come. But this morning, the joy did.
And my thank you resounds off the shower walls.