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Breast Cancer, Life & Parenting

Frustration and Finding Calm

Ever have those moments when you are so frustrated and caught up in your own frustration, over what-ever thing, big or small or somewhere in between, that causes you to not even see clearly for awhile? That your frustration and fears are overwhelming you. And you might just freaking burst.

Yep, had one of those (moments/days/weeks) the other day. Not the first, for sure not the last, but more frustration than I’d care for. And definitely not the only one in our fam dealing with our own frustrations.

Jason and I are talking and I start just absolutely reeling down the list of shit that is frustrating me: being tired (like always), hormonal (pms or menopause – who even knows these days?), overwhelmed with all the things going on, still decompressing from this move, parenting and homeschooling (I mean, who knew being a homeschool parent meant that you question or worry, and sometimes over analyze, every single decision you make? Maybe that’s just parenting in general. Should mention – I could write a book, but not sure if it would be full of what to do or what not to do…), add to that frustration over not feeling good (ongoing stuff that isn’t cancer, but once you’ve had cancer then you always think it is cancer. And hit repeat on that level of thinking every. single. time. something in your body hurts or feels off) but also affects your daily life, plus my post-chemo short term memory issues and subsequent brain fog at times and not sleeping good. It’s like that dock house in the photo. It’s still standing, but damn it could use some work. And good lord yes, that’s a lot of complaining – it could be worse, trust me, I know…

But right at the moment of my hormone-fueled worry and frustration and rage about everything that’s wrong in this world and concerns over my health, that’s when it happened. Jason looked at me, with tears in his eyes and said, “I’ll take you any way that I can get you.”

oh. gulp. wow.

And that was all it took. Those few words, a shit-ton of compassion, a big ass hug and a few (ahem, maybe lots, of tears) that totally stopped me in my tracks and forced me to regroup. I realized what I really needed to do, was let go of my frustration. I needed to get all of that stuff off of me. Wasn’t trying to put it on someone else (it’s my stuff, I own that), but I needed to shed it off and let it go and find the calm in the chaos.

Life isn’t about finding your zen/peace/calm space and always being able to stay there. I mean, don’t get me wrong, that would be freaking awesome, but I’m not sure it’s realistic all the time. It’s about having moments when you do find it (even if briefly) in the midst of chaos, so you know, deep down, that you can find it again when you need it. I feel like I’m always in the process of building up that reserve. That mental toolbox. It’s a work in progress and I fully understand and accept that it may never be finished.

It’s like looking back on that amazing day Jason and I had in London a few years back, even though we were filled with worry about a potential tumor on my liver. That day with the literal smell of the roses and breath-taking clouds and views, took my breathe away and subsequently all of my worries (before finally getting a clear MRI when we got home.) And now, every time I look up and see clouds that look like the clouds we saw that day, it makes me stop, breathe and is an instant reminder to be in the moment and calm myself no matter what is going on in life. Knowing that you can find your way back to the calm during the chaos of life is so incredibly important, even if you can’t quite reach it in the moment.

The weeks leading up to my diagnosis date are always a bit tough. Things weigh and circle in my mind and everything feels heavy. Which no doubt added to my frustration the other day. It’s like there is this undercurrent of worry flowing freely through my head. December 1st comes and goes and I finally start letting go a little. Four years since a cancer diagnosis and some days it feels a lifetime away and others it still feels raw and frightening. Friends are facing their own diagnosis and subsequent treatments for cancer which makes my soul hurt. We all face heavy things in life. There are other things we deal with that I don’t write about on here, because it’s someone else’s story to tell. But you can bet your booty that I’m listening and learning. I’m mentally walking through whatever tough thing they are facing with them and listening to how they handle it and lessons learned from it. And not from a judgmental perspective, but simply from the perspective of how can I be there for others and what can I learn from this too.

So here’s to all the people, the things, friends, family, your dog or cat or bearded dragon, meditation, yoga, martial arts, sunrise or sunset, the mountains, the beach, a plant, candle, your favorite song, yourself, really to anything that makes us stop for a moment and find some calm in the midst of the storm. Whether it’s the storm brewing around us or one we brew up on our own. Because even in stressful and difficult moments, the beauty is there, you may just have to dig a little deeper for it. Like that dock-house above. You can look too closely and see all that’s wrong with it. Or you can choose to take a step back and appreciate how beautiful and strong it is, continuing to stand right beside the river that sometimes floods it and washes away a board every so often.

Much love y’all,
Shannon

 

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