The Real You- Have you met yet?!
So I’m in the elevator in the building where I live and a resident says “Hi, How are you?”.
I reply “OK”, maybe sounding a little more solem. So then they’re like “what’s wrong?”.
How do I explain there isn’t anything “wrong” but there also aren’t things “right"?
Through this most recent (of 4) cancer diagnosis, over the years of completing multiple surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, hysterectomy, mastectomy, reconstruction and everything in between life throws at you I have finally learned to be honest with myself and others. In other words, no fake news here! I’m honest, easy to read and what you get is “the real me”.
I could answer a “how are you?” with “I’m great!” but that would just be putting on a show for others and I’m really too tired for that in my life at this stage. I don’t mean to sound depressing or negative because really I’m not! I’m hopeful, I’m blessed and lucky to be here still on this earth, feeling better than I did a year ago and I appreciate every day much more than the average person I believe. And some days I may want to answer with “I’m great”! Post a cancer diagnosis some refer to themselves as “the new me” or the “new normal” as a way of life but what about "the real me"? I believe there comes a time when we need to dig deep and decide what we want our life “after cancer” or just at a certain stage or age. Yes, just getting older and wiser may make the difference in how we re access our life.
Maybe what you thought was important isn’t really the most important to you anymore. Each person gets to decide what their goals are and make changes as needed. At one time, it may have been your career, putting in endless hours to “be successful” but you neglected your family, friends or even yourself doing so, or even vice versa making sure to attend all the social engagements, be the best friend you could be and neglecting your work, yourself or other responsibilities. Or maybe religion or being mindful was pushed to the side but it’s something really important to you and what your soul needs. Possibly issues with keeping the perfect home or doing what is always right and expected of you. And there’s exercise- most often there’s “not enough time” to include it, or maybe it’s become excessive in your life? Unfortunately it usually takes one to the point of a personal crash or severe illness to make you stop and think- how did I get on this road that I’m not really happy to be traveling, or my directions have changed. So while life can be short, hopefully it is also long enough to make adjustments, even tiny ones can make a difference!! If it involves your family, have a talk with them so everyone is on board and understands your new goals.
Decide what is truly important to you and for you. Focusing on your thoughts and your dreams or goals shouldn’t be stressful. If you’re only thinking about what you can’t accomplish, you’re draining yourself of good energy. Even thinking about “not thinking” about negative thoughts is negative! Create a new schedule- one that works with your new goals. This schedule may include “nothing time” which is ok too! Give yourself the permission you need to determine how you can please yourself first, then you will be successful with others, at work, at whatever or wherever you choose your time to be spent and know you can make changes depending on how you are feeling. I’m much lower on the commitment level these days, often saying, ‘can I let you know?”. I’m trying not to care so much about the little things, or always doing the right thing, instead trying to do what makes me feel better or what works with my goals.
I have learned to accept how I feel today, the parts of me I’ve lost both physically and emotionally, the fear I live with, the happiness I receive and the great days I am looking forward to. I’m learning to adjust what and who is important to me and figuring out how I want to live my life. Read more, take longer walks, travel more or maybe travel less? I know being honest with myself, what my body and mind can handle, being true to myself and my purpose and how I honestly reply to even a simple “how are you” if someone really wants to know is what’s most important and this is “the real me”.
It's the New Year, or maybe just a new week or day... today is the perfect time to meet the "real you".
Modeh Ani- I Am Thankful
Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-founder