Monday, March 14, 2011

Figuring it Out as I Go Along

When I have energy, I expend the first chunk of it on exercise. Then comes feeding myself, stoking the wood stove, tending to the dog, and the very barest basics of personal hygiene. Whatever stamina remains goes into work (the bill-paying kind), then my own pet projects, and last and most certainly least, household maintenance. Laundry, dish washing, plant watering and the like are far far down the list of priorities.

Dusting? Never heard of it.

Pre- and first few days post-chemo #5. More of my videos here.

Truth be told, I often don't get much past feeding myself before I hit the couch. Lately, however, there's been a little more fuel in the tank and I'm beginning to reclaim the vast, dusty, abandoned territories of my life one dusty square inch at a time.

As you may have noticed, the big new personal project of late is vlogging.

These little videos are tremendously time-consuming not to mention hard drive depleting ventures. Luckily, most of the effort happens without me. Editing a ten-minute video may take me an hour or two, but the two dozen or so hours of loading raw files, compressing, rendering, and uploading to YouTube happen largely on autopilot.

Then again, it took a while to set up and learn my video editing software, to create a storage system for all of my rapidly multiplying files, and to get the whole fabulous autopilot operation up and running.

All this is to say, if it feel as though I've been neglecting you, dear readers, rest assured, you are very much on my mind. I have profound thoughts, candid updates, personal feedback, and provocative inquiries lined up in a long, patient queue in my so far (knock wood) not too chemo-addled brain. And of course I've got videos, two more since my last post, plus another on the way (literally, it's uploading right now). And there are several more in the works, including one answering the question, Did she or didn't she bike like Lance on Saturday?

Friends with breast cancer. More of my videos here.

Okay, okay, I'll tell you: I biked. Just like Lance.

Lance on chemo, that is.

Before I sign off for tonight, I want to thank all of you for your thoughtful comments on my last post, the one about crying. If you haven't had a chance to check out these responses, you might find it interesting to take a look.

If you identify with those who spoke about crying in private, or if you are one of them, I have some questions for you to consider: What happened when you were a kid and you cried? I'd bet you money that you didn't get the relaxed, caring attention that you needed. Better to cry alone than not at all, right? Good choice. But consider this: What if maybe, just maybe, there are people in your world now that you can trust with your authentic unguarded self? Even if those people are bewildered and uneasy, can you imagine the possibility, slim as it may be, that there are one or two people who won't stop caring about you or respecting you if you cried full-out right in front of them, and might just trust you enough to follow your lead?

Bottom line, we're all figuring it out as we go along. Try not to be too hard on yourself.

Surviving Taxol. More of my videos here.


Anonymous said...

I've known my reasons for loathing to cry front of other people for a long, long time. Heck, I'm 41 and have had years and years of counseling.

I was indirectly and non-purposefully taught that strong feelings, especially anger or sadness or fear, are poison. Strong feelings are not to be trusted. At the very least, strong feelings are useless and a waste of time entertaining through crying.

I was raised by a stoic, a doer, an achiever (who kicks more booty than any woman or man I know). My Mom had the hardest of hard knocks growing up and instead of crumpling, she rallied. It's her MO. And my Dad is a paranoid schizophrenic, and definitely feelings are not to be trusted there.

Bottom line, I'm averse to outbursts of any kind (including crying), and I especially loathe it in myself.

It's no mystery, have known if for years, but it's very, very difficult to unlearn. And I really, really do get annoyed with whiners. Including myself.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all these vlogs--it sounds like it is no small feat but every minute is appreciated.

Have you tried getting a script for something like Restasis for dry eyes? Since so many have gotten Lasik which can cause chronic dry eyes, the pharma industry has made significant headway on drops that *really* help with dry eye.

Hope your week is going okay and that you are feeling better sooner.


Delaney's Duds said...
talks about the rituals and ordinary moments.
hmm. crying. I feel like it is weak, even though I know it is not. I hate feeling weak because I feel like I have to be strong for my girls all of the time. Lately I have been trying to relax about being so strong for them and let them into my hard times and talk to them about why I might be crying or angry or sad or frustrated. (i think there is some dr. seuss oh the places youll go here)
I had a really beautiful experience last year during yoga. Doing some "heart openers" and just bawling my eyes out. It felt good and healing. Thank you to my yoga teacher for giving me the space and acceptance and acknowledging that I needed to feel the emotions I was going through. And later that session striking up a different pose and giggling like crazy. ahhhh.
I also feel like crazy outpour crying is like a system reset button. ahhhh.