Monday, 25 February 2013

Hello again

I didn't forget about my blog.  In fact I've been missing writing in it.  I've had ideas for posts.  I could have posted using my main computer but our family has only one computer in the house.  I was given a laptop for Christmas 2011 which I used for blogging.  Unfortunately my laptop needed some repairs and so I've been without it for 2 months.  I tried to post using our main computer which is also my work/office computer.  I sat there for 30 minutes or more with a blank page in front of me and I could not write even though I had ideas for posts.  I discovered my brain is kind of odd.  I was unable to be creative in my office.  It seems like I switch to my financial and organized side of the brain and I just could not write creatively at the computer.  Perhaps the office is sterile and business-like even though  it is in my music studio where I can be creative musically.  I think that I have trained my brain to be focused and efficient in that area of the room.

My laptop was returned to me just this past week, but I was enjoying life too much to post in my blog.  So here I am today.  Since my last post, I have continued to gain energy.  I feel 100% myself again except for the ability to sing and play the flute.  My energy levels are great although I still need to take care that I do not deplete them.  I am still in remission.  Around Christmas time, I decided to continue to strive to improve myself and make changes inwardly.  This has been a long process and most likely will continue to be a work in progress.

In the last year, I have recognized that my identity has always been tied to being musical and playing various instruments.  I always thought (mistakenly?) that I was unique in that I was able to play flute, piano and sing equally well at an above standard level.  When my voice and ability to play flute were removed with the onset of lymphoma, I didn't recognize that my identity had taken a major hit.  This realization occurred this past Fall when I was physically stronger and getting back to living.  At the same time, this Fall, I've had some ongoing physical issues with my right shoulder and this has affected the strength and coordination of my right hand.  In turn, my piano playing has also been affected.  Considering my self-identity and perceived public identity has been associated with being musical, my question to myself was "Now what makes me unique?"  My answer was "nothing".  I was hit with a tsunami of insecurity.  It overwhelmed me even as I continued to teach piano students, interact with family and friends.  One day in early January, I reflected upon insecurity and its impact on emotions as well as the ability to live fully.  After much thought, I realized that my own insecurity and loss of identity (however temporary) manifested itself in negative emotions.  I had an image of insecurity causing me to puff up like a puffer fish but with quills like a porcupine.  Through my insecurity I was becoming grumpy and "prickly" in an effort to protect my bashed and bruised identity.  In my private moments, I would deflate and see myself as a lost soul looking for my identity.  Since this time, I've been trying to keep the puffer fish deflated.  Unfortunately, it means tears are closer to the surface as I struggle to find my goal and use in life.

My identity is also tied into being a mother.  This has also been taking a hit as I mother two teenagers who insist they don't need me around as much.  I see them struggle with their own lives as they navigate becoming their own people.  I want to be there for them but I get pushed away.  I know this is a normal and necessary stage as they find their own identity.  I am giving them their space as I know it is in their best interests.  However, I question my value as a mother because when my children are hurting they won't allow me to comfort them.  This leaves me feeling lost.

I don't know if my searching and working for a new and improved self is the result of having cancer and then being in remission.  I suspect it is.  I know that I am impatient with myself as I want changes now.  I also want improved relationships now.  I have an urgency for everything to get better now because life is too short.  As anyone who knows me would agree, patience has never been one of my strengths.  So as I continue to work on improving myself and forging a new and better identity, I end today's post with a quote from Mark Nepo which I came across in his "Book of Awakening".  When I read this passage, I felt a peace and inner tranquility as it touched my real, inner self and perhaps even my soul.

"Slowness remembers and hurry forgets; softness remembers and hardness forgets; surrender remembers and fear forgets" - Mark Nepo


  1. Nice to see you posting again, Cathy. I always enjoy your writing. It's straight from the heart, and very well thought-out.

    1. Thank you for being such a kind friend, Martha. Your comments are always appreciated.