Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Polished Stone

I remember in the 1970's being a little girl and discovering the art of polished stones.  My grandmother went through a phase of collecting stones from the beach, the woods, the city streets, her backyard and everywhere she walked.  She was never in a hurry and would pick up stones which looked rough and plain.  She would clean the stones and then she had access to a stone polisher that she would run the stones through.  They always came out looking so much better than when they went in.  Sometimes they had to be run through the machine more than once.  They would be a different colour and they were shiny and smooth.

As I look back over my own life so far, I can see that I was a very rough stone to begin with.  Many different challenges, traumas and storms in life have helped to smooth out some of the rough edges.  There were times as a child that I was bullied and beaten up.  At the time, I didn't understand why.  I still do not understand why I was targeted but those experiences developed a strength of character that has been a most useful trait over the years.  The various rough patches in my life have given me the ability to put my head down and plod on with determination through other challenges just like oxen with a heavy yoke attached as they pull a heavy load.  This ability is what helped me travel through my journey with lymphoma.  The determination and belief that life will always be better whatever happens has also helped me traverse the challenges of parenting teenagers.  All these difficulties and challenges continue to smooth out my rough edges and make me into a smoother, more polished stone.

I truly believe that we can all change for the better no matter how old we get.  Since being in remission, I've been actively working on improving some of the many faults in my personality.  I am not striving to be perfect, but I am trying to improve how I relate to the world in order to make life a joyful and soulful experience.  Since my fight with lymphoma, I have even less tolerance for superficial existences.  Relationships with family and friends has taken on even more importance.  I am attempting to live life fully and in the present.

Last week, I fully embraced being able to attend the Scotties Tournament of Hearts curling event.  It was tiring to say the least but life is for living fully.  I continued to work and in all my spare time, I attended as many draws as I could.  At the end of the day, my mind was willing to also go to the Heartstop Lounge for more social interaction, dancing and music but my body was unable to do this.  So I listened to the body and went home to sleep so I could fully enjoy the next day.  A few years ago, I would have just stayed at home and watched the draws on television.  It was so much more fun to be there in person.  Life is too short to decline to embrace events and create memories.  I met some new people who I truly enjoyed.  They were warm and friendly even though we won't see each other again.  I was able to meet up with some old friends and enjoy their company as well as watch some great curling.  I was able to enjoy a few evenings with my husband and as a result, I felt we drew closer than ever in our relationship.  It was wonderful to enjoy some good moments that have created warm memories to help me through whatever other challenges there are in life in the future.

As for my health, I'm still in remission and have an 85% chance of staying in remission up until December of this year.  After December, that percentage increases to 90%.  Life is good.  I consider my battle with lymphoma to be another opportunity to shave off some of the rough edges of this particular stone.  As I continue to work on smoothing the inner edges, I can see some "polishing" is beginning to take place.  We are all "gems" in the rough and I truly believe we can all live up to our polished potential.  As I finish this post, I am envisioning all my friends and family as beautiful gems which are all connected together to create a bright, beautiful and shimmering necklace.  I thank God for this necklace as it truly brightens and beautifies my own life.

1 comment:

  1. I so agree with you here, Cathy, and I also truly believe that we can all change for the better no matter how old we get. But that would require realizing and accepting that changes are needed. Some people stubbornly hold onto traits that cause them and other grief no matter what.

    And life certainly is too short and completely unpredictable, so it's important to live it fully. There is a great, big, beautiful world out there that is inviting us to be a part of it. I try to get out there as much as possible to explore, breathe in my surroundings, see the sights, hear the sounds, and even photograph my experiences so that they are frozen in time.

    Like you, I have very little tolerance for superficial existences, posturing and social status. There is so much more to be enjoyed from the simple things in life, isn't there? With so much beauty out there waiting to be discovered, why be chained to material items?