My kids were home for a week just after my last blog post when I made that great decision to get back out there and start exercising! I vowed to keep on truckin’ no matter how big or how small my workouts could be, despite the pain I felt. As you well know, whenever ya say your plans out loud….
(No need to finish that sentence. We all know how they flutter away like fairy dust!)
Each morning, my kitchen was invaded with faces kinda like the little lady in the pic above. I say “kinda” … and “like” because my kids never have their hair fixed so neatly as this chica, and there’s no way any of my crew could get a hold of so many cookies with out someone else swiping a few from her or ratting her out first! But, hey! Applause to you, Little Lady, for scoring a row of cookies before your siblings could find ya. Do your thang, Gurl! Ain’t many opportunities in life for that. I merely pray she find a gallon-o-milk real soon. Aaaaaand some Pepto!
Back to reality:
So, it’s been a roller coaster. (Such is life though, right?) My plans of daily exercise and rehab became plans to more-or-less just be active with my crew. Which became the silver lining. That is, once I embraced it.
Ya see, the bloggity-blogger that writes all this stuff sometimes forgets. After being so “gung-ho” all through treatment over the past year, I’m needing to read my own advice a lot more lately. The pain I’ve been experiencing these past few months from my new medical “defense” protocol has really blindsided me and boggled my mind a bit, as it has no real “end” in sight. It could quite possible just be my new reality, which is a tough “pill” to swallow (no pun intended… or maybe it is! Wakka Wakka!)
After a few days on my FUNNY FARM with 5 kiddos emptying my pantry daily, climbing the walls each rainy day of our vacation, wondering what in the world was up with Mommy, attempting a grocery run with my 2 year old which ended up like this….
SO… yeah, I was just about “DONE!” Stick a fork in me. Yet, I could hear my guardian angel saying,
“Flip them over, cuz they’re NOT done. They still have a whole other side, and so do you! Rally up mommy and own this FUNNY FARM! You’re on the crazy train, GOIN’ NO WHERE. Not until you drive it!!!”
I have a pushy guardian angel. She must may be my maternal great grandmother, Alice (Allie). The same firecracker that my lil’ Firecracker favors. That great grandmother leaves legends of stories of a “lead foot”/”need for speed” as she actually (1) drove through a grocery store; (2) up the steps of a church; and (3) on to her neighbor’s porch ! Might I add each rendezvous was a separate occasion, all ending in her stepping out of the car and covering with a joke (ie: “Yeah, I’m here to pick up my sister!” – When ya can’t hide it, own it, right? There’s a lesson here. Stay with me.) She was a lot of fun, a loose canon, and NEVER afraid to speak her mind! Never met her myself, but I hear I have a lot of her in me, as does my little strawberry blonde 5 year old. Have mercy on us all! (Don’t worry, I’m a good driver. My kids are safe. Yet Uber driver gift cards are ALWAYS welcome! 😉 Ha!)
Whatever little birdie, guardian angel, or cooky great grandmother was whispering in my ear that day… the nudge helped. (As seems to be a current theme with these influential great grandmothers and grandmothers-o-mine, if you’ve been reading my blog posts. Crazy.) My funny farm and our crazy train are mine. Mine all mine. It’s an exhausting and forever entertaining way to live… but guess what?
*We’re never bored.
*We’re always loved.
*Everyone here is covered in messy fingerprint hugs. (I have stained pants and shirts to prove it)
*My body aches every day. (Yet I know that it’s ‘cuz it just kicked cancer’s butt! Boom.)
*My scars are every where. (Badges of honor)
*My body, my house, my everything… is perfectly imperfect, and that’s ok. (It’s mine.)
I dreamed a lot, as a kid, of what I was going to be when I grew up. I dreamed of being a comedienne, a cartoonist, a dancer, a singer, an actress, a writer, a rock star, a cruise ship performer, a Broadway star, a teacher, and a wife and mother. And lately I’ve realized that, I’m in some ways, I get to be the greatest aspects of ALL that I’ve admired about each of those roles… and a SURVIVOR. I fought long and hard to live, laugh, dance, sing, play, teach, and love my family and those around me. And God has been with me, giving me the graces to fight HARD so that I could be here to do it NOW. TODAY. I don’t need to think too long about yesterday and what went wrong about our plans or missed opportunities, epic fails in my motherhood and “coulda-would-shouldas”, or what we can do tomorrow. Instead I am gonna look at TODAY.
RIGHT NOW, I am home again with my youngest two (Firecracker’s home sick today) who genuinely love their mama. (Wow! That’s me!) So when they wake from their naps (That is, if they’re actually sleeping up there. Hmmm?), we’re gonna play dress up and maybe snuggle up and watch My Little Pony or even play Go Fish (Both of which may not be my first choice, but it’s Firecracker’s fave this week, so I’m gonna do my best to try and not overrule it and “sell” her on one of “Mommy’s choices”. Oy!). Who knows. Maybe they’ll just play pretend. I won’t plan it. More than likely, Snuggles (aka: “Miss Incredible”; or better yet, as she calls herself now: “The Boss”) will will “express her feelings” at some point and we’ll adjust our plans 2, 3, or 4 times. But that’s life. And with a few deep breaths, we’ll all be just fine.
As I said over … and over… and over again that day in the grocery when “Miss Impossible” took over the store AND the check out line, my motto became:
“If I can kick cancer, I can handle this two year old’s tantrum…”
“If I can kick cancer, I can get this two year old back in the cart…”
“If I can kick cancer, I can shrug off the dirty looks from the line of people behind me…..”
“If I can kick cancer… I can turn around and with confidence remind my audience that(with a smile and actually announcing), ‘She’s TWO, and she’ll grow out of it. She’s just having a moment. We all had ’em, right? Hopefully we just hide ’em better. But thanks for your concern!’ (And I literally curtsied… followed by round of applause from 2 women in back of the line!)
Oh If only, I’d remembered to do my Elvis impression: “Thank ya very much!” Waste of a moment! Anywho… As I walked out, still smiling – so happy with myself, with still fussy & oh-so-sucker-sticky toddler on my hip while pushing full cart of groceries to the car, I must admit I was walking a little taller. I knew I’d finally marked a real milestone in my life. (Get ready to pull out the baby book, Mom, this needs to go in there!)
I’m finally a truly confidant woman! It only took 37 years, 5 kids, and a lil’ ol’ breast cancer, but I FINALLY am owning my funny farm, “my crazy”, and my life… my crazy lovely life. And I just don’t care if not one other person would like to be in my shoes, ‘cuz I wouldn’t trade with ’em anyway. I’m also not especially curious as to whether or not they like my shoes (that is if I’m wearing any!) or how I choose to walk in ’em. God gave me MY life… and I’m owning it!
May we all feel inspired, empowered, and seek the graces of God to go out into the world to LIVE today, embracing each challenge and rejoicing in every blessing as He would have it with CONFIDENCE.
For many years I confused confidence with cockiness and therefore was afraid of it and lived much of my life shying from compliments and talking myself down, as many (women in particular) do.
The fact is, I think I never truly understood the true blessing and beauty of confidence.
On my way home from that EPIC GROCERY RUN, I prayed a prayer of thanksgiving FOR MY SURPRISING CONFIDENCE. (Weird, I know, but you have know I idea what a big deal that was for me, the “people-pleaser” that I am, who would have gone home and questioned myself about every detail as to how I should have handled the entire situation differently and better in earlier parenting years.) In my prayers, I came up with a personal definition of a confidant woman:
A confident woman
embraces the greatest gifts
that exist within herself
and dares all those around her
to do the same.
I pray no one out there needs a diagnosis or tragedy to find their “cancer” (so to speak); however, sometimes, it’s in our struggles or in the friction and challenges of our lives that we dig our deepest. In my experience, I found that the deeper we dig, we find that deep within us, we don’t only find ourselves, but we find God. Where there is God, there is strength. I pray that there, in that strength…
We all find the GRACE to embrace our personal “funny farms”…
OWN our “crazy trains” …
and DRIVE them with confidence because they’re OURS,
WITH GOD AS THE CONDUCTOR, guiding us in this path of life.
(Can’t escape the CHEESINESS. It’s like my own Jedi power. THE CHEESE IS STRONG WITHIN ME)