I think at the end of the day it's all about kindness. That's the message I'm choosing to take away from the events of the past month.
My plan from here on is to surround myself with kind. To be kinder to myself and those around me. And to properly accept kind in return.
At the end of last year our Jazzy started at a new school. A week or so in I asked her to describe the school in one word. She chose kind. I was elated. A school that feels kind is where I wanted my girls to be. But now I want something bigger. I want to live a kind life.
I have this thing I do where I take on the weight of the world. I read and listen to all the horror and tragedy that goes on and I imagine what it would be like to live through something like that, or to love someone living through it, and my stomach aches and I cry. It's almost addictive this need to follow the news. But then after the crying I feel terrible that I'm not actually doing anything practical. I'm not helping Syrian refugees into Jordan, I'm not sifting through satellite images to find a missing plane, and I'm not looking after sick or injured or displaced children. My heartache isn't really of any use and I think if anything it just makes me sick and drains me. So with a lot of encouragement from my farmer boy, I've decided to be kind to myself and switch it all off for a while. It feels harsh but necessary.
Next is to surround myself with kind. Make more of an effort to spend time with people who make me feel good and make me feel like they care about me. I think that's important. Positive people spread positivity and that's what I need right now.
And I want to be kinder. I don't know if I should admit this, but I was really aware of how people were behaving to me and my family while I was sick just now. It meant the world when people showed they cared by calling and texting and doing cute little things. It made us all feel loved and thought of. I want to be the person who sends cards and bakes cookies and remembers the big and little things. I want to be kind in good times as well as bad.
I think that the fact that the infection was in my left breast, so close to my heart, says a lot. I've been spending too much time with heart aching for the world and not enough time allowing my heart to be filled with all the love that I have right here. My farmer boy, our girls, my parents at the bottom of the hill, our farm, the rest of our family, our community. This is where my energy needs to go.
And I really, really, really need to be kinder to myself. I really do. I need to learn to listen to and accept compliments. I need to learn to not be so critical of my own work. I need to push myself to places that challenge me and believe that I will not only make it, but also grow.
I feel like this period of near-death thoughts is an opportunity for change. My friend Melissa reminded me the other day that on New Year's Eve I said I felt sure that something big was about to happen in my life. Something that would answer the questions I had been asking about what my story is. Maybe this is all it? The more I think about it, the more I can see that I certainly needed to be shaken up a bit.
But I'm not being unrealistic. I know I will feel bitchy or PMSy at times but I guess part of being kind to myself is working out a way to deal with things in a way that doesn't take over my life. I'm learning that it's better to take the easy way out sometimes rather than stay up all night stressing. Let it go.
So today, on the 16th of March, I'm starting again. I'm making a fresh start. From now on, it's all about kind. I'll let you know how I go.
Big kind love to you guys.
I'm off to preserve the crates of plums all over the kitchen floor.
ps. I'd still love your postal address Kathy A from Brisbane.