And I do not like it, not one bit.
When cancer had been shoved to the back-seat of my life just as the holidays were merrily beginning, I returned to work and resumed my former busy schedules. I couldn't wait to be myself again, enjoying the things I used to before cancer narrowed my life down to just a few good days per month. I needed to feel normal again.
But I dipped back into my full life so suddenly, and so earnestly, that the pace caught me by surprise. And it's even more surprising since I only work four days a week. I have plenty of down-time to enjoy reading, coffee while writing, long walks with friends, lazy weekends with my grand babies, and massages on my days off.
I have no reason to complain that my life is so frantically busy.
And yet it is. I feel the pressure building within me day after day, and I'm not sure what to do about it.
I do not believe that this internal stress is from wanting to live life fully in the wake of cancer, fearing that I'll miss out if I don't pack it all in while I'm in remission.
Instead, I sense that the rising volcano is from life whipping me around without my full consent: work is busier than it has been in the four years I've been employed there; medical bills and paperwork seem to be piling up around me more than usual; and the days/weeks/months are moving at a faster clip than normal.
I'm good at managing the controlled chaos, but I don't like that I have to.
While I was on the couch post-chemotherapy for four straight months, I was able to take in my life as it happened: I ate, I read, I wrote, I rested, and I visited with friends as much as I could. I chose not to worry about the extraneous paperwork and responsibilities outside of paying bills. I knew my friends were nearby, at the ready to help when necessary, and I trusted that my entire life was being taken care of as I healed.
My life felt narrowed by an outside force I could not control, but it also felt more wide-open than ever before.
I had just a few responsibilities to tend to, and the rest of my days were spent doing/seeing/taking care of what was right in front of me. I did not plan out my days and weeks; they were mostly choreographed by treatments and doctor appointments, so I was forced to stay more present in my life.
While poison coursed through my body killing cancer cells, I was happily enjoying the enormity of my life that had been hijacked by cancer.
It's obvious that the antidote to the restlessness I now feel is to remain present in my life without worrying about my financial state, a recently broken washing machine, or a business I'm not sure how to resurrect.
So why is that so damn difficult?
Perhaps it's because my life is so wide open. I have so many opportunities to choose from, and so much I want to do. Just a few months ago, I was confined to only what I was able to do, but as a renewed healthy person, I have the world at my feet.
Where, oh where, do I begin?
It feels overwhelming to consider, and yet, the answer is the same as it was while I was propped up on the couch: take life one step at a time, staying present to doing only what's right in front of me.