Summer solstice is upon us and I have finally begun to see the sunshine, as my gloomy and opaque clouds have parted. It has been nearly a week since my mental breakdown and I have been trying to look at each day with a new/different perspective from the last. The change in my demeanor has certainly not been effortless, but rather a solid attempt to find my bliss and discover my life, post remission.
For as far back as I can remember, I have always held goals, both from a personal intent, as well as academically and professionally. While I was moving forward with my treatment, my most important goal of all was surviving and beating the cancer that resided inside of me. I had become out of touch with any other goals outside of remaining alive and once I no longer had to fight everyday to remain, my “usual” goals no longer suited my life. In fact, the goals that I was so used to having became disconnected all together as I found myself with new realities; i.e.- health wise, professionally, personally and otherwise.
After reflecting on my ongoing depression since emerging from cancer, I realized that a key element that was missing in my life and even perhaps evidence of why I was depressed in the first place was due to not having goals and aspirations. Many of my previous goals before cancer died; along with the person that I was the day I was told of my disease. However, within the last week, since my mental calamity, I have been pushing myself, even if my efforts are starting out small, I figured that you have to start somewhere. Each day I have filled up my time with exercise and getting my blood moving with some tai chi and yoga, along with meditation, support groups, social outings and even simple things like taking the time to return phone calls, emails and text messages, which is something that may seem small, but became extremely difficult for me to do within the last few months.
It’s truly astounding how much can change in a week. I went from being on the edge of a cliff, to feeling peace, calm and dare I say it, happiness. In part, I realize that being a goal-setter is a part of my nature and without presence of objective ambitions, my world turned to nothing but doom and gloom. Surprisingly, just within the last few days, I have been riding out such a good wave that I have found myself in such a happy state of mind and didn’t even cry when seeing The Fault in Our Stars. How is that even remotely possible?
Nevertheless, I have made it a goal to keep goals. I truly feel that goal making will help me to realign my wants and needs that I have for my future and keep me on a path of contentment, even perhaps challenging myself from time to time. To start off, I have made a list of some summer goals and wishes to get me through the season and pave the path to getting back to an enjoyable place within myself and my status quo.
Here are some of the goals I have set for myself. What are your summer ambitions?
Eating: More regularly. Since my chemo began last August, my appetite has been lackluster. I would like to start eating three healthy meals per day and only occasionally treating myself to popsicles (even though they are sugar-free).
Drinking: Vintage cocktails. I’m not much of a drinker, but I’d like to take advantage of the cool, summer cocktails that Downtown Phoenix has to offer. My favorite right now is Hendricks and Lemonade and I would also like to pay a visit to the newest cocktail parlor in Downtown Phoenix, Bitter and Twisted.
Practicing: The love of authenticity, to respect and accept myself, my reality and see the good in situations, particularly those out of my control.
Mastering: The enjoyment of alone time and the art of time maintenance. I put the pro in procrastinator…
Learning: To free myself from fear and trying new things. Also, how to keep my plants ALIVE.
Trying: To be a better listener. Over the last year, everything has been about my cancer, thus missing out on some major things my friends have been going through. I’m finally in a place where I can lend an ear…just sayin’!
Playing: Outside. Although I live in the hottest place on Earth and we are about to embark on Arizona’s WORST season, I want to enjoy the outdoors (even if it means sitting on the patio of my favorite brunch spot). That counts as outdoor time, right?
Finishing: What I start. For example, I just made a six-week commitment to attend a cancer support group every Wednesday. So far it’s been week one of six, of which, week one was insanely intense. However, I am determined to commit and finish, with hopes of some liberation.
Listening: To the new Lana Del Rey album, Haim, Wet, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Lucius, along with some old faces, Fiona Apple, Lily Allen, CCR, Simon and Garfunkle, Death Cab, Brand New, RX Bandits, Good Old War, Saves the Day, Jimmy Eat World, Third Eye Blind, Frank Sinatra, Sherwood, The Beatles (((and the list continues))).
Reading: More in general and spending time at the library and bookstores, discovering new reads and getting lost in the pages. Also, finish my latest book, #Girlboss.
Remembering: To take care of my thoughts when I am alone and take care of my words when with people. Oh, also remembering to take my medications…everyday.
Wearing: Fun summer dresses and flirty skirts, but most importantly wearing sunscreen in this blazing heat.
Cooking: Ugh, anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a cook, nor do I want to be. However, perhaps I can just *help* around the kitchen a little more. 😉
Working: On the girl I was too lazy to be yesterday.
Traveling: Here, there and everywhere. Before I was sick, I was quite the little adventurer. I’d like to go on a few little trips to California over the summer and then I have a BIG trip coming up at the end of summer, but the location is top secret. Hint- it’s not a trip to the loony bin (again) and it’s outside of the United States. EEEEKKKK!
Wanting: To practice what I preach. I often find myself setting such high standards for everyone else, yet I don’t hold myself accountable at times for the standards in which I set. Also, volunteering at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and hopefully lift the spirits of young children battling for their lives.