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polaroid patThe other day I came across this post written by Pat Is this the best I can be? in which she’d linked to this post that I’d written on the same day in October 2009, and in those blog posts both of us were questioning our lives and our behaviour, ways of coping, etc. And it got me thinking…

First of all, I spent a bit of time on Pat’s blog listening to her voice again. She was such a naturally talented writer along with being wonderful in so many other ways. And I realised that it’s been almost three years since we wrote those posts. I’m still here, Pat is not. But who knows what the next PET scan in September will reveal?

And so what I mostly started thinking about was “wasting time”. It seemed that for awhile I was doing everything very intensely because it truly felt like DEATH was just around the corner. These days I am mostly aware of my condition (stage 4 cancer survivor – at least so far!) during my monthly visits to the hospital to get my chemo port cleaned out, and of course every six months when I go for my PET scan. The latter always terrifies me and I’m a mess for about a week or so before. Lucky for me that I get the results straight away and don’t have to also go through the stress of waiting a couple of weeks afterwards.

Anyhow, there are, and always have been, a lot of things I don’t like about myself, so that is a daily struggle. I mean, I think I am mostly a “good person” (whatever that means) but my days are full of self-criticism because I could always be Doing Better. And then I don’t do better because this (rather abusive) inner-dialogue tends to wear me out, though I think I still end up mostly Doing Okay. When I was going through chemo and recovering from operations I tended to cut myself some slack and not be so hard on myself and I guess that reading those blog posts made me aware that I’d slipped back into this beating-myself-up rut. Which is, frankly, a waste of time. Not to mention counter productive. And exhausting.

When Azar, the love of my life, died last September I made a promise in honour of his memory to try and be the same person I was with him when with other people. You see, he was just so easy to love and it turned out I actually really liked who I was when I was with him. Because with Azar I was always the best I could be. And well, I haven’t always remembered that promise but all this recent thinking has brought it back. So I’m going to start making that my daily goal, and I even think I’ll try to include myself along with those “other people”.

Wish me luck!