Today’s Blogfest2012 Question shot me right where it hurts when host Stuart Fish asked, “Are you in complete charge of your life right now?
Two weeks ago today I had surgery to cut out a chunk of melanoma from my face.
I didn’t know what to expect of the surgery or the recovery at all. I didn’t even think much about what my face would be like after my doctor sewed it back together and as I am really sort of tired of talking about it, what I am going to talk about is what I am going to do starting Monday, instead.
Starting Monday I am going to go on a personal retreat, at home, alone.
I will not agree to do anything, meet anyone, go anywhere or take on any commitments at all.
I am freeing myself for two weeks of any outside obligations (other than teaching one writing workshop on the Saturday in the middle of my “Commitment Siesta”) because I need time to focus on healing, feeling better, and doing what I need to get done.
This doesn’t mean I am letting go of collaborations, I am just going into a time of relative quiet.
After my surgery, I pretty much took a weekend of sort of rest and then just got back to it, albeit on a quieter scale than usual. It has taken its toll. I am shaken and weary and not myself.
I neglected to stand up for myself – a long term habit of mine – and for two weeks I need to put the kibosh on what other people need of me and focus instead on what I need of me and what my vision, my dreams, my inspirations and aspirations need of me.
This does not mean I will stop creating and writing, it means I will do a little bit of Emily Dickinson staying at home and focusing on creating and observing and being quiet and internal or Henry David Thoreau at Walden, when he said, ““I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die discover that I had not lived.”
I wrote about this earlier this week and didn’t realize how strong the call truly was.
It took nearly falling apart yesterday during my MomSchlep time to realize I needed to practice sticking up for myself and explaining to myself I need a break from everything except the most basic service to my family.
In withdrawing temporarily in a physical sense starting Monday, I believe I will give myself and the world an enormous gift. I can't just raise my hands in the air today. I have to plan for my siesta-mini-public-sabbatical. Plus I have some immediate commitments, so I need to honor those as well.
I need to remember Nora’s message to me. (I named my melanoma Nora). “Life is finite. Your experience of it is infinite. The world is waiting for your gifts, some long held back. The best way to get those gifts into tangible form is to step back from the rush rush and step into the freedom of limited expectations, even from yourself.”
Isn’t it funny (not ha ha)that in the last two weeks I leaped right back into the rush rush rush and somehow forgot that completely?
I am taking charge by taking care of myself and what is important to me, first. The initial step? Going into semi-seclusion for two weeks to restore, replenish and refine my mission, my vision and do some holy loving with words.
Thanks for asking, Stuart. I appreciate your kindness.