Don’t Let Avoidance Get In the Way of Growing Stronger

It’s been a huge week. To launch a book is no small feat! A big shout-out to everyone who helped me get this far and to all the early readers who tell me they love my new book.

If you’ve already purchased your copy, I’d love to hear what you think. If you haven’t, get on it!

As you know, the early makings of Positively Altered started out as my journal entries during my walk through cancer, but they ended up being so much more because LIFE happens in between those “cancer moments” and treatments.

And, yes, my journaling continues.

Here are some reflective thoughts from August 27, which happened to be the ninth anniversary of my last chemo treatment.

I thought you’d find them entertaining, and they may cause you to look differently at your own day. Enjoy!

I am still alive, but there are days I question the length of that commitment. A little chest pain could be an impending heart attack. Some joint pain could be a severe physical disability. And any memory loss could be a step toward Alzheimer’s since my genetic testing confirms that risk.

Yet I do some really smart things to avoid those symptoms and some things not so smart. But I am living. I am trying and accomplishing and finding little things in each day to enjoy.

Today I shed some reflective tears. I know it’s hard to believe given all that’s happening in the win column. I woke up wanting it to be a day of solitude. Maybe even a day at the beach … but I didn’t book the plane fare.

Instead, I’ll make it a day of contemplation, and I suppose writing this is part of that—a day to recognize all I have accomplished, not only in health but also in friendships, love, and self-care.

Oddly, it’s also a day to play a golf tournament. I say oddly because it’s a sport I really didn’t like and never thought I would play.

My mom is definitely laughing somewhere since I grew up on a course and never touched a club, never spoke of wanting to try, and quite frankly, spent many years feeling resentful that I was dragged out on weekends to accompany my parents while they played.

Today’s tournament is called the “Husband and Wife Nine-Hole Championship.” I am not married, but Keith and I will pretend today (because we are committed but don’t want to sign the papers). The tourney should be called the “Common Law Nine-Hole Championship!”

I will admit golf is interesting. I am starting to realize that the lessons are as important as the game. I am not very good, but who really is?

Even the pros miss three-foot putts sometimes. On accident, I once made a sixty-foot putt. You know what they say about a blind squirrel. I have also birdied one par-three hole and parred two par-four holes. Not bad for a resistant beginner.

In the game of golf, I’m constantly striving to:

swing straighter,
keep my head down,
follow through,
improve my score,
have fun with my friends,
spend quality time with Keith and my kids,
learn how to evaluate what I did well and what I can improve on,
win sometimes,
lose a ton,
wear cute outfits,
manage my frizzy hair while sweating in the heat,
stay hydrated,
be considerate to other golfers,
keep score but not take that too seriously,
try again,
and again,
and again.

Golf is one long to-do list!

If I just take out the word “golf,” it looks like a list for most things in life. This game is a great metaphor for even my “occasional” frustrating moments.

While I don’t ever throw a club, I have been known to spit out a couple of curse words. But I’ve gotten better at picking myself up and holding my tongue.

I’m actually learning to enjoy the process. When I learn, I grow. The same can be said of the last nine amazing years since I walked through cancer.

Is there something in life you’ve been resisting or avoiding? Maybe it’s not taking up golf. Maybe it’s something more pressing at work.

Could it be something you should have tried years ago but maybe talked yourself out of because you let inconsequential excuses get in the way?

If you did open yourself up to a new experience or challenge, what might happen if you let yourself walk through it?

Be positively altered,

Dr. Cindy

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