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The twitch and the ditch

July 19, 2012

Amelia watched the “panda bear movies” (Kung Fu Panda) on the car trip to and from the beach this year. I am so glad we have progressed beyond just Yo Gabba Gabba that I can’t even express myself. Chris and I have been making jokes about having an inner peace twitch ever since. (If you haven’t seen the movies, what you need to know for the purposes of this post is that they are about an average, every day panda bear who turns into a super-duper, kung fu fighting panda bear and who has to learn inner peace. His master also has to learn to have inner peace but has a nervous twitch every time he is challenged by the pandas shenanigans.

Anyway, I have been thinking the last couple of weeks that I will come out the other side of this cancer process with a new found understanding of the circle of life or a great and overwhelming inner peace. I have this visual in my head of myself as the panda catching all these fiery balls that life sends into our path and just scooting them out of the way or hurling them past the point where they can harm my family. What I am actually feeling is the twitch.

My philosophy of life—parenting, loving, friendship, relationships, life choices, pretty much everything has always been “everything in moderation” meaning to me: keep to the middle of the road, understand the blacks and whites in life and allow for the overwhelming shades of gray and keep to the middle of the road. I am a moderate, I am a peacekeeper, I am a compromiser and an accommodator. All of these things within the bounds of the blacks and whites—there are things that are right and things that are wrong, there are things that I will not compromise or accommodate on but they are few and they are things that are life fundamentals that don’t come up for question within the daily routine of my life as I have established it. I am keeping to the everything in moderation plan even with the cancer treatment. I have made some changes in my lifestyle but they are moderate changes—more vitamins and minerals, more macrobiotic foods and sources of energy. I haven’t stopped drinking Diet Coke or stopped eating dessert. Our medical choices have been very much the same and, fortunately, I have a medical staff that allows me that freedom—we have been given choices for every step in this process. We have not chosen the most radical or the least invasive. We have kept to the middle of the road.

I have adopted a recovery philosophy that agrees with my life philosophy—keep to the middle of the road. I truly believe that if I continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep my feet to the middle of the road, that the road will continue to rise up to meet me. I believe that. On the surface it seems almost simplistic. That it is taking the easy way out, that it is being too passive. That is so not true. Finding the middle ground, keeping my donkey out of the ditch, not letting myself get sidetracked or sidelined is a constant series of active choices. It requires being mindful of where I am and what impact each decision will have on the next decision. It requires me to look ahead, to keep my eyes focused ahead of me at not be distracted by the things on the side of the road. It forces me to keep my head up and my eyes not down on the ground where I can’t see where I am going. It prevents me from looking inward at myself for too long or in the mirror because that result would be a standstill or, worse yet, circles.

That is the plan. Plain and simple. No theatrics, no superheroes, no sharp turns, no slacking off. We are keeping to the middle of the road and we are coming through this one step at a time.

Have you got your donkey in the ditch? What choices do you need to make to get back on the path? You are not alone, the ditch is full of well meaning folks who have built houses there. The path is also full of people willing to give you a hand. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 19, 2012 4:52 pm

    This is what has inspired me about the part of your experience you’ve shared with us. You have been very honest about the hardships *and* triumphs. Even though it’s impossible for me truly to know what you’re going through, we have similar views on life in general. Thank you for sharing, Mareeka. We are blessed by your words and continue to pray for your healing.

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