4 months ago
Finding Peace in the Waiting
There are periods of life that feel unsettling. We find ourselves longing for more, or waiting for something to happen. This in-between can come with some very complex emotions, and it can feel so lonely. I’m trying to find peace in the waiting while counting down the days to a new chapter. So I wait. For the end of my daughter’s treatment (just over 100 days to go). To get through this week’s spinal tap, IV chemo, and steroids. To move into our new home. For warm weather. To see friends outside. To be able to get out more with my girls.
Sharing the struggles is therapeutic, but ultimately, it is my hope that I can help some of you feel less alone.
Finding Peace in the Waiting
We have all experienced stages of life that aren’t what we imagined. When things are out of our control. As much as I love feeling in control (Virgo), we’re not ever fully in control, are we? When you go through a life-changing diagnosis as a patient or caregiver, you become a different person. You see the world differently. I finally set real boundaries and learned to do what feels truly authentic and good. I walked away from running and owning two websites that I built from the ground up, and found even more success (and happiness) running my blog on my own. There was no staying in touch with people who weren’t supportive, or worse, those who tried to use what we went through to get ahead.
Waiting for life to begin
When things are hard, we’re told we’re strong. But sometimes, we don’t feel strong and the silver linings just aren’t there. Fundraising has given some purpose to this nightmare, but I’ve yet to find the silver lining of my daughter’s cancer diagnosis. Stepping down from my old company brought a shift and brought a lot of peace, but nothing is worth going through this. If you took cancer treatment away, life would feel really good right now. I love the stages my girls are in and don’t want to wish time away, but when treatment is over, so much will change for us.
Over the course of one month, my girls will celebrate their birthdays, treatment will end, and we’ll move to our new house. We will still have labs every few months for the next 5 years, but we will otherwise be able to live a normal life. So I wait, while doing what I can to live life as best I can now.
And that is the challenge. Finding peace, patience, and even joy when life isn’t what you hoped it would be.
This isn’t an entirely unfamiliar place for me
When I was in my 20s, I was stuck in a terrible (verbally abusive) relationship, living at home, and struggling in my career. Life didn’t feel great, and I was desperate for a change, so I moved to Chicago. I didn’t know anyone in Chicago and didn’t really have a plan, but it seemed like a nice city and truthfully, I was desperate.
For the next 5 years, I poured myself into building and growing a new business and creating a life in a new city. I dated, which was a little exhausting (and soul-sucking), and wondered when I’d get married and start a family. I watched others get married and grow their families, which was only magnified on social media since you have a front-row seat in everyone’s lives. Life was good, but at times, it felt lonely, and as if something was missing. Because for me, it was. Flash forward to over a decade later. The waiting feels different this time – it’s a lot more complex. I have the family I dreamed of, a career I loved, and the flexibility I was so desperate for, but I can’t do much with that flexibility.
Most people were able to go back to normal (as they should) and we’re still here, waiting.
Last week, I was talking to my therapist about how horrible my sleep has been the last month. And with so much change coming, it’s really starting to hit me. I stay at the computer way too late to “get ahead” before our nanny leaves, and then the real stuff. I’m trying to find peace in the waiting, and being productive helps the time pass by. Getting lost in work is a distraction from the stuck-ness. It’s been cold, so that rules out a lot of safe outdoor activities. When we do try to see friends, someone always gets a sniffle (it’s happened every time we’ve tried to make plans this year) and Margot can’t get sick.
I just want to live and experience life and the world and friendships with my girls. I’ve held on to some very good friends, while other friendships faded away. So right now, I am consciously working toward unplugging, and finding peace in the waiting – in where I am right now. I am prioritizing working out and self-care, and am getting back into things that allow my body to slow down. Reading, needlepoint, and not always working. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m trying. And I hope this makes some of you who might be waiting feel a little less alone, too.