It has been seven weeks since you heard from me. Since I last wrote on here, I have been so busy that I recorded my last episode of Lunch with Lindsay in late August; however, I did not get to share it here until today. If you read my post on my other blog, you know that I am Forcing Myself Off of the Hamster Wheel in order to make time to blog again.Continue reading
In case you are wondering where I have been for the past two weeks, I have been active. I might not have been active on this website, but I have been active. Like many of you, I have been dedicating my time to my day job, exercise that is never frequent enough, napping, and honestly doing “nothing.”
When I say “nothing,” I really mean resting; times are tough, and we all need to practice self-care. If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I am no stranger to talking about this topic and recently covered the importance of it in Lunch with Lindsay: Supporting Black Lives Matter and Practicing Self-Care.Continue reading
On and off since my breast cancer diagnosis, I have not been sleeping well. When I went on leave to focus on my recovery from surgery, I had more time to focus on making sleep and other basic self-care habits a priority.
After my leave ended, I started radiation and returned to work within a day of each other. Again I had to learn new sleeping patterns as my daily schedule had drastically changed within only a couple days.
Then my radiation ended, and I had to readjust my daily work schedule and relearn new sleeping patterns. It is as if my body does not know how much to rest because it does not know what to expect.
My body sure was jolted by recent stories of Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and most recently Rayshard Brooks.Continue reading
Is it just me, or did last week feel pretty long?
Actually, if you are like many people in my social circles who have been heavily engaged in the active work of racial justice, the last few decades have felt extremely long.
I both am encouraged to see more people fighting for racial justice—especially Black lives—in ways I have not seen in my lifetime, and I also am frustrated that this journey to progress is both so long and mentally and emotionally taxing for those involved. This is why when I saw the NPR Code Switch piece titled A Decade of Watching Black People Die, I thought to myself, “A decade? JUST a decade?” I decided not to listen to it.Continue reading
The other day, I tried to find an old post of mine on Facebook in which I mentioned MLK. I didn’t find what I was seeking, but I found another instead. Strangely enough, this post does not mention Martin Luther King, Jr., MLK, or any variation of his name, but the powers of Facebook pulled it up for me anyway. This is a post from November 10, 2016.
The post received 24 likes and five loves, 11 comments, and one share.
In one of the comments, my friend wrote, “This is worthy of a Medium post.”
More than a month and a half after I received my breast cancer diagnosis, I attended a support group for women who had all types of cancer. During the latter part of the session, a breast cancer survivor introduced herself and wanted to find out what brought me to the group. After learning that I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer, she gave me her contact information and offered to talk to me further about resources.
Within a few days, I emailed her, and we were able to talk on the phone a day later. She shared her story with me, outlined the challenges she faced, and provided advice for my next steps.
“Get a Keurig, ” she told me. I almost told her that I was a tea drinker, but I was intrigued by her specific recommendation. I asked her why she suggested a Keurig. Then she explained that people could serve themselves when they visited me. I wouldn’t have to worry about serving them.
Something about her recommendation sat with me in a funny way. I couldn’t put my finger on why. Then it occurred to me how much she had thought about serving other people when she had been the one in dire need during her recovery.
If you’ve ever known someone with a serious health issue, chances are that person lied to you at some point. It might not have been a major lie, but they might have sugarcoated their feelings in one conversation or another.
Since I shared my diagnosis with in my social circles, people have connected me to their friend, family member, colleague, or other contact who has dealt with breast cancer. When I talk to the connectors, they emphasize how strong, resilient, and inspiring their contacts are.
Then I talk to their contacts, and I realize how much those contacts have lied or sugarcoated the truth for others in their lives.
I’m not here to do that.
A few months ago, if you had asked me to describe my life, I would’ve told you I was busy: busy transitioning to a new job, busy preparing a presentation for a conference, busy managing social media and moderating a panel for a board I am on, busy networking, busy hanging out with friends, busy dating (or deciding not to date), busy going to the gym (or deciding not to go to the gym), busy going to yoga, busy napping … busy … busy …. busy.
Now when I say I’m busy, I really mean it. Seriously, my life a few months ago felt like such luxury. I had many projects, tasks, and activities to manage, but I loved it all. I really LOVED my life. I really loved myself. When friends were asking me for life updates, I told them that I was the coolest person I knew. I meant that both seriously and not so seriously.
For friends who had known me a long time, they knew that I had gone through my share of unexpected adventures with job transitions, promotions at work and volunteering as a hotline counselor for a rape crisis center, relationship changes, deaths and health issues among people close to me, and my own health issues even before breast cancer.
People are used to me persisting. In some ways, I wonder if that’s why it’s hard for some individuals to understand how concerned I am about the future.
I’m no stranger to promoting self-care. On this blog, I’ve discussed how to Start Your Day on a Positive Note, Real Self-Care When Your Life Isn’t Paradise, Dealing with Long-Term Stress, and how to Make Over Your Life … Gradually. These posts address how minor and major actions can have a cumulative effect on how you can survive and thrive through hardship.
Self-care is a process, not a product.
When I haven’t discussed self-care, I’ve told you all to Create More Space for Kindness and Don’t Forget About the World Around You. In those posts, it was about creating more space to care for others and cultivate change in the world.
My past posts haven’t talked explicitly about community care—specifically community care for yourself.
In the Mashable article Self-care isn’t enough. We need community care to thrive., Heather Dockray states, “Unlike self-care, community care does not place the onus of compassion on a single individual … Community care involves more than one person. It can include two, three, or possibly hundreds of people. You can practice community care in your personal offline life or even in digital spaces.”
In my last post, I mentioned that several loved ones have been struggling with some of the most difficult times of their lives. In all of these cases, there were health issues at the center of those difficulties. At the time I wrote my last post, I didn’t know what would be the outcomes of their situations, but last night I found out how one story ended: one of my loved ones passed away.
My cousin isn’t here anymore because of sudden complications with his health, and I’m wondering what made those complications so sudden. Was it truly a medical mystery, or was this another example of someone dying because that person lacked access to adequate healthcare?