I have never been great at trying hard things. In my youth, I would pick the path I knew I could travel successfully, I picked the classes I knew I could ace, and I tried to stay out of situations I couldn’t control the outcome.
Cancer changed all that for me.
It was the first time I couldn’t take a path other than the one set in front of me. I had to have surgery, I had to have radiation, I had to go months without synthroid. The only way through the hard stuff, was down the path I didn’t want to go.
But that experience changed me. I learned I could do the hard thing even when I didn’t want to. And since then, I have stopped avoiding the painful path, because I know that is where the most happiness lies.
This month I had to go out on a limb. I want to finish my book, but I couldn’t. The voice I had been writing in wasn’t mine and I had to scrap everything I had written and restart it. As soon as I decided this, I got a call from an organization I have been waiting to volunteer with. Out of the fifteen hours a week I have to write, six will now go to reading to kids. And it is the time of year I need to get serious about my half marathon training, or Goofy will have to pull me in to the finish line in February. My precious mornings are full of the three things that are most important to me.
The easy path would be to get rid of one of the above. But, I have already pared my morning life down to the necessities; service, writing, and running. I have slowly divested my life of things I liked to do in order to make room for these three important things.
So I am taking the hard path. The one that requires a lot of faith and a lot of courage. The path that pushes me out of controlling everything and onto the one that allows me to ask for help from my family. The path that says life doesn’t have to be perfect to get things done. I may not have three hours in the morning to write anymore, but I have an hour every afternoon while Margo is in quiet time. I have weekends and evenings where I can ask Michael to step in.
Running, I just have to shift the days and realize those are the days I have to run. No more scheduling things when I should be running and no more, “Eh, I’ll run tomorrow.”
And volunteering, that is what fits in the space I made by readjusting my writing and running. I know I made the right choice, because of the little girl who before she left the waiting room gave me a big hug and said, “Thanks.” And all I had done was be present. That’s why I am readjusting my life. Because of that.
I trust, I believe, I hope and I have courage.
That’s all I can do, and I know it’s enough.