I’ve fallen behind. Behind on blogging, behind on bookbinding projects, behind on 4th quarter preparations for craft fairs, letter-writing, house-cleaning tasks, sewing challenges, and more. I still have non-downloaded patterns sitting in my online account, in fact, for the 2016 Bag of the Month Club that began in January and ended in May. My excuse? Four days before my birthday arrived in January, I had major surgery for endometrial cancer, followed by eight weeks of external and internal radiation treatments.
During this period, I placed one foot in front of the other during daytime working hours, focusing on what I had to accomplish. When I returned home, I’d sit down in my living room rocking chair, thinking I would pleasure-read for a little while. From one moment to the next, I would fall sound asleep. This is the fatigue that every cancer patient learns about from the oncologist and medical literature, at the beginning of the treatment journey, but then experiences firsthand. Those treatments are now behind me, I have successfully completed my first three-month post-exam, and am gradually getting back on track, energy-wise.
Life doesn’t stop when you are recovering from a potentially life-changing disease. It’s helpful, of course, to think positive thoughts and to take time to relax. The week before Memorial Day, just a month after I completed radiation treatments, John and I enjoyed our annual cabin retreat at Backbone State Park in northeastern Iowa.
At work, I helped plan two conferences—one in St. Paul, Minnesota and another in Omaha, Nebraska. Both conferences included evening social activities. At St. Paul Curling Club, about 120 completely inexperienced employees were invited to participate in a friendly competition. Although I didn’t actually sweep a rock down the ice, I did take a lot of photos that were later posted to my employer’s SharePoint site.
The second evening of the St. Paul conference, everyone enjoyed a Padelford Riverboat cruise, dinner and casino-style gambling with play money. As you can see from the photos below, the night time views were breath-taking.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I found myself in Omaha at a second conference for about 200 employees. Although the temperatures hovered in the sweltering low-90s, an outdoor social activity had been planned: a riverboat cruise aboard the River City Star on the Missouri River. After we ate a Mexican-style dinner with enchiladas and tacos, we toasted s’mores on the deck of the docked Kon-Tiki-O, waving bamboo skewers over cans of Sterno.
Today, like nearly everyone across the U.S., John and I are enjoying the first day of a three-day 4th of July weekend. We don’t have travel plans, but we will watch fireworks from our front lawn. Fortunately for us, Urbandale’s centennial celebration will be capped off with fireworks at Walker Johnston Park, just across the street from us. We’ve donated our three dollars apiece to help fund the community event, which begins with an old-fashioned midway and carnival, music in the park, a street dance, a pancake breakfast, a 5K run, a parade, cribbage tournament and soccer game, a car show, and a fireworks display. It just doesn’t get better than that.
I have decided that it’s okay to fall behind for a while, to simply take things one day at a time. The unfinished projects, housework, letters, crafts and more can sit for a bit. They’ll either get done or they won’t, depending on how important they are at the time. Meanwhile, here’s hoping you, too, have given yourself permission to fall behind and relax this 4th of July weekend!
© 2016 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.