Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 28th May

This evening, I went to collect a DVD from someone I haven’t seen for many months and ended up having tea and a good chat. On the way home, I drove past the home of someone else I was really friendly with a few years ago. I decided to phone her just to say hello. It was good to chat, even though I don’t think any more contact will come from it. That’s just how life goes, I suppose. What did happen was that she asked me how I was, asking, too, if I had ‘beaten this thing’.

The answer is, of course, yes – I have beaten this cancer thing. It has been severely and soundly dealt with.

Her question made me realise that feeling even a little resentful about the cancer and about having one boob and feeling this discomfort may be understandable and justified, but is really such a waste of energy and emotion. The cancer thing happened to me. That is how it is. There are, of course, repurcussions and effects of the whole process and it has been an experience I would rather not have lived through. There will also be an ongoing emotional effect from the encounter with the disease/condition, like the occasional feeling of ‘what if’. All of that is inevitable. All of is it understandable.

And it is still not worth getting ‘hung up’ (as Dad would say) about it.

Life moves on, it moves us forward all the time. We take with us what we have, what has happened, how we may have been affected, but it is a journey full of new and wonderful discoveries and things just waiting to happen or be encountered. From the experience of going to the photographic group on Monday and wandering around creating images, to something much larger like having to face the anniversary of Mum’s funeral on Saturday, everything that happens is actually new and exciting – and rich in so many ways.

Everything that happens to us is about finding out more about this life and about people around us. What a wonderful opportunity.

I am, and always have been, an incurable optimist. Every morning is another opportunity to face the world and find out things, perhaps to make something right that didn’t seem to work out well the first time, to move ahead and get past things that haven’t been worth it.

I think that there are a million reasons every day that people can find to wallow, feel depressed about and find a burden in their lives. Somewhere, though, there is always some kind of lightening of the load that is possible, if we just look hard enough.

My burdens are not heavy. They are mine and they are real and I have the right to indulge in the overwhelming feelings once in a while. But they are also not insurmountable, they can be beaten and some can even be left behind.

We all have our burdens to bear.

Sometimes, we just need a new (or old) voice in our heads, or in our ears, to make us think differently about them.


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