Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 2nd June

I’ve been running regularly again – for the last few days, at any rate. It feels as though I am ‘back in the saddle again’.

This doesn’t mean that I am suddenly able / fit enough to run more than a couple of kms – and slowly at that. It just feels good to be able to run the whole way on my short excursions. It feels as though things are becoming more normal again.

I feel a slight apprehension in mentioning that I am feeling fitter, because I know that if I mention the chemo taste, it seems to come back to haunt me. I don’t honestly think that I am tempting fate, or that I’m going to start feeling all tired again – it’s just a frisson of a thought that flits through my head.

I do know that everything goes in phases and so much is dependent on what’s happened at work, how tired I am, even what the weather’s like. I know I may not feel like running tomorrow, or that I may have a ‘body like lead’ day (in fact, I’m pretty sure I will one of these days), but it’s okay, because, overall, the trajectory is upwards.

There is actually nothing so encouraging as feeling that you are getting better when you have been feeling bad. There is also often nothing like feeling better (or more normal) to make you realise how bad you felt. It’s all a matter of progression.

Today I also had a kind of revelation.

I decided long ago that I want to do some form of production this year. Today, working with a large group of students, some individuals really stood out. I realised that I don’t want to do a conventional ‘play’ with random people who audition, I want to do a ‘Jane-type production’, which means tailor-making something for and with a group of interested and interesting individuals. That way, we all get to learn. I am, after all, a teacher.

I know when I start visualising the production happening and feel invigorated by the idea of spending all those hours in the theatre that I must be ‘me’.

It’s still going to take some time, I know, for everything to settle down, my muscles to be completely healed, to get all the feeling back and to get fit enough to run at least a good couple of kms without getting too exhausted. It’s okay, though, because, although the road is sometimes hard, and longer than we may realise it’s going to be, it is doable. It just takes a little determination and, sometimes, a lot of patience.

The lessons one learns!

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