I just this week had a medical tremor rattle my landscape. A routine test lead to a second still fairly routine test. That one avalanched into a decidedly not routine interlude with two technicians and the head of radiology all studying a screen while I lay still, trying to remember how to breathe.
Finally the doctor spoke. "I think everything is fine. I'll write a report after I study the pictures and send it to your doctor." The head of radiology has a slight stutter and I thought apropos of nothing how perfect for him to practice in the one part of the hospital where he would have the least daily contact with patients.
The whole episode shook me more than I want to admit. Even though I live in Cancerland, where I know the terrain is as prone to quakes and collapse as anywhere in California, I still jump when the ground starts swaying. My morning calm had crumbled with the "you're probably okay" prognosis, a comment to which I kept adding a silent "but" to complete the pronouncement.
Complete it? No, open it wide to the "what if?" scenarios.
I am trying hard not to go down the road of "what if?" because lately my energy levels have started rebounding, thanks to Dr. Pat and her recommending I take large doses of Vitamin D. In fact, I am feeling so much better that I am starting to wonder what to do with my time.
Okay, I confess. I am not back 100% yet. There are still days when I will suddenly drop for a nap, including in the middle of writing this post. But overall I have regained enough ground I am starting to have both time and energy, instead of just time.
It is time to turn my hands to something, but what?
As I have noted before, I don't do crafts. I famously don't sew. I have no artistic skills (as in painting, sculpting, and fiber arts). I don't sing, play a musical instrument, or dance. (Recently, Warren and I observed—for the Symphony—a gathering of amateurs who come together monthly to group dance to traditional English music. What a gentle group of people. I have no desire to join them, but I admired their focus and pleasure.)
Should I learn a language (I am noticeably inept in that area)? Learn the names of the birds that fill our yard and trees? Maybe I should study bees?
Maybe I should become a gourmet baker? Maybe just become a master pie maker?
Maybe I will return to the monthly Legal Clinic in some capacity, ending my self-imposed medical sabbatical. Or I may figure out other ways in which to serve the Clinic.
And maybe I will write more.
Recently I sat in one of our downtown coffee shops with my friend Mel, who also writes, albeit not as much as she wants. We talked about how difficult it is for either of us to value ourselves enough to set aside time for writing. We agreed it was a matter of respecting the writing and respecting our desire to write.
So maybe I head into the rest of summer balancing writing and pie making.
The tremor I opened this post with is likely just that: a tremor and not a portent of some larger problem. But while the walls were swaying, I could think only of time, as in time remaining. It reminded me that the sand in my hourglass runs swifter than many and that I want to live deliberately during the time that remains.
And now that my energy is rebounding, I might just be able to do that.