"Challenging" I associate with getting fit or training for a 5K run, at the end of it, there's a feeling of accomplishment despite the effort, the sweat and sore muscles. Cancer isn't a challenge. "Hard" and "tough", the words do start to convey the grind of our day to day living. Is there enough space within the definitions for the sleepless nights, the helplessness, the sorrow, my shoulders locked around my ears, the peri-menopause and my uterus giving me a good kicking when I'm already on the floor, curled up?
Within "hard" and "tough" there's the almost overwhelming senses of horror, disbelief and frustration at the political mess in this country that's been the waste of time and resources of Brexit, coupled with the loss our wonderful NHS. The system as it is, seems to continue through the sacrifice of the good women and men working to heal with in the travesty of the service provided now. I'm often told by hard core Brexiters that I should wait and see, it will be wonderful. Forgive me; my partner's four-year fight with Stage 4 metastatic cancer has pretty much beaten out my optimism. In my reality, Santa and the Easter Bunny seem to have ridden off on a unicorn. Yet I still pray for the strength to search for the rainbows as the storms pass.
The Universe says 'yes' to me and my art and I am too exhausted to follow through the opportunities that turn up like buses. As I let each one go, I recognise my fear that there won't ever be another one, that I'll be waiting on the side of the road. I sternly tell myself that I didn't know there were buses to begin with, therefore they will continue to run. They will just be different buses, perhaps not so comfortable, perhaps packed with other commuters.
I will not offload this cheerless bit of writing without balancing it with the support that's around me, around us. Facebook provides an endless supply of bad jokes, cute kitty pictures and arguments if I've got the energy to debate. It also lets me receive messages of love and support in the middle of the night. It's kind of weird to think that people hold us in their hearts and reach out during their days and nights. They hold my hands during appointments, give me virtual cuddles when needed and a kick up the bum if the Self-Pity Gnome over-stays her welcome.
Wintery Birches, mixed media.
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