One year ago today I shaved my head. So many other things were happening – I was moving, I had just started chemo, my relationship was ending, I fell and fractured my arm and bruised my knee – and then my hair started to fall out, so I shaved it. I remember the day so well; thinking about it makes me feel like I’m reliving it. (It all really hurt, some mentally and some physically, so I’m not going to spend much time thinking about it or rehashing it here.) But then in other ways, it feels like it was a lifetime ago. Sometimes I’m amazed at all that happened in the span of a year!
Last night, I took a break from unpacking (yep, I moved again!) and Tina and I went to see Tim McGraw at the Comcast Center. And of course he sang Live Like You Were Dying. Just as last year when I saw him perform it live at Gillette, it wrecked me. As I listened to the words (and cried my eyes out), I thought. Have I lived like I was dying? I know that was my original intention, but what have I really done in this past year? The first thing that jumped in my head was “survived.” I have survived the year. I fought through the year. I struggled to remain some semblance of normalcy through the 24 weeks of chemo and six weeks of radiation. I bought any beauty product that I thought might make me look more normal while bald. I tried to keep everything going even when I felt like just going to sleep.
I didn’t go sky diving. I haven’t been mountain climbing or bull riding since my road trip in 2010. I’ve tried to stay close to my friends and family, but I haven’t seen or talked to them nearly as much as I would like or feel I should. In fact, my life has seemingly resumed its normal chaos, pace and craziness. Maybe that’s not a good thing. Maybe it’s time to change that.
The problem is, there simply is not enough time in any day, not enough days in a week, not enough… well, you get it. There are so many things I want to do and never, ever enough time to do it. So maybe what that song means is not just that I have to rush to do all the things I want to do (in case I die tomorrow), but to take the time to do the things that really matter. To spend what precious time you do have wisely. I need to think about that. And I will. But for right now I am happy and thankful. Happy and thankful to have hair again, to be settling into my new apartment, to have a job I love, and family and friends who mean the world to me. And that I don’t have to go through chemo this summer and remember to put lotion or a hat on my bald head!