“I see skies of blue
And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world”
I am channeling some Louis Armstrong this morning. I am sitting in my patio staring at the clear blue sky, puffball clouds, and listening to the breeze gently riffing in the trees.
(OK, I’m also listening to the neighbor hammering and running his saw, but I’m trying to block that from my moment of zen.)
I have spent my morning in my rocking chair, catching up on correspondence, and staring out at my backyard. Which is by no means perfect, but we are working on it. And on this day, I’m not noticing what is wrong with it. I see a beautiful clear blue pool, not a pool that needs to be refinished. I see my zen garden taking shape in the corner of the yard, not the barren wasteland where nothing grows because the neighbor’s tree overhangs it so much that it is killing our palm tree. I see a funky tiki hut over the barbecue, not some weird homemade patio thing that the previous owner built.
I see natural beauty. My beloved hibiscus bushes are blooming, the grass is filling in after the “winter”, and everything is either green or blue. It is calming my soul. All the anxiety, pain, and bad memories are temporarily MIA. I am enjoying what I see now. This moment.
And I am sorry. I am sorry for all the beautiful days I have ever wasted. Days when I was cranky, spiteful, petty, ungrateful. All the days I didn’t look out and see all the beautiful colors in the world. All the days I took for granted. All the days I did not acknowledge how lucky I am. I have pain, but I am healthy. I am not rich, but I have food and a non-leaking roof over my head. I have people who love me.
I am making myself whole.
I think it’s sometimes hard for others to understand what having chronic anxiety is like. It’s not rational. In the middle of a meltdown, I usually know that there is no reason for it. When I’m lashing out, I know I’m being unfair. No matter how hard I try to control it, sometimes I can’t. But I keep trying, and I apologize for every time I may have hurt anyone. I work hard to not be that person, but some days are just better than others. But I will keep learning. I promise you that.
So today, I will learn from my past mistakes, and just enjoy what I have here today. Maybe take a swim in my imperfect pool and stare at the trees and flowers. Watch airplanes float by with fascination. Listen to kids playing next door. For once, I’m not taking it for granted.
“And I think to myself
What a wonderful world”
For more information on navigating breast cancer and all it leaves behind, please see our website, www.driventosurvive.org