A gentler person?

Last night I took a little walk in the evening (I already got one sunburn as a side effect from the treatment - and I was outside for 10 minutes! So evening or morning walks will have to do...), because I was feeling queasy again and thought I would try something different since being horizontal was not working anymore. This could have been my very first walk when I wasn't really trying to GO anywhere, or accomplish anything, or even get any exercise - at least my first such walk since I've been an adult, anyway - and it was amazing.

First of all, how could it be that I've made a life where I am constantly needing to do something more? In my normal life, even a walk had several layers of agenda to it - I should be exercising myself, the dog and/or my kids, I should go places where I could look at pretty gardens or houses to get ideas for more work I could do on my own, and I should be supplementing the amount of Vitamin D I receive via sunshine. How different a walk for just a walk was yesterday!

Secondly, how crazy was I to feel that walking down my street was boring and I had seen everything on it! Yesterday I probably found 10 things I had not seen before on any run, walk, or drive down my street. I actually saw birds sing - could tell that robin was making that sound, that cardinal was making that sound.

Third, was I ever going to realize that Dagny (my dog) was 11 years old and slowing down? She had a great time sniffing things as long as she liked. Then I thought of my children...just the other day as I emerged from a side effect fog I looked at Katie and felt like she had grown about a year in the past month! Would I have kept going on and moving forward forever until I totally missed all of these moments?

So last night, when I returned, I sat with Katie and read her extra stories about pirates. And later, when she was supposed to be asleep already and asked, "Another book?" with her little smile as if she was trying but already knew the answer (no), I said, "Yes, another book". And today Nathan and I sat for a long time at the table and had snacks - I left the dishes in the sink and did not wash the floor or make another phone call. Perhaps there is something good about the chemo slowing me down, after all...I may just come out of this a gentler, more present person.

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