Monday, January 1, 2018
Where I've been, where I'm going ~ Fractals!
I have always felt it is hard to know where I'm going if I disregard where I've been. At the same time, I really dislike focusing on the past. I find myself conflicted about all those 'remembrances' that show up on Facebook and other social media these days. Yeah, it's kinda cool to see those old pics and remember those events, but if I spend all my time looking back on what I've already done....how will I have time to live my life today? Even so, I do like to consider the past. Why did THAT happen? What role did I play in making things good? Making them go badly? Where exactly did this thing go off the rails? How did I get it back on track? Some things are unknowable. But, I often learn important lessons that, hopefully, allow me to make a better garment, enjoy my travels in a different way, become a better person/partner/friend/mom.
So, today...I will take a moment ~
I tend to look at things in one of two ways...in the micro or the macro. I am a firm believer in the "God of Small Things". It is hard for me to suppose that anyone who adopts the adage, "Don't sweat the details!" ever made a decent garment, cooked a truly delectable dish, was a good diagnostician, or a very good friend. Details are what transform a wearable shirt into one that is exquisite with a perfect fit. The small additions of this spice (That would be fresh thyme, people!!!) or those extra moments taken to caramelize the onions, takes French onion soup from a good, basic, filling lunch ~ to an incredible, unctuous bowl of deliciousness. Remembering the small moments you've shared with friends, the little random comments they made regarding their likes and dislikes, makes me a friend that I would like to have. I don't always succeed in this, but I know I did well when my dear one exclaims, "I can't believe you knew I liked this!" That one moment when getting the history of her baby's illness from a worried mom, a small detail in her report tells me, "Ah hah!!!" and goes on to make all the difference in my diagnosis and treatment. I guess listening and paying attention figures largely in this business as well.
My faith in and passion for turtles (You can find more than you ever wanted to know about that here: Turtles and me.) brings me to my macro view. Driving to work the other day, I heard this fabulously well told and all around awesome story on NPR/Living on Earth about the preservation of Blanding Turtles in Massachusetts through the efforts of some really cool peeps and amazing school children. Turtles and kids? You can bet I'm in!!! (Here's the link and it really is worth a listen if you have a minute: Living on Earth: Blanding turtles in the Northeast.) And for all that I loved every bit about the story, one part I keep thinking about is how long turtles have been on the planet. Over 200 million years!!!! Listening to any story about how humans have clearly gummed up the works for all the species on our planet...including our own!!!...worries me intensely. I mean for Pete's sake! The sex of turtles is determined by temperature! (Yeah, I didn't know that until I heard the story.) Too hot or too cold and we've got ALL Sallies or ALL Sams. That ain't gonna work out! But, knowing that turtles have survived, despite gigantic volcanic eruptions, ice ages, and horrifying world leaders (ones with strange mustaches and orange complexions come to mind) brings me down from my tree. Not that it makes me sanguine about all this. It makes me want to work harder! Do better! These turtles and our kids deserve it!! But...the big picture...in life, in turtle survival, in melanoma, allows me to focus on the small things. I am certain my clinical trial saved my life. But now, the approval of the drug I took, Nivolumab/Opdivo for folks like me, may finally...save the lives of many more. (Yes, you know I was yelling about it. Check it here: About DAMN time!!! Opdivo approved as adjuvant for resected melanoma with lymph node involvement or metastatic disease!!!!)
There have been many times in my life when looking further than a day or two ahead was a huge challenge for me ~ Looking forward..... Pondering what my future holds is still a bit tricky. I figure that's true for all of us. So, with a conscious review of where I've been and one slightly squinted eye, I am looking forward. Forward to more silliness with Rosie as I attempt 40 more seconds of push-ups, ("You can do anything for 40 seconds," our least preferred instructor shouts!) and crap out entirely, lying prone on my mat giggling uncontrollably. Forward to more hikes and meals and love and laughter with my Bentie. Forward to more stories from Fredo, the best yarn spinner among us, and perhaps to writing a few of my own. Forward to immersing myself in the smiles and even tears of my little critters, making the most of those moments and hopefully impacting them and their families in a positive way. Being creative in my small garden patch, at my sewing machine, at my cook top...everywhere.
I certainly do not wish to fail to see the forest as I examine the beauty in a leaf, or the overarching theme in the mosaic by limiting myself to a single tile. The fractals that compose my life and the world around me allow me to see the whole. I know where I've been, let's see where I go...
Wishing a vibrant 2018 to each of you. May your days and moments be filled with beauty in things large and small. - love, les