24 January 2019

Am I the most boring person on earth?

I am constitutionally incapable of sustained negative brain thoughts. I'm a human person and experience what I consider to be a full range of human emotions, but my default wake-up-in-the-morning setting is contentment and satisfaction.
As a standard internet disclaimer, I don't think there is anything WRONG with anyone who operates on a different setting, I don't think I'm better than you, I won't give you weird advice about how all you need to do is have a positive attitude.
But my brain chemistry is just....not predisposed to anxiety or depression.
Anyway, I have stage four cancer.
And sometimes I feel like I should be more....sad?
But my brain doesn't work that way.
The way that my brain works is ok here is a new piece of information about your life, so what is next? You might be dying, so you should get your estate settled and make sure you have beneficiaries named and make sure you write down how to pay the bills and how to access the kids' medical records and how to access the life insurance policies. Make sure all of your important legal documents are in one place. Throw out all of your dingy underwear.
I've been doing a lot of Swedish Death Cleaning, which just seems like a natural next step, and doesn't make me particularly sad.
I have considered doing more dramatic things like quitting my job and traveling the world and gazing lovingly into my children's eyes, but I just....don't really want to. I like going to work every day and coming home at night and having dinner with my kids and watching bad network television and taking a bath. It turns out that I still want to go to the gym, which was a surprise. I don't even LIKE the gym, except that I do, because here I am, still making time for it.
There are a bunch of things on my bucket list that I haven't done and I might not do but as it turns out I don't feel that strongly about doing them now? If I died tomorrow without kissing the Blarney Stone, I still feel pretty good about my life.
I do feel pretty terrible, physically, in general. But....it also just feels like that's my new baseline. It turns out that now I need to sleep 12 hours a night. Okay. Immunotherapy induced hepatitis and ulcerative colitis are both  physically unpleasant, but...okay. I guess I'm surprised by how surprisingly just....OKAY I feel about everything.
I am being intentional about spending quality time with my husband and kids and parents and siblings and nieces and nephews, and well, my family. I took Gabriel to his first concert, and we went to Tahoe over Christmas break because I wanted to be there the first time the babies saw snow. I'm soaking up my people.
Something I feel sort of surprised by is how little urgency I feel to spend time with Not My Family. I really love my friends, I love them AS MUCH as my family, or I thought I did anyway. But it turns out when I'm looking at my Saturday plans I want to take Everett to swim lessons and I want to have coffee with my mom and I want to continue to be myself and live my normal life but I don't care one way or the other if I make time for lunch with someone. Does this mean I don't care? I don't think it does, but it was a surprising thing to learn about myself.
I have had a good life. I enjoy my days. My children are good little people and coming along quite nicely. My husband is my person. I don't feel like my life has been a tragedy or I've left all of these things undone. I have been a loved and loving person with a life that I've appreciated as I've woken up every morning.
I don't mean that I don't get sad. I cry. I worry about my family. But I am not experiencing the sustained sadness that I expected, or that I would expect someone else to experience. This is my life now, and that's okay.
I've always been this way, incapable of staying sad or mad or anxious or anything but just....okay. My default setting is okay. So it's not surprising that my default setting is still  okay, but I've been a bit surprised to realize it all the same.

The hope is that I don't die for a very long time, and until my scans next week indicate what's going to happen one way or the other, there's no reason not to hope for that, and I do.
But the reality of my situation right now is that I might die.
And I'm as surprised as anyone else to learn that would just be okay. Fine, even.
I feel, basically, fine.


  1. Not boring. Maybe not even that you've made peace; you are peaceful.

  2. Definitely not boring. Love to you and your sweet family. xo

  3. Sending love and strength from far away.

  4. It all makes perfect sense to me. And I think spending time with your children is the best thing ever. When I lost my brother and sister, over six years ago now (which seems unimaginable), it was heartbreaking for me but more so for their children. There are so many first things and important steps in their lives that my brother and sister will never get. I would like to think if either of them knew that they had a limited time that they would have done just what you are doing. Wishing you continued okay-ness in all things.