Every day we have the possibility of a new start, a fresh slate where to engrave our experiences and hopes. Even if we do not think about it, every day is an opportunity as well as a renewed challenge. The challenge is to clear our minds of the previous day and make the most of each opportunity as it arises.
If you are under restrictions during the pandemic, if you are living through the turmoil of a cancer diagnosis and treatment, the need to ponder the issues surrounding the combined restricted life and illness becomes something more demanding.
Thus, what to do?
The first thing is to accept that there are events and circumstances we cannot control or change. The second issue is identifying precisely what we can control and change.
We cannot change the pandemic or its impact for the time being. We cannot change the restrictions that are affecting hospitals and the medical attention towards cancer patients during the crisis. However, we can change our way of responding to these uncontrollable circumstances. Think hard, … How can you get attention and treatment without exposing yourself to unnecessary risks? How can you protect yourself when carrying out essential tasks? How can you live through this crisis without succumbing to despair?
A useful thing to do is listing interests that make you smile and feel in peace. Pay particular attention to those which you can do by yourself… for example, reading old magazines and books, looking at your photo-albums, listening to favourite pieces of music which have been put behind for a long time… There are so many tiny things which we have forgotten as a consequence of living a hectic life! Remember what sort of fascinations you had or wanted to engage with when you were an adolescent… those little undertakings that you may have forgotten but which, at some point in your life, were what you wanted to do all the time. Dance by yourself to your old music, remember how to knit or sculpt or make paper objects, or repair damaged utensils, or to prepare a tiny dish you used to like very much… Small things that made you smile and which can help you to feel better for the day…
We all have a list of small things we used to love doing and which we may have forgotten about. Let us bring these things and feelings back into our lives. Then, every morning choose one of them which you will start during the next hours. There is no hurry to do many. There is no hurry to end. There is nobody but us to make decisions about which one, how and when. Enjoy the time you are doing your old sources of merriment, and put the worries “in a drawer” for a while.
Just have the benefit of the moment of peace and triumph that comes attached to smiling and owning your own being. That could become a most significant new page in the notebook of our lives, … and we are the only ones holding the colour pens today!