I have lumps in my breasts. Quite a few actually.
In March 2019, I watched – my head twisted cockeyed – straining to see the screen where my radiologist measured all of the solid masses she found. Rolling the tools of her well-practiced trade on my naked and gel-covered breasts, she chatted with me and said words like “partial mastectomy” and “breast MRI” and “options.”
I’m lying there cold, feeling naked, and wondering how much all of this is going to cost. I was in a long dry spell financially, having not been able to find work in my field as a writer. The sonogram and the two sets of 3D mammograms was a strain already on my income where I worked temporarily as a material handler at the retail distribution center down the road where I worked nights. And I had a mortgage that I had to borrow money from family and friends to pay.
The dry spell seemed long from over.
I had other things blowing up that brought me into a deep prayer. (I don’t need to write about that here. There’s a point I’m working to, you see.)
As it does, the Life-Winds of March were followed by the Life-Rains of April. And in May, Life finally flowered with the work I’d been seeking.
Relief and forward motion.
The radiologist had recommended a breast MRI as the least-invasive next step, so I made a list of steps to get there.
- Find a new primary care physician closer to work and associated with the hospital where I want to go.
- Get the insurance in place. (I’ve been on ACA insurance and the agency I through as a contractor had some insurance but enough to meet the requirements of ACA, so I kept my “Obamacare” and added an additional policy in case this turned out to be something worse.)
- Schedule the breast MRI. (A breast MRI needs to be performed within two weeks of the first of the cycle.)
Now, I’m 48 years old. My cycle turns, revs, and sputters like an old car when she’s getting started, so it’s not always the most predictable thing in the world. That created a natural delay.
But finally this week – five months later – I was able to get the breast MRI scheduled. Then rescheduled because the insurance company hadn’t approved it yet. Then canceled because the insurance company didn’t approve it at all and now we’re in an appeal process.
Here’s where I could tell the story about why this is a terrible thing that doesn’t make any sense. Here’s where I could tell you why I have a lot of anger and frustration of all of the above. You know the rant; you may have even lived it.
But I have a point I’m working toward, so I’ll skip forward and let you fill all that in for yourself.
So … I’m waiting. And the last thing I want to do is to spend it stewing and fretting, so I ask myself this question:
How can I turn this time into the gift that it is?
I turned to the massive bag of tools I’ve collected over the years. (Oh, all the practices and processes I’ve studied and tried!)
There are so many methods that I could use. But I went to the simplest, which is also the best.
I Sat. I Listened.
I kept my pen and notebook near. And here’s what my pen wrote to me.
This is an idea I’ve played with for close to a decade.
What in life brings the most joy, and how can I move through doing and being what I love in a way that is uplifting to myself and others?
The Sitting also brought me back to this quote.
“Strain every nerve to acquire both inner and outer perfections, for the fruit of the human tree hath ever been and will ever be perfections both within and without. It is not desirable that a man be left without knowledge or skills, for he is then but a barren tree. Then, so much as capacity and capability allow, ye needs must deck the tree of being with fruits such as knowledge, wisdom, spiritual perception and eloquent speech.”
Seems “heavy,” these Words. But the more I ponder them, the more I know they are Light.
I learned of this quote in a training I took in 2004 called the Core Curriculum Teacher Training in Durham, North Carolina from my friend Pepper Oldziey. She helped create this incredibly insightful, powerful-yet-simple curriculum system. It’s a system designed to be a foundation for a Universal Education system.
As a trained educator with a Master’s degree in Education, I found the system inspiring. It’s applicable to any form of education for any age level, any learning style, and any subject. And I knew it was grounded in pedagogy because the process was influenced by a process I had used in my classroom called 4MAT.
So my next question:
What if I applied this educational process to the lessons I’m learning now, these lessons about Living?
The truth is, it’s entirely possible that this health scare is just that – a scare. I’ll do what I need to do to take care of whatever needs to be done, but while I’m waiting for the next step in whatever will happen with doctors and health insurance companies …
What if I play with these ideas and see where they take me?
Follow the Energy. Choose what’s Light. (Other tools I’ve studied).
I have so many projects on my desk that I haven’t been able to focus on. My job – thank you, merciful God – is challenging during the day but doesn’t leave me exhausted. And I get home early and have time and energy to play in my room and see what I can make.
There it is. That’s the point I’ve been working toward.
Don’t wait. Create.
And that’s what I’ll do. I’ll blog about it along the way in the posts tagged and titled “Joy Station.” For more fun with this story, follow along in my blog or on my Facebook page.
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