week #39 in an experimental year…

One of my rituals for each new year is to choose a word to influence me for the year.   My word for 2011 is EXPERIMENT.   To support my EXPERIMENTAL focus, I commit to post the results of a new experiment each Sunday of this year.

If you’re reading this,  you’re alive.

If you’re reading this,  one day you will no longer be alive.

If you’re reading this, you have a choice about how to live in The Gap between the two.

I’m calling my experiment this week 40 Minutes.  Stick with me here and I’ll try to explain.

Like so many of you out there, my family is in turmoil these days, as we live into the experience of stage 4 cancer.  Some of us are in denial.  Some are angry.  Some are trying to stay incredibly busy.  Some are so distraught they can’t do anything. And some, like me, fluctuate between all of these at any given moment.

Last week, I found myself putting way too much energy into trying to help everyone else Deal With It better.   Then I realized that wasn’t working for any of us.  So I started just trying to Deal With It myself.   I can pull that off about 40 given minutes out of 60.   Those 40 minutes feel pretty raw and holy and grateful.  Who knows, maybe I’ll work my way up to 50 minutes – or at least 47.

In the meantime, I’ve already learned a life changing lesson about myself.   I know I’ve let the events of  Those Other 20 Minutes take command when I have a knot in my stomach.  So during this time in the Gap, I’m going to pay attention to that knot.   And when it’s been there too long, I’m going to do whatever I need to do to get rid of it.  Then I can move back into the 40 Minute Zone and be of help to my sister, myself , my family, friends and that guy who works at the KFC in Burgaw.   He’s probably still wondering why I started crying when he asked if my order was for here or to go.

What 40 Mintues/Gap/or Knot stories do you have to share?

7 thoughts on “week #39 in an experimental year…

  1. Oh the reality of it all! the fact that in the big picture We don’t have Control and yet our human side strives so hard at achieving this. while I have been saddened by the loss of those close to me , I haven’t experienced the loss of a parent,a spouse, a child or a sibling. That will surely be the ultimate test of faith (even unto my own death) of turning that control over to God the Father. how thankful I am in knowing that He cares for us even in our weakest moments when our faith is the lowest. So I pray as We loose control may we also gain strength and peace from the One who holds us dear.

  2. Great awareness, Lisa, in the midst of it all. Thanks for allowing us to learn alongside you. Lots of love to you.

  3. Lisa, I have typed in and deleted I don’t know how many different attempts here to share my thoughts on this hard, hard situation. I guess, to put it simply, in our similar situations, my family made it through the gaps by loving each other; and I cling to the belief that those people we loved and eventually lost, were finally relieved from their earthly pain, free to experience what comes next—hopefully something wonderful.

  4. I’ve never paid attention to how I’ve made it through the gaps….I know I have somehow, but couldn’t tell you how.

    So, today, I have no words; I’m just sending you a hug!

  5. Hello Lisa! Thanks so much for sharing your life with us. I think we are all learning lessons from each other on your journey. This one I knew right away what my answer was.

    Many years ago I had a fanstastic boss whose name was Donna. She worked my schedule upside down and sideways so that I could graduate from college as a working single mom. She was an amazing woman and I still keep her as one of my top ten fave people ever.

    She lost her husband and got through it ,and then she lost her mom. Her beloved charming mom died over the space of several months from cancer. She lived with Donna and Donna was her prime caregiver. Donna still had to get up every morning and come to work managing a toy store and us, her unruly crew while her mom was dying. Toy stores are pretty happy places to work and Donna always had a cheerful smile and a great attitude, I knew how much pain she was in and what she was coping with, and one day I asked her how she did it? She told me two true things:

    One: aerobic worrying. You are going to worry anyway choose a time of day to really get into it and don’t deny the worry. (For me its usually around 4:00 a.m. when the world collapses) Worry, worry, worry, fret your heart out for one hour. Okay, now you have worried and gone down every awful what if scenario? Your hour is up, you can’t make it better by more worrying so let it go. Aerobic worrying, head on confrontation of fear–with a limit.

    Two: The Cranky/Fear/Worry Bush: Choose a shrub outside your house or business, designate it as the Cranky/Fear/Worrybush. We call ours the crap tree. Visualize packing up all your worry, crankiness and fear in a big bag. Mentally hang that bag on the bush before you set foot in your house with your clearer and calmer mind. When you go back out, mentally, pick up the bag. It will wait for you, it ins’t going anywhere. Just knowing you have safely stashed your “mental crap” helps to be more present, if you need it, go out and pick it up and carry it around, rummage in it to find what you need, but try to leave it outside.

    That’s why Donna could smile and be so present for us. She knew it was all there, but she was able to hang it up for awhile which lightens the burden.
    Sending you peace, joy and love!

  6. Susan,Alicia, Mary Louise, Judi and Rox, THANKS for sharing your stories and for your hugs. i sure feel them.
    Rox, thanks especially for the introduction to Donna and her aerobic worrying and crap trees. i’ll use them BOTH.

    blessin’s all of all of you and yours…

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