It started with a list. I guess it wasn’t just any old list. It was a list of things to do to step out and enjoy this world. Explore. Break boundaries. Discover.
Back in 2019, my sister passed away after a 10+ year battle with cancer. I was happy to have been by her side over those last few weeks. Nothing like death to bring life into perspective. The things we spend time on. The things we feel we ‘must’ do. The daily grind of schedules. Meetings. Multi-tasking like crazy. Taking that time off to be with my sister and her family. Alternating shifts at the hospital. Sleeping on that sofa bed in the room. It gives you time to think. Think a lot. Oh sure, there’s a good amount of “I shouldas” and “I couldas” to go around but I know my sisters, she wouldn’t want any of us dwelling on that. But putting my sister first and not work was new for me. It made me change how I feel about what I spend time on. Am I doing things I want to do. Or I am doing things that I have to do. Am I doing more for others than for myself in taking care of my needs? Do I even remember what to do with my free time? What do I like to do? What have I wanted to do more of but never had the time, took the time or felt allowed to do.
I had decided 2019 was my year to live my life. I was turning 55 and I decided I would make a list of 55 things I would do in my 55th year on this earth. These were things that I had wanted to do that I never took the time to do or allow myself to do them. I had spent time preparing my list to make sure I could take advantage of the time once my birthday rolled around in 2019 (April). But as luck – or maybe not luck – would have it, my Mom fell ill and was moved into hospice care. This was in March. By the end of March, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Two days after my birthday, I was having surgery to remove the cancer and related things. In less than a week after that, my Mom passed away. One month later, I started chemotherapy.
The list went on hold.
Now, it was a matter of dealing with the grief of losing my sister and Mom within a year of each other. Now I was facing the hardest challenge of my life without my Mom and the wisdom of my oldest sister. 2019 was a bit of a blur to some extent. Got all my chemo and radiation done and set my sights on 2020. 2020 would be the year.
Cue the list!
So, 2020 started with such promise! I was teeing up that list and ready to roll! But a crazy thing happened … Covid. ‘Nuff said. And here we are and the story begins!