Happy New Year & Other Such Things

2014This is a very weird New Year’s day in that it is absolutely just another day in my life. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

Good thing: I have finally achieved some level of zen-ness (is that a word?) in that I am as “be in the moment” as I can possibly be. Future plans? Somewhere off in the future. If at all. Maybe, or maybe not. Future surgery: Monday. Fear, destruction, pain. Oh well, I’ll get through it.

Bad thing: Emotionally immobilized by fear of the above.

A friend asked me how I felt about the impending surgery and I told her I just couldn’t get into thinking about it. I knew it was coming and I knew I would feel things as the time got closer, but right now it was in my future, not my present. I was very proud of feeling that. How mature I am, how wise. How not ruminating on what might or might not be in the future that I absolutely cannot control anyway.

Then I remembered one afternoon years ago sitting in the office of my first therapist. We were discussing the fact that I rarely cried. Why is that, she asked. And asked again. And asked finally in a way that elicited this answer: Because I’m afraid that once I start crying, I won’t be able to stop. 

A goodly number of therapeutic hours (and dollars!) after that, I was finally sitting in my therapist’s office crying. I can’t even remember over what. What I recall is that she waited for me to finish snuffling and wiping my nose and then she said, See, you stopped.

Here’s the lesson I got from that, and it’s one that I’ve learned time and again over the years: I’m afraid to feel things. Not just bad things, but good things as well. Simply put, I’m wary of being overwhelmed with emotion, and the simplest way to protect myself is to, well, protect myself from feeling too much.

Is that what I’m doing with the impending surgery? Do I feel sort of devil-may-care and philosophical about what it entails because I’m protecting myself from some deep, debilitating emotion?

Or am I really just kinda philosophical about the whole thing? I made the decision to have it. It will hurt. Something might go wrong. I will spend some amount of time post-surgery wishing I was as physically able as I am at this moment. I might have gone through the whole thing for very little reward. I really am aware of all that.

I guess Good Thing or Bad Thing doesn’t really matter because I still end up at the same place. In the O.R., having the surgery and coping in the aftermath in whatever way I have to.

May 2014 bring all of us clarity and vision and patience. Well, particularly I want patience. And my word for the year (which everyone seems to be doing on Facebook): vulnerability.

  • Marci Rich

    Jane, I’ll be thinking of you on Monday and every day thereafter, sending you positive thoughts and healing energy. There’s no right way to go through such trials…you just simply go through them. As one who was diagnosed with not one, but two cancers in a three-week period, I can tell you that we do get through. It’s what we do. Wish I had some beautiful formula for magical thinking that will comfort you right now; all I can do is point out the the fact that you have a multitude of friends pulling for you. Hold on to that, kiddo.

  • Cindy L

    After surviving a horrific medical year (which included 3 surgeries for Mom with dementia and a brutal skin cancer surgery for me), I promise you that it will all get better and all will be fine, really. Still, thinking of you and sending good thoughts. Hope you have lots of great support to see you through!

    Cindy La Ferle

    http://www.laferle.com/2014/01/in-circles-for-friends/

  • http://injaynesworld.blogspot.com/ Jayne

    It’s natural to dread an operation, but fear and faith cannot exist simultaneously. Choose faith,my friend. Put your focus on the outcome you desire. Once you are clear on your intent, you have programmed the most powerful operating system there is: The Universe. You are only in this alone if you choose to be. Sending you lots of good energy and light for the perfect outcome in every way. (((you))) :)

    • http://midlifebloggers.com janegassner

      You are so much more spiritually advanced than I am, Jayne, so I’ll take your good energy and light!

  • Vicki Portune Hughes

    Wishing you enough Zen, and enough emotion to appreciate the finer details, and appreciate this wacky experience we call, Life. Sending prayers for a easy, speedy and complete recovery. Happy Every Day.

    • http://midlifebloggers.com janegassner

      It is wacky, isn’t it, Vicki. I’m so glad that when I have a choice, I will always laugh.

  • Tom Sightings

    It’s scary being on “the other side of sixty” isn’t it? I recently had a health scare myself, but came out okay, and I hope you come out of your surgery okay as well . Afterward, may you feel nothing but a great big sigh of relief.

    • http://midlifebloggers.com janegassner

      Thanks, Tom. It’s not scary being on the other side of sixty so much as interesting, as in VERY INTERESTING….!

  • ccassara

    Peace, calm, health, healing….my thoughts for you….Hugs

    • http://midlifebloggers.com janegassner

      Thanks, Carol. I wonder if they’re let me take my iPhone into the OR…then I could live tweet at least till the moment they actually put me under. (And I’m only half kidding!)

      • ccassara

        I hear you! {Jane}

  • http://www.thefiftyfactor.com/ Joanna Jenkins

    Hi Jane, You’ve been on my mind and your surgery is on the calendar– Each time I see the note I’ve taken a moment and sent my angels your way to calmness and ease through it all. I’m cheering you on.

    LOVE your therapist’s insight– You just saved me a ton of money because I literally cannot remember the last time I had a good cry (including over my mother’s recent death). I yiyi. Things seem to get more complicated as we age. Sigh.

    I’ll be thinking about you on Monday and for the days to come. Hang in there and be well.

    Ohmmmmmmm (That’s zen right? ;-)

    • http://midlifebloggers.com janegassner

      I loved your comment, Joanna. It made me want to sit down across from you and actually talk for a while. Can we arrange to do that in 2014????

      • http://www.thefiftyfactor.com/ Joanna Jenkins

        Absolutely! I would love that. Let’s do it. I’m in West LA and travel to the Valley all the time so when you are ready for company just say the word. I can bring coffee or lunch to you while you recover or we can get together when you’re up and about. Take good care. jj

  • bernthis

    Jane, I will be on an OR table in early Feb and I wish I had the same Zen attitude as you. I can’t sleep and I’m just so worried about how I’m going to handle the recovery. I love you and I will see you on Tuesday. xoxo

    • http://midlifebloggers.com janegassner

      Jess, my first response when I read your comment was to say, “okay, we have a month to get you into a Zen frame of mind.” But then I thought a little more and now I think the worrying is part of your process. It’s how you deal with stuff–and it seems to work for you. So–no Zen for you, missy!

  • Suebob

    I hope the surgery goes well, with the minimum amount of repercussions. These things can make us feel terribly fragile, but they also come with some gifts, if we look hard enough.

    • http://midlifebloggers.com janegassner

      I really do believe that about the gifts, Suebob. I don’t think it’s a matter of looking hard enough; for me, it’s always a case of just waiting till I can say, “oh, yeah, I see why x, y or z happened.”

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