I wrote the post below a year ago, about a month after I had rightie lopped off and after several months of thinking almost exclusively about breast cancer. At the time I was thinking a lot about how you pick yourself up and get a move on even through the big crap that gets slung your way and how everyone does it differently and how for some it is easier than others and how you just have to keep working at it so that when the next big thing gets thrown in your path, you are ready.
This fall I have been reminded all over again of this bouncing importance. And as a result I have travelled Forrest Gump distances and have spent a lot of time in my own head and what has been kind of a wobbly, cloudy fall is just now starting to stabilize and become a little more clear and the feeling that things will work out is starting to override my worry that they won’t. Hope, I guess and a good reminder to keep working on this bouncing thing.
People ask me everyday what I learned or do differently since breast cancer. This is it. Bounce or bouncing back are words I have been thinking about a lot lately. I described it to a friend the other day as the ability to bounce back from really crappy things that happen in life. There is some importance to the speed and the resiliency in which you recover, heal and move forward even when faced with terrible things. And everyone does it differently but it seems like some people are able to bounce high and light, no matter what the challenge and others struggle for altitude in a state of semi deflation. I have felt both ways.
Bouncers seem to go with the flow, change and adapt easier than others. This isn’t to say that bouncers don’t get upset or mourn or get angry, I think they do, but they don’t spend an insurmountable amount of time or energy there; they don’t get stuck very long in those feelings. These people seem to have strategies for handling the hard stuff too-some kind of tool box they go to when things get rough. Family, community, or nature, are maybe some of these tools.
At first glance this seems like it is all a head deal but maybe there is more to it than that. There is something to be said for feeling physically good and maybe that plays just as a big a role in bouncing as the mental thing does. I think about moving and fresh air, good food and rest and playing and how good you feel when all of those things are happening, consistently. Your body hums in thanks, I think, adding to your bouncing ability.
So when asked, the thing that I’ve changed most in the last several months is the diligence I place in making sure that I can bounce. Especially because I know I will use bouncing skills over and over again. Life is not one smooth ride, after all. This bouncing thing takes work and practice and isn’t easy but the resilience I feel post BC is the payoff.