Hello 2022

19 Jan

It has been a LONG time since I’ve written a blog post and honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would ever write another, but here I am. The last blog I wrote was right around the time Alex left for school making us empty nesters. Since then, I’d like to say that I’ve enjoyed all this ‘independent time’ not having to think about meals, sporting events, clothes for homecoming or prom, etc., but I haven’t. For the last 6 months I’ve been mostly sad. Not only are we in what seems like an endless global pandemic, but I also have cancer; both pointing toward a daily life of uncertainty. Time is my love language so having the youngest leave the house meant that that phase of motherhood and seeing them more often than not, was gone. Cancer already opens your eyes to your mortality so any less time with those you love is exactly that, less time. HOWEVER, I do realize that our job as parents is to grow independent kids and cheer them on as they learn to fly, so I guess I’m sad AND happy.

In the past 3 months I have been to 2 funerals; one a friend from church and the other, wife of a childhood friend that I grew up with. Both women younger than me, both moms, and both passing away from cancer. A friend of my husband’s passed away suddenly, another friend’s dad passed from cancer, and another friend’s young (younger than me), healthy boyfriend passed away just last week. All within the past 3 months. Time is our most precious commodity. Faith in a big God is still my peace.

What now? The pandemic is still raging. I still have cancer. People are struggling. All people are struggling. I am still mostly sad but getting better. All of the kids were home for the holidays which brought me so much joy and watching them come and go and ‘do their thing’ helped me be grateful for where they are AND where I am in life. We can start there, gratitude.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions but for the past few years I have picked a word of the year. Last year I chose the word ‘simple’ and it was so helpful. It became a mantra and reminder for me to keep things simple and to really focus on simpler solutions. I had it on a bracelet, and I printed it on the opening page of my planner and journal. This year I have chosen 2 words and they’ve already been SO helpful. My first word is Kairos. There is linear, chronos or chronological time and then there’s Kairos, or my definition of those magical moments not necessarily confined within those minutes. Glennon Doyle has written, ‘Kairos is God’s time. It’s time outside of time. It’s metaphysical time. Kairos is those magical moments when time stands still.‘ Since cancer I have always sought after those magical moments and now more than ever, we need the magic.

My second word is ‘AND’. I chose this word because with most things in life, two things can be true at once. Life can be beautiful AND brutal (an amazing full life AND cancer). I can be both sad that my kids are gone AND happy that they’re becoming these healthy independent adults. We can be grieving lives we thought would be different AND still find joy and laughter. We can be disappointed AND still hopeful. We can be scared AND still be brave enough to take that next step forward. For me, focusing on this simple word has been so powerful. If we can remember that there is an ‘and’, it makes lots of things feel more ok…well at least it does for me.

Have you chosen a word? An intention? We have one life.


6 Responses to “Hello 2022”

  1. Joey Fritz January 19, 2022 at 8:27 pm #

    Thank you for sharing! My friend Terri Franklin followed your blog and loved it . She died from metastatic breast cancer in October at 64. She wanted more time but it wasn’t to be . She had strong faith and assured us she’d be OK to die. I’ve lost 2more friends since then and I before -4 in a year. I don’t have cancer but with each one I’m reminded of my own mortality more and more . My word for 2022 is “Gratitude”. I want to look for gratitude in even the simplest things and things that are hard.Thank you Anna for sharing your journey with us all. Peace be with you AND blessings.
    Joey Fritz

    • Anna January 20, 2022 at 8:51 am #

      Thank you Joey and I’m so sorry to hear about your friend(s). Gratitude is such a great word; sometimes hard to find in sad situations but there is always something to be grateful for❤️

  2. Vera Miller January 19, 2022 at 9:53 pm #

    Anna,thank you so very much for the word, and. I need that in my life right now. And I am glad that you are keeping ahead of cancer. My battles are much smaller but (and) they still feel so dark and scary. Thank you for the reminder that there is an and.

    • Anna January 20, 2022 at 8:49 am #

      Thanks Vera! Doesn’t ‘and’ make it seem a little more ok? It’s also a reminder for me to take a breath

  3. Janet Szymanski January 19, 2022 at 11:44 pm #

    Please let me know if you would be interested in speaking for 45 minutes at the ABWA suburban chapter meeting. The openings we have for speakers are the 3rd Tuesday of the month for August, September, October and November. Please have the people you have interested submit a bio, talk topic and description, and headshot. Here is a copy of January’s invite so they have details on time/location. Local ABWA chapter website: http://abwa-suburban.org/ and ABWA organization: https://www.abwa.org/

    Thanks, Janet Szymanski (586)549-0220 ________________________________

    • Anna January 20, 2022 at 8:48 am #

      Hi Janet! Thank you so much and I’d love to come speak. I will check out your website😊

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