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Article by Wendy McCance
I don’t know about you, but when I have gone through life changing experiences, I end up reevaluating my life. It seems that something always ends up getting tweaked. In the past, I have changed jobs, shuffled through friends extracting toxic relationships and most recently, I decided I needed a summer to just feel like a kid again.
It’s ironic that hearing you have cancer can bring out your worst fears and at the same time expose a side where you no longer care so much what others might think. It becomes more important to really live your life authentically and enjoy the experience of living a happy existence.
I was convinced I was authentic in the way I lived my life until I decided to spend a summer reliving favorite childhood memories. I don’t mean the big stuff like vacations to Disneyland or going away to camp. I wanted to enjoy the little things without the insecurity of feeling to old to do such things. I mean, what would others think if I was building a sandcastle with childlike enthusiasm or sat on a swing and ate a Popsicle? Sometimes I think being a stay at home mom is the only way you can attempt something so daring. Your kids are by your side so of course you must be doing these activities solely to support your child having a good time.
Well, I’ve always thought it was sad that you get to a certain age and society frowns on the person who splashes in a puddle or blows a few bubbles. After my diagnosis, I threw hesitation out the window and decided I wanted to just be me and take advantage of really enjoying summer the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
I actually started a journal to write down the things I did each day that thrilled me. I want the kids to look back one day with memories of a mom who just enjoyed life no matter how simple the moments without feeling insecure about just being myself. So far, I’ve created some really good memories.
This was the summer I took bike rides with my son, made runs to 7-Eleven for Slurpees, spent full days reading piles of books, grabbed the kids and went on candy runs to the drugstore and cooked up all types of favorite foods from my childhood.
One of my best recent memories was the evening I sat on some patio furniture with my husband after dinner. We drank glasses of cherry wine and let the sprinkler spray us every time it landed in our direction. We just laughed and told stories until dusk. By the end we were soaked, dared each other to run through the sprinkler and did so just to amuse each other. It was so liberating and a lot of fun. I was thrilled my husband let down his guard and decided it didn’t matter what the neighbors thought. He’s been a real trooper. Anyway, I pointed out that if anyone walked by and saw us, they would probably want to know the “cool” neighbors who felt so at ease and knew how to have a good time. I mean, if I saw a couple like that, I would want to get to know them. Thankfully, my husband agreed.
My next great idea is to throw an outdoor afternoon tea party. A Bring Your Own Teacup affair. Of course it will be a proper English tea although I’m sure there will be some liquor soaked drinks as well. A perfect way to end the summer. 😉
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