Updated: Sep 21, 2020
Our little family of three is self-isolating for 12 more days, although I believe that everybody will be on lockdown soon. I am relieved to be in the safety of our own home, small as our condo is, despite our dwindling supply of fresh food. I am extremely grateful the weather has turned into spring, the birds are coming back and we have outside space in the form of a terrace.
I have been thinking about how this reminds me of my time living with cancer three years ago. I was scared, as I am now. I spent a lot of time alone in our condo, waiting in fear, alone in my thoughts. Now I have the company of my husband and my son, but I’m not sure if that’s a comfort or a curse, as I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, especially the people I love. Layered on top of that is worry for my adult children and their spouses - my son living in the chaotic US, my daughter a pediatric RN, who is now high risk to get sick every time she goes in to work.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I discovered the simple value of getting outside and going for a walk. I dug and dug and found resources – books, podcasts, videos – that helped calm me down when I felt as if I was crawling out of my skin with anxiety and fear.
Many of these are referenced in my Bird’s Eye View book. I’m sharing this list in hopes one of these can give you comfort too. Some of it is cancer-specific, but it is all relevant now. Perhaps there is wisdom from those of us who have already had the unfortunate opportunity to look at our own mortality. These are hard, bone-rattling times.
Slowing Down – In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore, The Busy Trap by Tim Kreider
Calming Down – A Grateful Day by Brother David Steindl-Rast
Walking + Nature - Birds Art Life by Kyo Maclear
Writing – The Wounded Storyteller by Arthur Frank, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Thinking – Good Life Project Podcast
Humour – SickBoys Podcast
Illness Identity – Illness as a Metaphor by Susan Sontag, The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde
Uncertainty - The In-Between Days by Teva Harrison
Being Brave - The Power of Vulnerability Ted Talk by Brené Brown
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