What comes next?


In the last 3 months I’ve written plenty of things that should have made it on to my blog. Funny things, cancer-related things, non-cancer-related things. But they never seem to quite get there because I get distracted, or I get tired, or I worry it’s too negative, or I binge-watch something on Netflix. You’d think that not having to work would mean I had all the time in the world to be doing the things I want but it hasn’t really worked out that way.

A large part of my self-worth has always been tied to working. During times of unemployment my general well-being crashed as I faced rejection letter after rejection letter and spent days on end at home because I had no money. Now because of everything I’ve been through with cancer, I’m not capable of what I was capable of before. So what do I do?

As much as most of us complain about work, I don’t believe adults were designed to have total freedom every day. Not unless you’ve got the bank balance to go with it! We need a focus, or a distraction.

Being home is fantastic at first. You get a few things done around the house that have been neglected because you haven’t had the time and you sit on the couch in a silence you never knew could actually exist in your normally noisy and hectic home. Then you’ll binge watch that Netflix show everyone was talking about months ago.

But then what?

Once the novelty wears off and you realise that this is the new norm rather than a nice break from reality, it gets a little stale.

The gaps between catching up with friends seem longer because you don’t have the distraction of work nor the need for down time from it because every day is down time. I feel like I should be doing something productive, something that contributes. My pass times and hobbies have become what occupies me full time and I can’t enjoy them because I constantly feel like there are other more important things I should be doing I’m just not sure what they are.

I keep wondering when life will click into place. I had spent 34 years becoming the person I was before I was diagnosed with cancer. I knew that person well and I liked her. I always knew I liked her back then but post-cancer I realise even more just how much. She was an awesome chick capable of anything she set her mind to. I really miss being her.

I wonder how long it will take to get to know this version of me. This menopausal version who can’t physically stand high temperatures or humidity (great when you live on the coast) and gets hangry in way I never imagined possible. Whose conversations can be an impromptu game of Taboo because I need to give the other person clues so we can figure out what I’m trying to say together. Who suffers from sleep procrastination and finds it difficult to get motivated. Who suddenly enjoys holiday planning and keeps having dreams of running a marathon despite carrying enough excess weight to create a small human and who hates/detests/loathes running. Yet at least twice a week I dream or day dream about running a marathon and cry when I imaginarily cross the finish line. Between menopause, the cumulative psychological impact of cancer and the immense physical changes my body has gone through, it’s hard to know where to start to get things back on track again.

I used to be so good at leaping before looking and hoping for the best. But then, I could take for granted that I had time to claw my way back if it all went pear-shaped, which it has many, many times. There are only so many times you want to be the cause of upheaval in your families life.

I want to move forward, out of this holding pattern I’ve been in, I’m just not sure I know how to do it. Like with so many of us, finances are my biggest concern. I’m really quite fond of the roof over my head. I’ve been the primary income earner for 5 years and where we live, full time jobs for Naomi are hard to come by at the moment. I don’t want to break us again. And despite knowing that only I hold the answer, I find myself asking the question – what comes next?


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