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The Chalkboard

I finished reading or rather listening to Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. The memoir was unlike any I'd ever read full of hilarious and at times a little left-of-center stories of his upbringing. It's full of insights, ideas, and thoughts on life in general. This is not a plug for the book because let's face it, he doesn't need it. The book has been very popular. Rather it's more what I gleaned from listening to his journey.

This book has so many things I want to remember, I'll have to buy the print version because I can't remember anything anymore, even if it's tidbits of great wisdom.

Again, this post isn't about McConaughey, it's about taking a cruise through my own life and realizing change is inevitable. I'm almost a year out from my last chemo session, and healthwise, it still looks good, with some exceptions. Like I said earlier, I have trouble remembering things, walking is treacherous because of the neuropathy in my feet, but mostly, I'm having a disastrous time dropping the weight I gained through it all.

Through a program that's part of our health insurance, I'm taking part in a year-long course for better health and weight loss. The coaches are great. The information and virtual meetings are great, but I'm still struggling. I scheduled a one-on-one with my coach to talk about my problem. I went on and bemoaned the fact that I wasn't who I used to be, and wondered when things would be back to normal. And then she said something that could have made me angry, but it didn't. It was an A-Ha moment like I've never had before. She said my normal could very well be gone, and this was the life I now had. A different one. One molded by my entire life, but nonetheless one dissimilar to what I knew.

A new lesson plan was on the board...the chalkboard.

Remember how in school when the teacher erased the previous words or numbers on the board, you could still see remnants of what was there but now something new was predominate? This is life. The only way to completely remove what was beneath was to wash the board. To me, washing the board would be equivalent to full and complete amnesia, and so few of us actually have our chalkboards washed.

I'm moving on to a new lesson plan, shaped by all the lessons I've learned. I have to embrace the new plan because the old plan isn't viable anymore. I can't totally re-invent myself. I don't believe that's possible. No matter who you decide to become, the faded images on the board still influence who you are.

My upcoming trip to Disney will in all probability include lugging around a wheelchair I'll need at times, but the new way I see Disney won't diminish the love I have for Disney. It's part of my chalkboard.

I have to find a new way to exercise. I love Zumba. The possibility of me getting through an hour with my feet now is slim. You know what I do love? Swimming. The gym has a pool, and I've always been a good swimmer. I will expand on hitting the water more.

I have so many books I want to write. Gone are the days of spending five to six hours writing. My focus is limited now. I can do an hour. One hour of greatness is better than five hours staring at a blank page. Those chalkboard snippets of books I want to write have faded into books I can write. I won't get to them all, but that's okay unless the one I don't write would have been the one hitting the New York Times Bestseller list. I guess I'll never know, but I'll still love it.

The new plan on my chalkboard is to love more and care less. Does that make sense? Of course, it does. My list of things I care about is shrinking. I care about loving my family, my friends, and my pets. I care about being the healthiest I can be. I care about good TV. I care about being a good person. That's about it. I don't care about the price of concert tickets. I won't go. The price of gas? I'll drive less. Facebook and Twitter arguments. Why does anyone care about those? Fixing stupid? Nope. I don't care. I don't care about who thinks the Superbowl halftime show is awful? I'm just happy to be able to watch it. I can't save humanity. I can't save the planet, but I can save myself.

My chalkboard will still be messy but a little less so.

My chalkboard will be colorful and happy. What about yours?

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