Ever since cancer showed up over a year and a half ago, I noticed that people really struggle with how to handle it. It’s been curious to watch, but I really don’t have time to help people go through whatever it is they need to go through. I’ve been busy.
Not to be gruff, but there are two kinds of people. Those who show up and help and those who show up to process their own stuff. Guess which we like.
We like lattes, help with sprinklers, food, good company who bring their own lunches and drinks, good chats, short visits, help when Shannon can’t take me to appointments/procedures (thanks sister), spontaneous help with moving or something unique that we just need then and there. Life is moving fast. We also need downtime.
I’ve enjoyed seeing people I haven’t seen in a while. They have been for the most part awesome and respectful of energy and the conversations and fun times have been just what was needed. My childhood friends and my Seattle friends – I can’t wait to see the rest. It’s been wonderful. My terrific work wives and boss. Amazing.
But wow, there has been maintenance. We decided to have a no-text weekend this weekend. We aren’t responding to those who want updates and info that we just don’t have the time to share after last week. We will for the most part respond eventually, but I just can’t believe the people (with good intentions) who have come out of the woodwork and who expect us to interact. Where have they been this whole time? How have they ever helped? How are they actually in my life in a way that is healthy? Some are great and of course I want to keep interacting with, but not really in a timely or detailed manner. Some are not great and are a drain. Again, it’s clear to see it’s about their own feelings on this illness that they are reflecting on, it’s not actually about sharing a latte and a brief fun conversation.
I am so glad there is a thing on the iphone that shuts off any correspondence between certain times. Most of the ones that are out of the woodwork text me before 9 am or after 10 pm. I am terminal and have had nothing but procedures. I’m tired. Our sleep is sacred. It is jaw dropping how many people text us (both if they don’t hear from one!) even during cancer bedtime hours. This is a big clue on who does not really know who we are or what we go through each day. I’m still paralyzed, and homebound, and can’t drive, and can’t host you, and things will get worse, and Shannon works full-time and takes care of everything cuz that’s how she is, and she’s my partner and I’m becoming protective of her energy and output. And I’m dying. Deal with it, we’re dealing with it. Take a look at us and get your clues so you know how to interact. We don’t dwell or dredge up past stuff that is heavy, we are looking right at it and are here and now dealing with the present moment. On the patio. You’re missing the point!
People have been great. But they have also been a buzzkiller. We won’t let that drain us anymore.