Once in a bible study it was said that everyone hordes something and it stopped me in my tracks. Then it challenged us to go even deeper: what are we actually hording? If we were hording books, for instance, what did it represent? Knowledge? Education?
That’s when I realized that all of my life I have horded time. When I was a teenager my mother would actually remind me that not every Friday night had to be “the best night ever”, with Saturday night topping it. But I felt like it had to. Every holiday should be the best holiday ever. When we ate at a restaurant I would order the special, because, well, it was special! In the summer it was all about the seasonal fruits and vegetables, in the fall I couldn’t wait to have pumpkin spice everything, and I would listen to Christmas carols exclusively for the month of December. I celebrated my birthday every single year, not just the ones ending in five or zero.
We fostered kittens, along with our 2 cats, 2 dogs, 2 bearded dragons and a 5 foot snake because I wanted our house teeming with life. It didn’t help that we lived in Vegas, getting complimentary ticket to shows, dinners and sporting events. Our days were full and exciting things were happening all the time.
Then came the cancer diagnosis, followed by the estimated 12-18 months left to live. Then I really didn’t think there was going to be enough time. I used to take my kids to the park in the middle of the night, just because. We had parties for any reason we could think of. We set fancy tables with china on a Tuesday night. I wanted my kids to remember every single day as the best day that would be in their memories forever.
An experimental treatment was tried on me to buy me more precious time. Nobody ever thought that it would eradicated the disease, just keep it at bay to give me more time. Day by day, moth by month, year by year went by. It has now been 13 years since I’ve had any evidence of cancer in my body. But somewhere (maybe recently) along the way I learned that it IS enough.
When I ask my kids what their memories of their childhood are, they don’t mention the trip to Hawaii or going to a heavy metal club on a school night when they were all under 10. (Even I question my judgement on that one) They remember Sunday dinners around the table for hours, watching movies in the living room under blankets, and Christmas mornings at home. They like having friends over to play video games and have snacks. Just regular old snacks.
I have enough. I have plenty, maybe even more than enough. I have learned to find the sacredness in the ordinary and the beauty in the routine. I have learned to love Mondays as much as Fridays. I have stopped looking at every holiday as potentially my last and took on Martha Stewarts outlook. When asked what her favorite holiday was, she said “the next one coming up.” Yes, and liken to Winnie the Pooh, my favorite day is Today.