Books · Cancer · Friendship · Life

Don’t think about zebras

Don’t do it…

I’m so tired of thinking about breast cancer, mastectomies, and reconstruction surgery. I’m tired of trying to get my energy and fitness up to speed up recovery and watching what I eat so I can lose weight. I’m tired of obsessing about my underarms. I decided not to think about those things for a little while. 

Have you ever tried to do that? To tell yourself not to think about something? Its like that old saying goes: clear your mind and don’t think about zebras. It’s impossible. I’d be watching a movie, folding clothes, showering, whatever, and find myself having been down some long cancer path. It was exhausting. 

I received a gift in the mail from old college friends, people I haven’t seen in decades and haven’t had a non-online conversation with in just as long. When we knew each other we were kids and now we have kids. Our career paths have gone in what wound up being similar directions and if we lived near each other now I know we’d be great in-person friends. They sent me a couple of books in exactly the right genres for right now. Easier to read, nothing to invest too much thought into, thoroughly engaging. 

I’ve been struggling with reading for the past few months. I’d read and find my mind wandering and need to go back several pages to catch what I missed while cancer was at the forefront of my brain. As it is, I am in the middle of three books, which is usually my limit of “for fun” reading. I decided to start one of these gift books anyway, and I am so glad I did. 

In 36 hours of cleaning, cooking, researching, sleeping, and care taking, I’ve devoured it. Thank goodness it is a series! I woke up yesterday and cleared my plate as soon as I could in order to binge read instead of mindlessly browsing the Internet in my spare moments or poking through the chores of my day. It was glorious. Reading has been a sanctuary for me in the past and I am so lucky to have been given the opportunity to make it so again. And guess what? Not a single zebra.  

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