It is interesting to me how a single message can impact me differently depending when I hear it.
This weekend, I went through my closet, yet again. It's staggering how many times I can revisit the same items and find more and more items I am willing to release each time. We have to be out of our house by Thursday morning so that the Estate Sale folks can come in and organize, stage, and price all those things that we are not keeping. All the practice I've put into letting things go is now having to operate at professional-level muscle memory.
I'm not much for fancy jewelry. I don't usually change up my earrings, bracelets, or rings but I do like necklaces. I have a small collection but more than I need or wear. As I was cruising through them, I found one that I hadn't seen in a long while, but I immediately put it on.
Back in 2008 and 2009, I did the Atlanta Breast Cancer 3-Day. I had been diagnosed the first time in early December 2007, so when I did the walk in 2008, I was post-surgery, but had no additional treatments. In October 2009, I had just been rediagnosed and completed my first chemo on a Monday and began the 3-Day that Friday (yes, I had my oncologist's permission, with some limitations). I was on a team called Angels 4 Angels* and the women that began the group were lovely, inspiring, and committed to seeing an end to breast cancer.
At the team party post-walk, I was presented with a necklace with the words "Embrace Life" engraved on it. I wore it with a passion that I reserved for very few things. It was a talisman that I wore to remind me that I am fighting for my life each and every day.
I don't remember when I took it off, but I found it yesterday buried behind several other necklaces.
And the words, those same words, ring differently today. Today I am seizing the life I have been given with a gusto that makes me feel awake. I am currently living a life that is not at all on auto-pilot (you know, when you realize you've driven home and you can't remember making the drive). I am making mistakes, and forgetting things, and making messes, but I'm embracing it all.
It's such deliciousness to embrace it all.
* If you're interested in doing the Atlanta 3-Day, I encourage you to reach out to this team. They're still going strong 12 years on.