I remember when my oncologist first talked to me about the change in my cancer receptors from hormone positive to hormone negative. We didn’t have the HER2 status yet, and he shared if the HER2 status came back negative, I may have less than a year to live. My first thought, seriously, was “did I just have my last summer? No, no that is NOT how I would have spent my last summer.”
Last summer was a transition summer to my new path on my journey. I was committed to wrapping up my Tahoma job and starting my new Quincy job. I wanted to show Tim my excitement about Wenatchee and Eastern Washington. Family came in and out of my mom’s house, but my focus was diving into my new job. I had attended two AVID conferences (over 8 days of my summer) and was so excited about what I learned. I felt it was a great jumpstart to my job and the path of professional growth and establishing myself in my new district. Because that was my new commitment: continuing and building on the good work Quincy had established around success for all and equitable practices. It was a really good path; it was a good transitional summer, but it was not a really great last summer.
Fortunately, I have been blessed with the opportunity to create what I want for my last summers. The first step to getting full joy of my summers is to quit looking at the path I thought I was going to be on. While I want to keep the friendships and stay connected with QSD’s work, I have to do it from my new path without looking at the previous one with longing. I see this a lot with people. Sometimes we are prevented from fully embracing our new life because we are so committed to the previous one and what we thought that life was going to bring us. I am refusing to do that this time around. I am working daily to gracefully take the fork in the road while celebrating and exploring what this new trail will bring.
Part of taking steps on my new journey, and having my dream summers, is to create a nest in Crescent Bar where I can host friends and family in the sun and all the fun that the river brings. This nest also brings me comfort when I am by myself and it will be a perfect pad for continuing my treatments in Wenatchee. Decorating brings me joy and slowly I am personalizing the Crescent Bar condo so it reflects Tim and me. Okay, it reflects mostly me. But the balcony will be all Tim! Also bringing joy this summer will be a cruise to Alaska with Tim, most of the kids, my sister/her husband, and, if health allows, my mom and grandma.
I am building a summer that does two things: first, sets Tim and me up for more fantastic summers, and, second, should it be my last summer, I can look back and say, damn, that was a really great last summer.