Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day +18 What If?

What would you do if you got a do-over? Sing-songy high and gleeful from a playground like that, DO-OVER! The chance to not make that mistake, the chance to undecide the bad decisions, or even the chance to do the things you didn't do but should have?

I've been thinking about that lately, mostly because I have not been able to sleep here in this strange bed with my stubble-headed scalp sticking and dragging over the pillow like an old set of felt Colorforms, but also because I have gotten as close as can be to a re-do. A reset, really, of my immune system, sure, but what if I took it further?

What if I decided that now is the time to lie and tell people I am extremely allergic to fish and mushrooms just so they'll stop pushing forks at my mouth because come on, try it, you'll love it! (No, no I won't.)

What if I decided that I like people now, like right away, strangers, friends of friends, my gut instinct now that you are going to be everything I love in a person instead of holding back, wary, inwardly sighing, waiting until I can get away, because really? What if I just liked you?

What if I ate a salad every day, and I'm not just saying the top layer of nuts, cheese and fruit, but the whole thing, dry leaves and all?

What if I dressed only in bright colors?

What if?

What if I stopped letting fear make my decisions, to live, to work, to write that book I've always wanted to write? 

And here is where it gets scary, of course, where my brain reflexively sucks inward to protect itself like a throat closing up around a large, dry pill, because what if it didn't work? This whole thing? The stem cell treatment. The salad. The people, because most people do kind of suck, don't they? Right? What if I wrote a book and it was terrible? And I still had MS? And I looked terrible in yellow.

This is a post with no resolution, just a bunch of what ifs on the 18th day of my immune system, a day when we went to the beach and watched schools of little kid surfers on foam boards get pummeled by waves and stand up again laughing.
Tomorrow I go to the clinic for blood work, the results of which should tell me when I get to go home. My dad and I have placed bets; my chip is on Thursday. Already they have removed my picc line, a process that turned my stomach as they pulled the cappellini-sized catheter from somewhere near my heart and out of my arm like a hair pulled out of butter.

But that's just a guess, Thursday, a what if it was? And I got to go home before the next Shabbat Shalom? Allergic to fish? And right away I liked you, whoever you are, my opening line to my new stranger friends, what would you do if you got a do-over?



Mr. X said...


Every moment is the chance for a Do-Over!

It doesn't require a special event such as New Years Day, a 40th Birthday, or even the result of a Lab Test. A Do-Over is only a thought away and it's infinitely renewable.

I'll share something with you that a therapist once suggested to me:

"Don't figure out, find out!"

His advice was the result of my 'analysis paralysis' in trying to make decisions about many things. Mostly my health, but also my job, my life, etc.

I would spend so much time researching, analyzing, and then thinking about all the 'What if...' scenarios, and trying to reconcile all the conflicting information. Which was impossible.

As a result, in order to avoid making a 'bad' decision, I would keep doing the same things. The same things that were clearly NOT working for me.

It took me a while to start incorporating his advice (and, I sometimes still struggle with it), but it really did make a difference.

Now is the time, dearest Susannah. I'll be cheering for you.


Mr. X

Petunia Face said...

Mr. X, I need you as my therapist, please, even if it is just you telling me what your therapist told you, a telephone game of therapy that I hope doesn't get too mutated along the way. Because seriously. You say it like it is.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Indeed, Mr. X is very wise and there is nothing to add, really.
I wouldn't opt for a do-over though, wouldn't change a thing, even my mistakes worked out in retrospect.
I trust my intuition.

My fingers are crossed for you, Susannah, that Thursday is the day for you to go home!!

Cathi said...

No Do-overs here either as I have lived like by the seat of my pants and followed my heart always and enjoyed the journey - all the good, bad and extremely tragic times as it has brought me to where I am today. I think Mr. X is truly a wise man - can he be my therapist too? :) fingers and toes crossed that Thursday is your day! xxoo

Cathi said...

*life that is.

Richie Designs said...

I quit my job. Friday was my last day. I have worked there on and off for almost 20 years. I'm going to the National Stationery Show in Ny in May this year because I don't want to think what if about my love of greeting cards and maybe just maybe of having my own line.

I decided if it's a big fat failure that at least I know for sure. The not knowing is too painful.

So no what if. I'm jumping off the cliff and really hoping the parachute opens on the way down!

Petunia Face said...

Richie! DO-OVER!

Congratulations on your decision. You are beyond talented, and I have absolutely no doubt that parachute will open and as you hang there floating to the place you're supposed to be you'll only wonder why you didn't jump sooner.

Mazel tov!

Mr. X said...

It would be my pleasure to remind you and Cathi that you're both far greater than you may currently realize.

I love talking to young children about their dreams and what they want to do when they get older. "I want to be Spiderman" or "I want to be a Princess." If only I could borrow their wide-eyed optimism and conviction.

When we're kids, our imaginations have no limits. We don't worry about growing older, paying taxes, getting sick, etc. We're happy. We follow our bliss. We eat dessert first, if given the chance. We run, skip, and ride our bikes. We sleep soundly. We love completely and forgive easily.

It's not about learning anything new. It's about remembering what we've forgotten. I believe happiness is part of our innate blueprint.

Your posts have been inspirational to me, Susannah. They've helped me to remember things I've also forgotten.


Mr. X

gbm said...

I'd be the first to buy your book!! And I meant to add to your post about scarves that I think you should go for it; you can swing the looks. And there are also lots of cute, lightweight slouchy beanies that would look great on you!

kirsten said...

Chills and a big smile reading this.

Rebecca Bartlett said...

No do-overs. Only tomorrow. Inspired. Xoxo