Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What Am I Going To Do?

If it is really true, which is rather a big if, if it is really true that I can think about the future as open and living instead of closed in with illness and death....

then What Am I Going To Do with it?

This is an enormous gift. What shall I do with it?

I have thought a lot about how I relate to the world, as an individual and as a patient. As a mother, as a wife, as a daughter, as a friend, as a relative. Am I generous enough? Am I kind enough? Do I listen well enough? Do I give enough support? Do I love others enough? At the same time, do I protect myself enough? Do I advocate for myself enough? Can I follow the "low fat diet" Utah Phillips laid out: "no more fat heads"? Am I too easy on myself? Am I too hard on myself? Do I give those who love and help me enough acknowledgment?

My (natural) father died (Capt. Adorable's Opa is my adoptive father) right after I turned 17; I went a little crazy and I spoke the truth about my own feelings and the feelings I witnessed between others loudly and clearly. (My mother described me as brutally honest.) I think I made a lot of people very uncomfortable. I was too raw. Time and experience taught me to cover up those truths, that omission was not lying (as is in a court of law). I gave people more leeway but less room in my heart. Before this cancer experience I was quite removed and had little trust. (Yes, I am oversimplifying.) Now? Well, I don't want to give the world the world if you know what I am saying. But I do want to be more authentic with myself and with others. Perhaps some of my 23 year old self mixed with my 36 year old self...

And how can I use my knowledge and experience to support the choices I embrace for myself and my family in others? Any demand out there for an AP lawyer? As a doctor I could create a practice based on the needs of AP families. Can I create I law practice to serve those needs as well? Credit goes to NonFiction for the idea and I find it quite inspiring.

(Edited to add I hope that the above post lets you, the blog readers see a side of me that I do not show here all that often. The deep thinking, contemplative side. The constant questioning, comparing, analyzing, trying to figure it out side. There is much much more of me than I share in this blog for the most part.)


Lisa said...

You could practice family law with a specialty in representing parents who practice attachment parenting. AP practices can be held against parents in custody situations (extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, etc.), and many parents (primarily moms) find that their lawyers are unfamiliar with the research supporting these practices and uncomfortable trying to defend them.

Go Rose!! I'm a lawyer, a public defender, but I was a client of a family law practitioner in a really grim divorce a few years back. I never wanted to do family law, but since having been plunged unwillingly into those waters as a client, I have to say there are few areas where a good lawyer is needed more. An AP focus fits right in. We need you out there!!


Leia said...

I've actually been thinking about that - although more from a "how can you stay home with Capt. Adorable and still get to use a law degree" aspect.

Open your own home-based, family-friendly law firm? I've got another SAHM friend who could be a paralegal for you! :)

mamefati said...

My mom was a music promoter when I was little and he came and stayed with us every year when he came into town. I called him "Itah Utah". Good memories, thanks for that!
What a gift we all have, I gotta remember to fully embrace it!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I could use some advice on weaning a baby in the least traumatic way possible for upcoming chemo. I don't want to put my email in the comments but I am in the mothering.commune forums and my name is "stel". Someone was kind enough to forward me your blog but I don't have brain space to figure out how to search your blog.

alexis224 said...

Not that everything has to come down to cancer (I'm sure there are days where you just want to forget it altogether) but your post made me think of a conversation I had with a former client. His daughter survived a childhood cancer, and went on to live in an extremely reckless manner. My client is convinced it was because she has an attitude of having 'beaten death' and was fearless. I rather suspect that her behavior was quite the opposite of fearless, but that's just how it appeared to me. Anyway, I have another friend who also has taken extreme risks after surviving cancer in childhood. I don't really have a point here, I just think it's interesting that the adults I have known who have been confronted with their own mortality ask much more positive, productive questions (such as the ones you just asked yourself). Perhaps because you have more experience to reflect on, I don't know - anyway. Thanks for sharing so much, we love you!
P.S. My blessings to Anonymous. I'm glad you've found Rose.

Amina said...

your entry reminded me of a process of change I went through over the past 15 years or so. I was also coming out of some kind of sick life. At first I was loud and strident and quite impatient with people who didn't also catch my passion for certain ideas and issues. I was particularly concentrated on anti-death penalty at the time. After all this time I find I have softened the expression of my opinions and learn soooooo much more about other people and what makes them tick. I have also developed so much more compassion and forgiveness.
~ this feels good and I am in no way compromising my feelings. There comes a point when you just 'are' what you think and feel & you don't need to stand on a soapbox to shout it out or sit on a high horse (from where the view of other people is not good at all).
Enjoy your growing

Gina said...

AP lawyer mama here, I work in tax, the hours are awesome, I have a lovely 35 hour work week and a very family friendly employer. I am sure Le Leche League or any of a number of childrens rights typed organizations could use your help. I would love to go back and start in education law now, or maybe be a pediatrician. I have an awesome AP friendly Pediatrician who breastfed all her kids to 2 at least, not many of those in the real world though.

I am all for being authentic, I am a very quirky person I don't think I sugarcoat it. Why? Too many other crazy things to deal with in life. Again I am so happy to hear about your remission, I have been reading since you weaned the Captain, at which point I was fresh from the death of my motherinlaw from cervical cancer. Your story has been so uplifting I am glad you got the second opinion.

Gina said...

to the person who said how can you stay home with a law degree - I did it for 5 years total, only doing small research projects and writing the occasional will or demand letter. It was heavenly!