Saturday, April 25, 2009

Going to my "Happy Place" for real

On my worst days after chemotherapy, I would imagine being on our sailboat. I thought about the moment when we cut the motor, head the boat into the wind, hoist up the sails, and off we go as the sails fill with air. I thought about skimming along the water, one hand on the tiller, the other on the main sail line, controlling the direction and cant of the boat. I imagined the wind on my face and the quiet broken only by the water gurgling behind us. Psychologists say going to your "happy place" in your mind has the same physical benefit of actually go there. Thinking about sailing got me through a lot of tough times. Yesterday I finally got to do it for real.
Amazingly, except for some bad gas, everything went perfectly. Setting up a sailboat is a complicated operation and we usually get something wrong, especially the first few times of the season. But yesterday was exceptional: we had the boat in the water in no time,there was a stiff breeze and the weather was perfect. I was tired. My muscles are weak from so much inactivity, but once we were on the water, I forgot about everything. It was windy enough that we really had to pay attention and be in the moment. It was like doing yoga or singing, I couldn't really think about any thing else. For 2 and a half hours I felt normal:like myself, for the first time in months.
Today I went to an all day shape note singing in York. I spent a few more hours not thinking about anything but singing and socializing. It all feels very healing; for as much as I want all the effects of the chemotherapy to be GONE, they aren't. But they will be, hopefully soon.