June 13th 2003
I sent out a small S.O.S. - cried out
to the universe asking for creative ways to get through each day.
Afterall, no-one provides you with a mannual to help you face daily
life with an insidious spectre like cancer. Good advice appeared
in my email box and I feel I should share it with readers of this
1. Buy eight pairs
of cheap cotton underwear in outrageous colours that you would never
choose for yourself from a cheap chain store. Wear one pair every
day, and keep the eighth for washing day.
2. Buy a book
of crosswords or brain puzzles - I like the Logic ones. Do one at
a prescribed time every day, like afternoon tea, or after dinner
with a cup of tea.
3. Show up at the
pages of your journal every day. Morning is best. Use thick paper
and have cheap coloured pens - felt tips are good. If you can't
think of anything to say, write words that reflect your mood, in
colours that match. Finally, at the end of all the brown and grey
and black misery, write PEACE, HOPE, FAITH, LOVE and RAINBOW PRAYERS
in bright colours. Colour is good for getting you through the day.
4. Go through your
old cook books and cook a new meal every week, even if it's just
for you and you have to deal with all the left overs, which can
be good if you're having a rought trot for the times when you just
can't cook and would otherwise eat breakfast cereal or nothing at
5. Do something
in the garden every day - even just one foot of weeding in a garden
bed. Plant flowers - lots of them, that will cheer you up as they
grow and bloom.
6. Get all your
ironing up to date in front of every chic flick video you always
wanted to see and never allowed yourself to when they were still
at the cinema.
7. Buy some runes
or tarot cards, or fairy cards, or angel cards. Choose one every
day, and put what you choose in your journal to chart your progress.
8. Reward yourself
once a week with coffee and a treat in a favourite space, even just
an hour is good, even thirty minutes can be helpful.
9. Set up your
sewing machine and get a cardboard square, fabric, marker pen, and
scissors. Cut heaps of squares from the cloth and sew it into rows
of three, then squares of nine. Reaarange the squares of nine until
they feel good. Sew them all together. You have made a quilt!
10. Use routine
in a good and familiar and safe way. Make it a ritual of comfort
to eat your breakfast in a certain spot, or with a favourite marmalade
and your best mug. Watch idiotic TV shows if they have the prozac
effect in a good way. Know how you will face tomorrow this afternoon,
by knowing that Wednesday is shopping day, and Friday is clean sheets
11. Go for a walk
every day, especially in wind or rain or sunshine or sleet or snow
12. If you feel
sad, really give yourself to it - play music you know you will bawl
to. Have tissues. Sway a lot. Then make a cup of tea. You will feel
13. Make your
home a retreat. Use fresh flowers and vamp up the decor with extra
pillows or a throw. Bring out all the old lace doileys and tablecloths
and pretty vases and USE THEM!!!
14. Treat yourself
as if you were the patient. Make yourself boiled eggs and toast
soldiers, put them on a tray and eat them in your PJs, with your
socks or slippers on. Don't worry about crumbs. The cleaning lady
will hoover them up.
15. When you have
to be the cleaning lady, dress like Sadie. Wear a kerchief in your
hair, play bad radio music, see the act of cleaning your house as
one of supreme nurture and cleaning and ordering and healing your
16. Pretend your
life is a hollogram training video, and that you can play this one
over if you don't get the hang of it this turn around. Be honest
with everyone, as if you could jump on a bus and slip out of town
tomorrow, it's very liberating!