Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dragon Boats and Ticking Clocks

My second day of training with the Dragon Ladies -- I think that’s what we should call ourselves. There were two expat women today -- older ladies in their 60s, I think. I’m actually surprised at how many younger women there are in the group. I’d say half the women are in their 30s or 40s. It seems breast cancer patients are getting younger and younger. Maybe because people are being more vigilant about their breast health and are being diagnosed much earlier. That would also explain why the survival rate is getting higher.

We spent quite a lot of time getting the boats into the water and didn’t start rowing until 8:30. I got there at 7:30 a.m. I was a bit antsy to get started as soon as I got there, but we had to wait for everyone to arrive, catch up on chit-chat, eat bananas, get the boats, and do warm-up exercises.

I find myself feeling impatient and hurried quite often. Yesterday, I had a list of errands to run and when I got behind schedule, I became quite frustrated and annoyed. I even found myself walking at a super-fast pace, like a wind-up robot on high speed. Cancer survivors say you should slow down, take it easy, and appreciate life instead of hurrying through it. But how can I slow down if I have limited time to do all the things I want to do?

I had a very bad experience with a Reiki master earlier this year at the beginning stages of my treatment. The Reiki center would tell me to come for a training session at 6:00, then I’d be standing around waiting for an hour. Meanwhile, I was losing time away from my kids. When I pressed them to tell me when we were going to start, the Reiki lady told me to be patient, we could take our time. I was so frustrated by then, I snapped, “I don’t have time to waste! I’m dying of cancer!” I never went back after that. I realized it was stressing me out, rather than relaxing me as Reiki was supposed to do. Maybe they were bad Reiki practitioners -- I’ve heard some of these people are phonies looking to make a quick buck. Or maybe I just wasn’t ready at that time.

But I still struggle with the dichotomy -- slow down and appreciate what time I have left, or hurry up and do everything I want before the clock runs out?

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