Noticing

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courtesy of accidentalcreative.com

courtesy of accidentalcreative.com

Today I am celebrating. As I contemplate whether to go to the gym to lift weights today, I realize that I accomplished something I desperately wanted to do after my surgery. I am back in tip-top shape. Even lifting more weight than I did before. What got me here? I find myself wondering.

Discipline and determination. My father gave those gifts to me. Faith and belief in myself. Thanks, Mom. Confidence and courage. Jim’s love a solid foundation from which to take each step.

Our bodies are truly amazing. One day I can’t move my arm an inch and slowly, over time, with exercise and therapy, I’m able to move it a bit more, and then a bit more. Today I probably have stronger, more flexible shoulders than I did before. Nineteen months since my surgery. I feel really great.

I still notice some things. I can feel my pectoral muscles when they flex around my right breast. I giggle to myself when I see how it contorts the shape of my breast as I dry off with a towel. I wonder what people think when I occasionally massage the area near my arm pit between sets of weights. There are some yoga postures where my body tells me to ‘go gentle’. I’m not the same as I was, but I am good. Life is good.

All the noticing made me think of this poem from Mostly My Heart Sings.

Noticing
By Vicki L. Flaherty

I noticed how glad I was to get the bandages off.
I noticed how cleansing it felt to finally take a shower.
I noticed how freeing it was to have the drains removed.
I noticed how I reached back to brush my hair the way I like it.
I noticed how I made the bed without exhaustion.
I noticed how the discomfort under my arm disappeared.
I noticed how taking a walk did not tire me.
I noticed how my arms were extended to the sky during yoga.
I noticed how the scars changed from dark to light pink.
I noticed how the tingling sensations occurred less often.
I noticed how the skin of my breast was not so numb.
I noticed how I am not noticing anything anymore.

© 2013, Mostly My Heart Sings, Vicki L. Flaherty

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About Vicki Flaherty

I feel most alive when I am creating, whether through my writing and poetry, gardening and photography, or simply living my life each day. Running and yoga enrich my being. Travel opens me to new possibilities and greater awareness. I am happiest when I’m with my husband Jim. I share my gratitude for all the gifts in my life on my This Abundantly Delicious Life blog. I find a special joy in helping people succeed. I’ve done something valuable when I’ve helped a colleague or friend see their brilliance and express their full potential. I have awesome opportunities to do this as an industrial/organizational psychologist through leadership, mentoring, coaching, career and other talent programs. I try to encourage Leading with Intention at my blog of this name. As a breast cancer survivor, I found comfort and hope in writing. Poetry flowed through me like a river of healing during my diagnosis and treatment, which I share on my Mostly My Heart Sings blog, that I might offer encouragement and a place of grace and heart for those seeking comfort and hope along their journey.

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Noticing | This Abundantly Delicious Life

  2. What a thoughtful retrospective of the healing process. I’m now one week into my recovery from a broken leg & surgery. This poem is inspirational, I just experienced the “noticing” of my first shower (in 14 days) and how good it felt! Thankful for little steps in my healing journey and appreciate how well you’ve expressed them in this poem. Be well.

    • Susan, thanks for stopping by…I’m so glad that my reflection for today helped you connect with the power of healing and the little steps along the journey. Oh, yes! That shower must’ve been like a piece of heaven!

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