Helloooo, 2021! I am thrilled to meet you! I know yesterday I said nothing changes because the clock switches from one year to the next, but it sure feels like it does. It’s an attitude, I guess. For me, that attitude is joy. I’ve used that word a few times in the last week. I’ll probably use it a bit more. I’m not really one to pick a word for the year, but I think this one’s picked me. It’s not really for the year, though. Joy is for my life.
These photo shoots have definitely been joyful. Not at first, of course. I’m nervous. I feel fat. I feel uncertain. I’m uncomfortable in the magnetic lashes. I’m uncomfortable in the wigs. But as I move from pose to pose, and Jim says things like “Picture me in a Speedo.” and “Picture yourself in a Speedo,” I laugh. I start to get campy. I become less self-conscious and start having fun. I start feeling joy.
We’re always harder on ourselves than we should be. Yesterday’s photo shoot was proof of that. I thought the pictures were OK, but nothing great, although I did have fun dressing them up with filters. As the comments came in, I realized my perception might have been a little skewed. Several people decided that was their favorite look so far. Really? I thought? And then I began to see what they saw.
That’s what I feel today, even though underneath there’s an eddy of fear as I near my last of this first round of chemo. The side effects from the previous treatment have set me back a bit. These photo shoots take a lot out of me, when they normally would just cause a bit of minor terror from putting myself out there so publicly. Since the chemo effects are cumulative, I’m apprehensive, to put it mildly. I’m concerned that the next round will knock me on my derriere.
But. But but but but but…it’s the last one! I have two whole days before they begin. Dr. S. told me the next round, which will last twelve weeks, won’t start until three weeks after Monday, and these treatments are supposed to be much more tolerable. It makes it easier to deal with some down time next week when I know it gets easier from there.
Today’s wig is a riotous mass of curls and color. It’s a celebration. The dress, a gift my mom brought back from Hawaii to match the fun frock she’d bought for herself, is layers of playfulness. My friend Meryl, the generous lady who’s let me borrow many of these delightful wigs, made the necklace and earrings. They remind me of globes, of the colors of the world.
They seemed fitting, because 2021 is a brave new world, and I don’t mean in an Aldous Huxley kind of way. I’m entering this new world with joy.
So’s Jim, because apparently he just won a race and the world is his prize.
We’ll take it and run with it.
Happy New Year! May you find your moments, and maybe a lifetime, of joy.