What is Normal?

Throughout my cancer experience, I always wanted to be “normal”.  Over the past couple months, I’ve felt and lived more “normal” than ever.  But I recently realized, even though I’ve been feeling and acting “normal”,  my life has not been fulfilling.  For example, the other day while paying bills, I was looking out the window thinking about bills.  This never would have happened last year. Previously I would look out a window and admire the majesty of nature, and not be preoccupied with any another thought.  Trying so hard to bring normalcy to my life, I lost what fulfilled my soul.  I realized I lost my mental discipline to focus truly on what is important.   

I found myself going through the motions, which I used to want, but now see it’s time wasted.  For example, some evenings I would browse the internet, Janie would be doing the same thing and the kids would be watching something on TV.  We are in the same room, but not really interacting. I kick myself because I will never get those moments back.  Another example is when I’m thinking about if a football player will start for my fantasy football team in the upcoming week.  I find it absurd, yet I still do it.

I need to stop focusing on trying to be “normal” because “normal” isn’t fulfilling me.  I have a grace to see beauty in everything and everyone and I don’t want to lose it.  I know the only way for me to regain my mental discipline is silence.

I was taught in school that silence is uncomfortable for many people.  In my practice, I often will sit in silence with a client knowing the individual will feel the urge to fill the silent void. Usually the client will continue the conversation or say what they believe I want to hear.  At times, I too am uncomfortable with silence.  Sometimes I surround myself with noise or stay busy doing mindless and needless tasks to occupy my time and brain.  I may go by myself and find some alone time, but during my alone time, I still feel the need to browse some form of media.  At home it is challenging for me to sit alone in silence, but the car is a different story.

I sit in silence whenever I drive by myself.  (Now when my children are in the car there is usually some pop music or, more recently, Rocky theme music blaring in the car.)  But I use this silent time to pray and meditate. When in silence, the thoughts that come into my head are sometimes funny, sometimes sad and other times joyful.  Usually it’s people faces and past experiences that come to mind.  Whoever’s face pops into my mind, I pray for them.  I also use this time to focus on my life and God.  This helps me obtain the mental discipline I need to be fulfilled spiritually. I ask all of you to try to sit in silence for 20-30 minutes and notice your thoughts.  It usually is interesting seeing what comes to mind.

I also had some awesome moments over the past few months.  I played in Katie’s school’s annual golf tournament.  I went to Chicago to see the Philadelphia Eagles play the Chicago Bears.  We celebrated Anabel’s 4th birthday and my 40th birthday. This week I spent a day in Washington D.C. with Katie and went on a field trip to a pumpkin and apple farm with Anabel.  Today I also began my 2 week chemo cycle.       
I notice when scans are approaching, my thoughts are filled with angst.  I know I will always feel this way before scans.  This upcoming scan is no different.  Monday I have my quarterly chest, abdomen and pelvis scan.  So please send positive vibes, thoughts, and prayers my way on Monday.  I will learn of the results on Wednesday.

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Matt Leslie, Kevin Gladstone, and Garret Keeler.  Team Merica golf team.

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At the Bears Eagles game in Chicago with Tom Michaels and Roger Nouer.  It was the best 40th birthday present. (There’s still room to hop on the Wentz Wagon)  

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Anabel picking pumpkins.

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Katie learned the Washington Monument wasn’t that tall.

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Katie and I stopped by the White House for some milk and cookies.

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5 Responses to What is Normal?

  1. Sending positive vibes your way, along with love and admiration.

  2. Tina Krisak says:

    Prayers increasingly. God’s blessings on you always.Krisakone@gmail.com

  3. Vivian Edmonston says:

    Will add extra prayers Monday. As always, Buckingham continues to hol you in prayers.

  4. Julia Strain says:

    Thank you, Kevin, for your reminder of the importance of silence. I love the part about praying for the person who comes into your mind when you are still and quiet. We all need ways of maintaining our spiritual health and I love your thoughts on this. I will be praying for good results next week. I know about those “monkeys jumping around in the head.” You have a beautiful family. God Bless all of you.

  5. James says:

    What is normal? I’ll tell you what is normal. Normal is the Eagles finding a way to lose back to back games in which they were clearly favored on the road. At least the Duke Dogs are on a roll.

    I continue to keep you in my prayers. Keep fighting and keep writing.

    Weino, please say a prayer for my cousin who recently had his third brain tumor surgery and is recovering wonderfully so far.

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