There’s something about Face book memories popping daily on my news feed that makes me happy. It’s sometimes a nice sweet blissful reminder, and other times it is a strong reality check! A certain memory popped to remind me of how I was once forced to unwillingly un-friend my comfort zone and forced to create a temporary alternative one! The scary part for me then was that even though I knew the new comfort zone is not the norm and it should be a short-termed one… yet I got used to it! I was ok with it and even though it bothered me, it still grew on me in ways I didn’t see happening!
Do we create our comfort zones in our head? Or does time pass slowly in ways that help creating them? Do we adapt to our comfort zones willingly or are we forced to adapt due to time?
Exactly four years ago today, the clock hit 10:30 at night announcing the end of another day at the hospital. Night time nurses grabbed their check lists, parents got a few moments for themselves, kids fell asleep – if it wasn’t from the cancer medications then it was from the long exhausting day in treatments-, it got really quiet, and I kept watching the world from behind the glass windows, while my son slept peacefully on his hospital bed…. and it hit me then!
This hospital had grown on me in a way where it created a boring stale feeling! The anxiety that used to occur whenever I walked down the long hospital hallways while intentionally ignoring the rooms around me, the scary IV poles everywhere, the sick kids on wheel chairs… didn’t exist anymore! I was not sure who to blame for this?
Should I blame time … for passing and making it a new norm? or the medical team for their friendliness trying their best to make the hospital feel like home? I also considered blaming that travel size facial wash and mini make up set I carried with me all the time? – It seriously did magic! Especially with the long sleepless nights and the horrible florescent light! That florescent light I swear seem to be an intentional invention to show facial flaws! – Ok back to the topic…. Even though I was getting used to that place and I managed to create my oh so fake little comfort zone, I still couldn’t cope with its details!
Can one find comfort in a not comfortable setting? Can our comfort zone grow on us in spite of how much we hated its details?
I befriended the bigger picture yet hated the minute details! Hated the scent of the extra purified air in the hospital, hated the purple happy wall paint of the oncology floor, hated the shiny bright silver Iv poles everywhere around me, and especially hated the fact that I didn’t scowl whenever I heard a screaming child, or saw bald kids with pale close to green faces, hated that I got too good that I was able to – without any medical background- identify the messages on the medication machines pumping into my son’s body, and differentiate between air in the central line or infusion coming to an end!
All this and more should have always been something new, weird and abnormal!
The fact that that new abnormal became old made me wonder…
Did I master the art of “fake it till you make it”? Or did I really manage to cope and make the best out of what can least be described as any parent’s night mare? It doesn’t have to be cancer by the way! Any parent who has to spend a night in the hospital for whatever reason that has to do with their kids is definitely experiencing a trauma! But the funny part is now, instead of having a story to go back home and say about how the hospital was such a weird planet and the staff there was pure aliens, I spoke of the hospital very normally – and still do- as a place I know inside out in ways I never wished I did!
I came to a realization that it is all a matter of perspective! I can sit here wonder how the years had passed, or I can celebrate the moment when I mentally said: Bring it on!
It was a pure “well so be it” attitude! If this is what is meant to be for us, then so be it! We made and will continue making the best out of it and might as well have fun with it!
You know that sad commercial showing you those sad bald headed kids with cancer, yup that one you used to switch the channel every time it airs? Well… given that we were there before, we used to switch the channel and deal with pediatric cancer just as a different cause for charity, not really knowing how to feel.
Reality is that this commercial literally became our life! and by being an insider now which is a big deal… Get ready, brace yourselves… Real stuff is about to spill out now!
Reality is…These kids are not sad! They are not! They are happy, they might not have the luxury of happiness during treatments, they might be suffering and striving for their ultimate right of being healthy, but they know how to be happy. The fact that they sneak moments of healthy feelings in their days, makes happiness much more magnified! Makes time much more valued, and makes their short happy moments… leave amazing cherish-able memories! These kids are fighters! They don’t know anything but life! They don’t know anything but never giving up; they only know how to push through! They might look so sick, but it is not them! It is the pure crap injected in their bodies; it is the concentrated poison that takes over!
Yet, they are the BEST example for not judging a book from its cover! The cover looks painful but the inside is as pure and strong as your mind can imagine! They are a wonderful testament of how comfort zones are facades we mentally and physically create while having every ounce of power to change them and destroy them. It really comes down to how we treat time, it could be our best friend and our greatest enemy all in one!
We can choose to sink and keep fighting the wrong fight! Keep fighting ourselves accepting challenges, or we can embrace time and admit how hard the challenge is, yet set our minds that there is always a new day coming tomorrow and as tough and brutal time is at time… as insignificant and powerless it becomes when it passes.
That Face book memory reminded me how that night was one of many nights where I envisioned the day where I can sit, look back and say: remember the days when Zein had cancer?
That night was one where I decided to choose joy, to choose hope!
And today I am being blessed with the ability to remind myself that years did pass between these colorful yet depressing walls, behind these glass windows watching the world pass by and a totally different world happening inside, four long years with every single day of them etched in my memory, but yet they still passed!
And that everything new will once become old, and that this too…. shall pass!