The only thing about life returning to normal, is that normal is no longer. Sure, I can move through my day speckling it with my concept of normal ‘BC’ (before cancer, before brch2, before Ann not speaking to me). I can fill my days with what used to be the norm of normal and those things are still in this category. Going to the movies, out to dinner with friends, walking my colorful and energized garden, hanging out with my partner, my son, are all classified on the outside as normal. The truth is that these outside parts of my world are forever changed because they all have a totally different meaning now inside.

When I think of how fast seven weeks has gone by and how quickly my recovery has been, I am even more struck by what I now deem important and how I spend my time. I decided to really clean up all of the excess I have accumulated for a few reasons. One is that it feels like if I were to go to a feng shui expert, she would say I am literally weighted down with stuff. The second reason is because cancer makes me feel like I am closer to the mirror of my own mortality and because of this, what I leave my son to have to deal with when the time comes is my legacy. I want my legacy for him to be that when he walks into this house, the only stuff he has to deal with is the stuff that is meaningful and important to keep.

This means a lot of work, but in my healing and I am talking emotional here, not so much physical, the catharsis is going through the stuff and contemplating its residence in my life. In addition to the stuff in my basement, my closets and in my house; it also includes all of the crap I have stored in my computer. I actually spent a few hours the other day going through every document I have and deleting and organizing. I can’t explain the incredible feeling of satisfaction I had when I completed this. Now that I have the goal of creating a legacy of coolness for my son so he doesn’t have to deal with the decisions of what to toss or not to toss when that day ever comes, I have a really clear purpose of what needs to happen and I have the motivation too.

I decided I am going to create a little mini store of my things that are no longer useful in my own life and allow people to just come and make a donation if they find something that would be useful in their lives. This feels like a great way to repurpose things. I have even named it, Miss Alayneous. It will be a small store within my Bristol, RI location. I am intrigued by the notion that I have enough stuff to actually open a store. Clothes, hats, shoes, glasses, housewares, rugs, furniture. It is unbelievable what I have considered important previously and no longer feel an attachment to. This is what I mean when I talk about how normal has changed for me. I will never be who I was again. I actually welcome this new visitor in my body. I have become strikingly more patient and kind to this new friend, I call ‘myself.’ Is it a combination of traumatic events and the natural aging process that has redirected me into this new lovely dominant feeling of true self acceptance? Probably. I was out with my friend for dinner last night and we were reviewing all of the traumatic events that have occurred in my world, not in a way that is negative, but more in the scope of how I have approached these things. She was commenting on how positive I have looked at these challenges. The funny thing for me is that the way I look at these darts and arrows is organic. It is not like I wake up and try to transform my thinking to turn it into a more positive outlook, it is just the way I think automatically.

A quote by Wayne Dyer I have lived by is, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”


One of my dearest friends and I at one of my most favorite restaurants, Al Forno.



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alayne white

alayne white

Author, Typewriter Collector, Life Enthusiast, Beauty Realist, Daily Writer, and mostly a happy aging chick.