Getting some perspective for 2020

A recent biopsy has me re-evaluating my priorities

Back in the fall of 2013, I went with my husband to a health fair through his employer. One of the offered tests was an ultrasound of arteries in your neck. We both did that. His came back fine. My arteries were fine, but the technician found nodules on my thyroid.

Since then, I’ve had my nodules checked annually. (Thankfully the nodules don’t affect my thyroid’s function or interfere with my swallowing.) I had a biopsy the first year that came back benign. My scan in 2018 showed some growth, so I had to have another biopsy. I was anxious, but everything was again benign. My 2019 scan showed additional growth, so I had to go for another biopsy. I wasn’t very anxious going into the biopsy.

I went into the office and held still while the doctor took samples from two different spots. After she takes the samples, the doctor leaves the room to do a preliminary reading. I have to stay lying down.

As I was lying there, still not feeling too nervous, I started to think about how the results coming back could change my life and perspective. While I expected benign findings, I knew cancerous findings would dramatically change things.

Fortunately, the findings were that the nodules continue to be benign and nothing to worry about. I will keep check on them, because it’s not worth the risk to ignore them.

But in talking with my husband as we ate Mexican food on the way home from the biopsy, I mentioned to him how I had thought about my perspective shifting depending on what the biopsy showed.

This is a busy season of life with two young school-aged children. I have a lot on my plate right now from work to kids’ activities to running a household (and keeping a lively puppy out of things!). Sometimes that gets to me. Sometimes I get cranky, stressed and even angry. I try to be a woman full of love and grace, yet sometimes I’m more of a woman full of exhaustion and frustration.

God pricked at my heart to show me some changes I need to make. I thought about what my priorities actually are. If my nodules had come back cancerous, what would I be worried about? I can tell you my worries would certainly shift.

I’d worry less about the places to be, chores to complete and work to be done. I’d worry more about spending time with my family, enjoying every minute I can and doing things that truly matter.

I concluded that’s what I need more of in the new year and beyond. I am starting with some shifts in what I’m doing. I love my work, but for the parts that don’t HAVE to be done, I’m giving myself some grace along the way. I put a lot of additional pressure and stress on myself, and sometimes I need to just let it go.

My body pays a price for everything I do from typing on the keyboard to stirring cookie dough thanks to fibromyalgia. So my time is better spent on what matters.

In 20 years, my kids won’t talk about the chores I did or homemade goodies I made. They’ll laugh about the memories I made doing things with them.

One of my prized Christmas memories from childhood is playing a board game with my dad on Christmas morning after we had opened gifts. I can’t tell you what we ate that year or even what other gifts I got. What I cherish most is the good memories made with him.

That’s what I’m focusing on going into 2020. My kids are growing every year. My daughter is already maturing and losing some of the wander of childhood. I know my son isn’t too far behind.

I want to enjoy them as much as I can. If that means I take some shortcuts in the kitchen, post a few less blog posts, let laundry go a couple of extra days and do more online shopping then so be it.

Sometimes what we need most is the reminder of what truly matters.

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