Back in February when I turned 39 I shared a list of 40 things I want to do before my 40th birthday.
Then COVID-19 ended the world as we knew it.
Shortly after that I learned I would need to undergo chemotherapy. (In case you’re new around here, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January, but initially told I would only need surgery and radiation for treatment.)
COVID, cancer, and chemo obviously mean that many of my 40 Before 40 plans — like traveling and hosting in-person events — simply can’t happen. And for a while, I was going to just ditch the whole project. But that felt too much like giving up and that’s something I refuse to do.
July is here which means we’re halfway through this dumpster fire of a year. Like the rest of the world, I’m dealing with the emotional stress of living in a society plagued by two pandemics – COVID-19 and racism. And on top of that, I’m battling breast cancer.
As much as I want to cancel 2020, I can’t. So, I must find a way to survive it and perhaps even thrive in it instead.
Last month I turned 39 and was so excited to share and get started on my 40 Before List. Then COVID-19 canceled EVERYTHING. Many of the items on my list were travel goals and events I wanted to host and group fitness classes I wanted to attend. To make matters worse, I’m also dealing with a tough health issue that has nothing to Coronavirus but that could also make travel and being in large groups impossible for me this year.
After pouting about this for several days I decided to replace my 40 Before 40 List with a Quarantine Bucket List, a list of things to do while I shelter in place and practice social distancing.
Last year I decided that my fitness goal for 2020 would be to walk for exercise every day for 366 consecutive days. So far, I’ve stuck with this despite having a medical procedure in January and outpatient surgery just last week. On February 26, I had surgery that morning and still went for a walk that afternoon.
Am I saying you should follow in my footsteps and walk
around your neighborhood while doped up on Percocet? Of course not! I recognize
and accept that I’m a crazy person. But I am saying you should be deeply
committed to your goals and to your success and not just interested in it.
Though walking every day is a fitness goal, doing so for the past two months has taught me a lot about what it will take to accomplish my writing goals, too.