Stop the Race… Just Breathe!

Dear Reader:

Don’t we all get to different benchmarks in our lives… and wish we could drop out of our daily race … that seems suddenly too repetitive and too demanding of our precious time called life?

I find it interesting that we refer to people as the ” human race” … the term itself seems to convey pictures of billions of people racing through life with only one goal ahead… crossing the finish line. Is that really all there is?

It takes courage to drop out of the race… when I retired I knew financially it was going to be tough( even picking up some college classes as an instructor.) But for me… I needed to find me again. ( I didn’t know I was just three years away from a life-altering breast cancer diagnosis. A game changer.)

As strange as it sounds now… my life was about to have more meaning and substance than ever before! Family and friends rallied around me and helped me build a garden. This year… 2023 is the tenth anniversary of the moon garden!

It was the catalyst that made me stop living life continuously looking ahead and instead I started living in the moment! Through my garden I discovered a new awareness. Novelist Henry James described this phenomenon best: ” Awareness is the moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass. It becomes a mysterious, indescribable, magnificent world in itself.”

My ginger shell has once again surprised me with a green speck now adding leaves and reaching towards the sun.

A couple of weeks ago I had my regularly scheduled oncologist appointment. Some of the blood tests had come back but not all… so the visit ended with the possibility of needing more scans depending on the results of certain new blood tests… now made available that can predict early tumors.

I said a silent prayer I wouldn’t need more procedures and a calmness came over me… as I did my breathing exercises while my heart rhythms were checked…

For the first time I paid close attention to this part of my check-up instead of just treating it in a perfunctory manner. I could feel air moving into my lungs… breathing in, breathing out. I began to feel my heart throb in my chest. It dawned on me that I was hearing life and how blessed I am. Each moment is filled with a potential miracle.

I was alive! How can I ever take that for granted again. Quit worrying about tomorrow… this beautiful moment filled with heart beats promising more time to spend with those I love… was all I needed!

So until tomorrow… ” The day you stop racing is day you win the race.” ( Bob Marley)

Today is my favorite day… Winnie the Pooh

Hostas returning even after getting eaten twice by deer last year-Hope is eternal!
The rains held off for Jake’s soccer game… happy player-five goals!
Doodle let me know where she placed her birthday hanging basket! Perfect place!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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