at work i can hear the third line guys talking and the word that i hear over and over is the word ‘baselined’. they’re using it in an IT context; they’re talking documentation and servers and all that other stuff that should pique my interest because it’s what i’m supposed to be aspiring to, but it doesn’t, because i’m not. i hear the word ‘baselined’ and i hear it in a different context. something that i should have remembered, but had forgotten. and i’m not sure how i could have let myself forget it, but i did. when i hear the word ‘baselined’ i think back to maybe nine or ten months ago when i went in to see the doctor because i was exhausted all the time, had put on weight with no change of activity or diet, and felt generally unwell. and he felt my glands, felt around my abdomen, and then informed me that he was going to take some blood; he was going to request a test for CA-125. i didn’t know what that meant at the time but on googling it at home i was filled with fear and dread. my doctor was testing me for Ovarian Cancer. i looked up how serious it would be if it came back with a figure he’d be concerned about, and it wasn’t good. i went to work the next day, and looked through so many blogs written by women with Ovarian Cancer. and it scared me even more. i cried in the toilets, thinking about my life, thinking about my son and of how he wouldn’t understand why i wasn’t around anymore and of how i’d never see him grow up, and that he’d be ‘that kid’ in school. i sat at my desk thinking of how much of my life i’d wasted doing things i didn’t want to do, all the people who drained me, and i decided that from that day, regardless of how my tests came back the day after, i would get my life back on track. if the results were bad, then the work thing was a no-brainer. i’d spend all of the rest of my time with my son and husband and make as many good memories as icould for them. and If it came back all clear, i’d fix my situation. i’d start to make jewellery, like i’d been planning for years and years. i’d leave this job, or at least go part time. i’d have another child. i’d have a clean and tidy house. i’d get out of debt.

lucky for me, the results came back that i was ‘okay’, but the part that sticks in my head is that the doctor said that the tests had ‘baselined’ me. as though he wasn’t altogether convinced that this was the end of it all. that i wasn’t completely in the clear. i went away relieved but a little uneasy still about what had just happened.

i started doing more things to make my life better over the next few months. but somewhere along the way i forgot why i bought a load of silversmithing supplies, reorganised the dining room and its shelves and cupboards, reorganised the credit cards and started fixing my finances. i haven’t made anything in about six months now, though there are two or three projects floating about in my head.

hearing the guys using the word ‘baselined’ today has woken me up. i need to get back to living instead of drifting, which i’ve been doing for almost the whole of this year. so i’m setting myself a challenge for the next month:

1) to make one of the pieces of jewellery floating about in my head.
2) to get back onto the debt-busting horse.
3) to spend as much time with my son as he demands. even if it means turning off the laptop for a while when i’m writing something.

i think these things will make me happy.

i’ll let you know how I get on.


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