During my wife’s six-week stay at the hospital, I realized something important.
I could run a marathon, write the next Harry Potter, take the picture of the year, win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, build a billion-dollar business, or do all of those things one after another, and none of it would matter.
People would still ask me, “And how’s Edyta?”
Because there is no job more important than the one in front of me.
Keeping the house clean, cooking simple mushy dishes, doing laundry, running errands, or walking around our neighborhood all sweaty, encumbered with groceries like a pack mule… Chores may have none of the appeal of my usual pastimes or passions, but in this simple act of serving I have finally found meaning.
There are so many big things I can’t do for her—like letting the doctors pump me full of chemo instead—that the small ones I can, felt irrelevant. That is, until I acknowledged that these small acts of kindness amount to pretty much all one person can do for another in such a situation as ours.
I spent 2021 looking for meaning everywhere; in writing, at work, photography, friendships, and books. But none of those things were doing it for me. None of them compared to the enormity of cancer and the task in front of me.
Where do we go from here?
I started this blog, and my editing business, in what feels like a different lifetime. In the pre-pandemic world, when I could fly to London on a whim, enjoy a long train ride without my ears falling off from wearing a mask for five hours, and go to a 30,000-strong convention to get drunk with strangers. All that is gone now. My life has been turned upside down since. Yours did too, I’m sure. We are waking up to a world that was supposed to be like this for a short while but became more permanent than the memory of what was before.
It is time for me to close my editing business and my Patreon page. I want to focus my time and energy on the job in front of me. And, after it’s done, give myself enough time to figure out what to do next.
The blog will stay. It helped me connect with many people I wouldn’t have otherwise met. When I can, I’ll share more of what this experience has taught me, but maybe not at times, like right now, when I’m in the thick of it.
Thank you for being there for me. I meant everything I said and cared about every writer and every story I worked with.