You know that feeling when you haven’t talked to someone in a long time, and each time you try . . . you think about how awful you’ve been that you haven’t talked to them in so long?

And so your fingers stick on the keyboard, and the phone remains untouched in your purse or pocket. You just don’t know what to say. How do you begin?

That’s how I feel now.

I left you all somewhere in the middle of December, after my last chemo, bald and floppy and utterly wiped out. And then ”¦ silence. Nine months of it. Holy cow. Where have I been? Where did my life go? Where has yours gone?

Here a brief catching up: I’m in remission from Stage 2 breast cancer. I had six months of chemo, two months of daily radiation, three months of lymphedema therapy, and three surgeries in just about one year. Add on heapings of the alternative therapies and healings (herbs, qi gong, acupuncture, Reiki, rebounding, juicing, shamanic journeying, and emotional cleansing) and you can see how busy I’ve been.

Being sick and getting well can really take up your life.

Right now, it’s a gorgeous Sunday morning. My orange and pink roses are firing off blooms in front of my window, my family are all still asleep, and I feel like I’m just waking up.

I mean, really waking up.

Waking back into life.

I’ve leaned a hella lot about cancer this year. And I’ve learned even more about the way we think, feel, and anticipate (or brace for) life. My own personal life goals jumped tracks and landed in all new territory.

“Go with the Flow” has a much richer, deeper meaning.

The concept of manifesting is much more nuanced and interesting.

One thing I learned is that cancer, or any illness that can come back, plays with your head. Is it gone or isn’t it? Am I safe or am I still in danger? Will my body cooperate, or is it going to kill me?

I jokingly refer to this dynamic, and the uncertainty that’s always bubbling below the surface, as the 5-year and 50-year plan. (My husband hates it when I talk about this, because it’s ”¦ you know ”¦ talking about death.)

Most of us only have one plan: the ambiguous, fuzzy one sprinkled with desires that basically assumes we’ll just keep living for a long, long time. That’s how I used to feel. Life was there to be consumed, but there was no obvious endpoint.

But cancer survivors have two plans: the one where time is short, and the one where you get to “luxuriate” in another 50 years.

You’d think, as a Flowdreamer, that I wouldn’t give any focus or fuel to the 5-year plan. After all, it torments me some days. I cry over it. I ask myself if just “believing and flowing” will be enough to manifest my total healing. And then I recognize that believing and flowing must also have helped create the cancer in the first place.

The message? We all still have a lot of learning to do around this co-creation thing, and the reasons behind events often run much deeper than we know. Who is the “you” who’s truly in charge? Apparently, that’s one of the questions that facing death helps you answer, because it gives you incentive to find out.

This means my 5-year plan has an enormous upside. It fuels me, and reorganizes my priorities. The 5-year plan has me planning a wild and wonderful overseas trip with my family and kids each year. (We’re taking my mom, Venus, to Iceland!) The 5-year plan has me hiring up more staff for the day-to-day running of Flowdreaming, so I have more time to focus on just the parts of it that I love teaching.

The 5-year plan has me telling everyone I know (friends, family, and clients alike) how much I love them, all the time, and feeling the words slip so easily from my lips.

The 5-year plan keeps me tightly focused on how I want to live and feel each day.

On the other hand, the 50-year plan has me showing up for work and building something I’m proud of. The 50-year plan has me putting away savings for retirement. The 50-year plan has me getting in my 10,000 steps a day on my pedometer and watching my weight.

Imagine if the one plan you have for your life noticeably slipped into two plans and two lives: short- and long-term. And the trick is to not make them conflict. Instead, it’s about making them both count.

Of course, the 50-year plan is my preferred one! That’s the one I feel when I Flowdream, and the one I go forward with in my expectations each day.

But the 5-year plan has decreed that my next five years need to be über rich, like the creamiest, fattiest ice cream. Five years of extra-everything, tucked into the 50, like a spike on a graph. I love that feeling: I get five massively juicy, balanced, stress-free, family-filled years packed with travel, writing, and anything else that feeds my soul. I’ve given myself total permission.

Doesn’t that sound like it should be my 50-year plan too? That’s what makes it so interesting ”¦ why does one plan get to be so yummy, and the other so drab? Why did it take cancer to refocus me into allowing myself these pleasures and refusing to be stressed over anything? The 50-year plan pops up as being full of denial, and “just get through it” and “you’ll get it later” type thinking. I love that I can see that contrast so strikingly now.

Because, I have a sneaking feeling that if I get the next five years right, I might just decide to do another five just like them. And then I’ll do another five, and another ”¦ until all my 50 have been lived like I just had 5.

A good idea, huh?

So what’s your 5-year and 50-year plan? Let’s share and grow some ric