Yes, it’s an annoying song that is now (hopefully) stuck in your head as well. The message, though, hits home today.
This is a much more personal post than any other I have shared.
You may have noticed my posts suddenly came to a crashing halt a little while back. This was due to health concerns. In fact, it was due to huge health concerns. Let me state before I get into anything that, as of now, I’m feeling loads better and none of the doctors are talking about my future in terms of months.
I, who have never slept nearly as much as I should, suddenly could do nothing but sleep. Having had kidney stone surgery in November, I assumed it was an infection. Finally, I dragged my uninsured butt to the clinic thinking I’d get antibiotics and be just fine. However, my blood work was all wonky. They did a bunch of tests and told me I needed to see my regular doctor. My platelet level, white blood cell count and CRP were elevated,
Thousands of dollars in tests and a a couple weeks later I was sent to the Hematologist Oncologist, all signs pointing to Leukemia. The look on the doctors faces, the reluctance to say the words outright and the rush they were in left me and my family terrified.
Like I said, I’m doing all right. The reason for sharing this is actually inspiration. Since I have begun feeling better, that brush with mortality has changed me for the better. If you had asked me before if I appreciated life, I would have answered yes in all honesty. That was true; I was aware of admiring the good things, of the importance of laughing hard at least once a day and the wonderful people in my life. What changed was the sense of it’s lasting forever.
Days roll into one another and we make plans. We plan a vacation or plan to call an old friend. I think a lot of us plan to put ourselves first one day. Plans are great and I still have many. What I’ve taken away from all of this is a sense of urgency. We’re not guaranteed that time to see our plans come to fruition. Period.
For all of the little things like calling that friend, saying “I love you”, learning to SCUBA – do them now. For the bigger plans, re-evaluate them. The biggest thing I’m taking away from all of this is to be more selfish. The roles we play – wife, mother, cousin, daughter, etc – are important, but the most important role we play is simply being ourselves.
I had lost myself somewhere in the roles I play. Nearly every thing I did was to make someone else happy. Yes, because I love these people making them happy makes me happy, too. With another chance, though, I find myself very definitely trying to remember who I am. By no means am I abandoning my friends and family, but I do find my choices factor me into the equation more heavily. After all, as they say, noone is responsible for our happiness but us.
When faced with my own mortality, that is what I take away. The absolute urgency of this one life we get.
This was not easy to share. I do hope someone, somewhere takes these words to heart.