January 1, 2018
One of the things about being twice-diagnosed as terminal is the almost automatic change in perspective. How can it not change? There is now a “use-by date” on life, as opposed to some mysterious date way out in the future. And even if medicine, or drugs, or holistic treatments such as turmeric or cannabis oil retract the terminal tag…it is impossible to un-see the end.
I have been uncomfortable with wishing anyone “Happy New Year”, because, frankly, happiness is not first on the list of things I wish for anyone. It might not even be in the top ten.
As it turns out, the Rabbi got tripped up by the numbers. 2018 is actually the nineteenth year of the century. Be that as it may, the rest of this quote resonates with me. She speaks of a life with purpose, not happiness. Thus my earlier grocery-store quote of a use-by date. Happiness may come. But more likely it will be exhaustion from what is required to live life with empathy and purpose, resilience and compassion.
And purpose can show up when it is least expected.
I believe I have earlier mentioned the appeal to me of being a lab rat when I had my stem cell transplant. None of the doctors expected me to survive it. But they pre-treated me with a type of drug that had never been used before in preparation for the transplant. Whatever happened to me, others would benefit from the knowledge gained. As a side benefit…I survived. I cannot say I have always been happy about that. Recovery from a sct is horrific…grueling…and seemingly never-ending. I am four-plus years into recovery. More new knowledge for the doctors. More exhaustion for me.
I would be happy to be living a comfortable life of retirement with Bob. Not going to happen. Comfortable becomes less and less likely, for a variety of reasons.
I would be happy to spend my days with my granddaughter, Sophie, like my mother did with my children. But geography and our finances make that impossible.
I would be happy to have my family and friends not having to roll their eyes when I go on a political rant. But I will fight to my dying breath for Sophie’s rights when she is a woman, to be secure.
I’m not saying that it is immoral to seek happiness. I do believe that pursuit must be kept in better balance than it is currently, in a culture of reality television, plastic surgery, and unbridled greed. <cue eye rolls>
My smaller glass can’t contain both complacent happiness and purpose at the same time.
My wish for all is that you find a life of satisfaction, and it fills your smaller glass to overflowing. And if there is some happiness – good for you!