Friday, May 20, 2011

DAY 1232 - Day 990 in Recovery Paradise

Living the dream
Old dogs can learn new tricks
I belong to an international Tonsil Cancer forum and we support each other through our posts and emails.  A caregiver in our group posted concerns about the possibility of the Cancer returning to her husband's lymph nodes and the worry they share that accompanies that fear...  My shared thoughts:

Damn those lumps.  That is a tough one.  All of us, caregivers and care receivers alike, are constantly tested on our abilities to stay positive and our strength to harbor hope.

Since tomorrow, May 21, 2011, is proclaimed by some to be the "End of Days" this may be my last post - so I thought I would ramble a bit with my observations.  If we are still here in 48 hours, my profound apologies for taking up so many pixels on this forum.....

My two-cents worth would be to fill the mind to overflowing with positive thoughts daily.  Have him start a diary or blog and fill it daily with "half-full" vs. "half empty" thoughts and his personal 'Gratitudes'.  There are many, many, many things for all of us to be grateful for: our family, our ability to love and be loved, our small, but important accomplishments, our impact on earth, our personal legacy and yet another Sunrise each day…a daily miracle,  to add to our life experience.  Overfill the mind and imagination with the positive YOU CHOOSE to put into it and there will be little room left over for anything else.  

This is a never-ending process that should be used forever 'til the end of our days. Someday, far-far into the future, it will be our last day.  That day, while inevitable, is not written by a predetermined fate or in stone. Our attitudes can make that day closer or farther away (…if we are not here anymore after tomorrow - I was wrong, but just in case...).  

Become at peace with yourself and who you love and WHAT you did with the TIME that God gave you and WHO you became as a result of your thoughts and actions, not where you went and places you saw. Start today, it is never too late. There is still plenty of time to maximize the value of our remaining hours.  Read the news - how many famous people will be remembered forever by their last poorly chosen acts, not the wonderful deeds they accomplished before.  I believe the reverse is also true.  I have not always made good choices in my earlier years; however, if my remaining days are full of positive choices, I hope to be remembered that way.

Everyone works at this task differently.  I love to collect quotes that fill my mind with hope and fill my imagination with who I still might still become and the impact I can still have on others, as my legacy.

Look at all the great literature, music and quotes that have sustained the masses for eons.  Many are authored by "Anonymous'.  That is easily any one of us.  We don't have to write the Bible, the great novel or become the Beethoven of our era.  One person we loved and showed them through our actions or one thought or gesture we shared that positively impacts someone who lives beyond us is infinitely more valuable than the experience of seeing the Alps, Taj Mahal or the Golden Gate Bridge from the window of a speeding tour bus.

On Christmas day, 2010, I started a new daily blog for me that, although I share it with those I love, it is mostly for me:  SUNRISE and TIME.   Some times I ramble, but mostly I post a just few quotes about the use of the TIME given us. That is what I choose to put into my head each day.  A lot of the quotes I post are from people that are long since dead.  Do they live on in my posts?  Is my life richer by reading, internalizing, applying and sharing their thoughts and observations?  

Some quotes are famous, some are not.  They all have a thread that we all share.  How valuable is our time?  Long or short, how do we choose to invest it and use the hours we were given.  Centuries ago, human beings were dealing with the same crisis of how they used the time given them and how much of that illusive gift of TIME they might have left.  Nothing has changed, other than we are richer for the thoughts they left behind.

When that final day comes for me, my hope is that I will accept the moment, regretting little, knowing I have loved much, lived well and hopefully, positively impacted a few.

Is life unlike a relay race of our time through eternity?  At the end, weary and spent, regardless of the sound of the crowd, I have to ask myself:   Did I run my leg of the race well?  Did I use my head, my experience, my strength and my heart to do all that I could?  Did my 64 seconds count?  Did I let my teammates down?  Will my effort be remembered in a positive way? 

Would it be beneficial to the final results for me to conjure up all that I could be from the inner depths of my being and give it my all to have a final, fantastic spurt of energy at the end of my leg of the race? Did I give my teammates an advantage in their start?  Did I pass the baton so smoothly that their results will harbor a small part of me? 

My 64 years in this race across eternity is so insignificant in the vastness of time that it will not be even recognizable in the broad picture…but, if my team does well, I will have contributed and that is what really counts.  If I stumbled, fell and lay sprawling in the blood and dust; did I lie there feeling sorry for myself, giving up, cursing that fate had cheated me, impossibly begging to start over or did I pick myself up and recommit myself all the while, running in the middle of the race, to become the winner I was capable of and provide inspiration to those that yet, had their legs of the race to run?

One of the quotes I especially like is "We don't fear dying as much as we fear not being remembered."

Not everyone is a Christian by chosen faith, but here is a Christian version that probably resonates within all of us:

"Everyone wants a shot to fame don’t we? That’s because we think that’s how to be remembered for the longest time. Yes, that can be true, but how long is long? About a hundred years? Two? Maybe a thousand or two? People know a handful of guys from three thousand years ago. How is that compared to eternity? It is but a short strand compared to an endless highway.

The fear of oblivion can only be present when you know you will be forgotten. If you are assured that you will be remembered, the fear will not exist. In my case, I do not fear it. In this world, my fame might not spread and I don’t need it to because everything in this world will fade away. In other words, everything this world holds is subject to oblivion. What I’m concerned about is if the eternal being – God, will remember me. If God remembers me then I am satisfied and my fear of being forgotten has been buried."  Personal strength can come from many sources.  This particular quote comes from "God and You."  

I also enjoy reading Hunter S. Thompson:

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!" 
— Hunter S. Thompson

and Charles Bukowski.

"For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us." 
— Charles Bukowski

Atheists and religious believers alike face the same challenges.  "Perception is reality." Our truth is merely what we choose to BELIEVE what is true.  

No one can live for you and no one can die for you.  We travel that journey alone.  We put into our heads the information and experiences that form our beliefs by choice.  Choose well.  You are loved.

Damn those damn lumps.

"Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you've felt that way." 
— Charles Bukowski

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