Tag Archives: balance

A Good Recovery Plan

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Love Does, Just say yes

Friends and music. All part of a good recovery plan

 

June 23rd, 2016 was a surreal day. That’s the day I first heard, “You have cancer.”  What?  I don’t get cancer. That happens to other people.  Right?

The rest of June was a blur.  July slogged by as we waded through tests, doctor visits and, finally, a surgery date.

Fast forward to today, September 1st.

One lumpectomy later, followed by today’s official launch of  6-week radiation course, and I’m on my way to a very good chance of no recurrence—statistically speaking.  I’ll take that.

The harder part, honestly, harder than the whole medical side of things, has been figuring out how to hit the “reset” button that a cancer diagnosis so rudely shoves in your face.

We are all going to die.

Why is it so easy to live as if this were not true?

Ok…so I’m awake, changes need to be made.  I get it.  Now what?

Turns out, it’s much, much easier to take a pill or get medical treatment than to change the way you live and think. It’s far harder than it seems to stop working ridiculous hours or, even scarier, to wonder what role I played in my own demise.  It’s hard to re-engage—to start saying “yes” to your life, instead of “maybe” or “I’ll think about it” or “maybe next time.”

It’s harder than it seems to find your lost self.  I don’t pretend to have figured it out.  For now, I am working through my own personal treatment plan for a full recovery. The plan is evolving, but here’s the start:

  1. NO more toxic political news.
  2. Work from a different café—several times a week if possible.
  3. Watch more stupid pet videos, like this oddly mesmerizing one
  4. Or this one, in honor of my dachshund, Shorty
  5. Let go of perfect.  Embrace “good enough.”
  6. More books, less technology. Shout out to these recent reads:
    • Love Does, by Bob Goff. (This book might be saving my life. It’s sort of a “just say yes” book.)
    • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller (Another “just say yes” book, but a cool take on the whole idea becoming better storytellers for our own lives)
    • Scary Close, by Donald Miller
    • Daring Greatly and Rising Strong by Brene Brown (Thanks for the recommendation, Vivien. Brene is simultaneously kicking my butt and helping me be nicer to myself.)
  7. Say “no” more often to the wrong things and “yes” to the right things.
  8. Cultivate the wisdom to know the difference for #7.
  9. Live my life. Here. Now. Today.
  10. Finally….write.

I’ve always been a writer. But I pretty much abandoned my personal writing a few years ago for reasons I am only beginning to understand.

So….this is me…writing again.

One little “yes” for today.  A good start on my good recovery plan.

 

 

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Blessed are those who mourn. Really?

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I’ve been re-visiting the Sermon on the Mount. That’s the one that starts out with the “Beatitudes,” and I’m struck, again, with how strange and totally foreign these words are to our “Anthony Robbins” way of thinking. This is not a success-by-numbers speech. This is anything but.

Think about it. Who are our “golden” ones–our “blessed” ones? Those who pursue their passion. Those who set goals and meet them. Those who courageously and fearlessly plow through obstacles or face fears to win the prize. Our ideals are all wrapped up in performance.

Jesus takes a completely different stance. He says that the blessed ones are those who are “poor in spirit” and “meek.” He lauds those who “hunger and thirst” for righteousness. He calls the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted blessed. He even says that those who mourn are blessed. There is not a hint of stellar performance in these character traits. He describes people who are down on their luck, desperate, and denied. How is that blessed? He contrasts these with those who are rich, fed, comforted, and well respected. He says they are the ones to be pitied “for they’ve already received their reward.” If we are honest, doesn’t “rich” describe most of us who live in the U.S.? Can we even compare our poor to, say, the poor in Haiti? Calcutta? Zimbabwe? I don’t think so.

I don’t think Jesus is condemning material blessings. After all, all blessings come from God, but I do think he is warning us about being lured into a false sense of security and comfort by them. Those who are desperate, those who mourn, those who are hungry–they know all too well their need. Those who are comfortable and well fed can all too easily fall into a belief that they have need of nothing. When we believe we have (or have access to) all that we need because we are comforted and well fed, we’ve missed the real treasure–and in so doing, we’ve missed everything.