An update and 10 things to save you time and trouble
After a few more weeks of doctor's appointments and fun times with hospital staff and technicians, I'm happy to say that some things have been ruled out (my biopsy and MRI were good!), a day has been secured for an upcoming minor surgical procedure and physically, I'm doing better than I have in a while.
Care to exhale with me?
And who would I be if I didn't have a list of ten things I've learned through my recent experiences to pass along in case they save you some time and trouble?
1) If you're concerned about someone, check-in with them directly. Don't make assumptions or gossip behind their back. Don't be afraid to ask them questions, but be ok with them not wanting to answer them... or even respond to you.
And don't take how they respond personally. Unless of course you've goofed and could learn from what they're telling you so you can do better next time.
2) If someone has had a biopsy, no matter if you know their results or not, do not... this is important... DO NOT email them claiming to be concerned but never ask how they're doing.
DO NOT jump right into telling them how they can go about curing stage 4 cancer. It's insensitive and you're making what they're going through all about you. You might mean well, but it's hurtful and it will not end well.
3) It's okay to reach out to say hello and connect even if you haven't spoken to a person for a long while. It'll be appreciated.
4) It's also ok to think kindly of them from afar and let the silence remain between the two of you. This can be appreciated too.
5) When, or if, you feel ready, share your story in any way that you wish to share it.
Someone needs to hear it. You may inspire them to make a decision, tell their story, be a little bit braver, or speak up in a way they could never have imagined before.
You may even be surprised by the new connections you'll build with people you didn't know very well before.
6) When you're physically and emotionally drained, there will be days that you'll still have to battle something.
Take it as a good sign that something riles you up enough that you dig a little bit deeper to find your last bit of fight. It might be the very spark you need to help you keep putting one foot in front of the other, to take another breath and whisper "Not today, Satan. Not today!"
7) You don't need to work with anyone who tells you you're broken, less than or that they don't see the colour of your skin. (Grrr)
Same goes for people who think that raising your "vibe" will be the answer to all of your problems. Walk. Away. You can and will find someone better to work with.
Your dollars are powerful, spend them with care and give them to people who have integrity and don't shame you into handing yours over.
8) Listen to your gut. Or your head, or your heart. Hell, it might even be a pain in your butt that's trying to get your attention.
You have an inner knowing, an intuition, that helps guide you towards and away from situations that will either work for you or against you. Trust your instincts. Continue to learn from them. They're here to help you.
9) Accept offers for help if you want them. Perhaps someone offered something, but you couldn't take them up on it right away. Check to see if it's still available.
It's also more than ok to stand on your own and do things your way.
10) Spend time doing the stuff you love, or like better, between the stuff that you don't love as much... if possible.
I'm highly suspect of the people who tell me that they can find joy no matter what they do and they love everything. They're usually those "nothing but high vibes" people I mentioned above.
Let's be honest. I'm an avid seeker of joy and sometimes I struggle to find it.
I don't know many people who get excited to clean their toilets. I don't know many people who have perfect children who they never worry about. I don't know many people who have never done a hard thing that caused them some pain. I don't know many people who look out at our current world events and think that everything is peachy keen.
BTW, if you don't believe that people have real difficult issues they're dealing with at the moment, please come out from that rock you're hiding under and educate yourself.
Instead of pretending that everything is good and that you must always be positive, find a combination that works for you. Don't feel guilty for laughing at something you find funny when your world feels like it's crumbling. Get lost in a book between awful chores and enjoy spending time with a loved one instead of doing something you feel you "should" to compete with your neighbour/colleague/friend.
So, there you have it. Hopefully, you can use something from the list to help you in your own life. Have anything else that you'd add? Hit reply and send it my way. I'd love to hear it.
Now in saying all of that, I want to thank you for the good wishes, the virtual high fives and your lovely notes. (Except that one I mentioned in step 2 above. Fuck that note.)