perspective

This morning I learned of yet another person closely connected to me who's very recently been diagnosed with cancer. This time it's my friend's mother; in fact, I'd say she's a friend of mine, too, because I know her and she even watched Daniel for me a few times that summer I was working on my dissertation. She has a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that is not curable, though people who have it can live with it for a long time.

I'm starting to get used to receiving alarming emails every few weeks bearing news of someone with a serious medical issue. And I'm getting used to hearing "the best of bad news." So-and-so has cancer - BUT they caught it early and the next few months will be hell but she'll be fine. Mom broke her leg BUT at least it wasn't her hip and she'll recover. S has incurable lymphoma BUT it's in early stages and she ought to have many relatively healthy years ahead of her.

Combine this with the terrible economic news and I'd say my perspective on life has changed quite a bit in the last few months. For instance, griping about how I've let any career plans I might have had come to a grinding halt because of motherhood? That feels selfish. We're outgrowing our 900sq ft house with no garage and no possibility of moving? Hey, at least we've got a roof over our heads. Wisconsin winters seem interminable (we got 3" of snow yesterday and it will get down to about 4 degrees tomorrow night even though it is MARCH, people! We've changed our clocks already!!)? Winter won't actually last forever, and the snow is starting to melt.

Please forgive the cliché, but I'm trying hard to be thankful for what I have and not take so much for granted. I'm trying to appreciate more in my everyday life and be more patient with my kids and myself. Instead of worrying and fretting about every petty little thing that goes wrong, I am trying to keep my perspective, see the big picture, and take each problem as it comes.

I'll let you know when it starts working.

Comments

Pam said…
Hi Suze, it sounds like you've got a really healthy attitude. I have to remind myself of those same things. I'm sure we all do. I'm actually reading another self-help book (I guess I'm addicted to them) about how to not worry. I never realized just how anxious and worried I am all the time. One of the many pieces of advice he gives about when you find yourself overcome with worry is to just state what is happening where you are - the obvious, "I am standing in the kitchen washing the dishes. I am breathing in and out. Ian is in the other room playing a video game. Nashira is playing with a mouse." or "I am walking down the street." or whatever. That has been really helpful to me in breaking up my worrying. He also talks about how to divide your worry into productive and unproductive categories and also how to accept that the future is always uncertain. Anyway, I hope spring comes to you soon.
Mrs. Allroro said…
God's mercies are new every morning, and i love you. That's all.
Animal said…
I know exactly how you feel, Suze: I just blogged about my own petty concerns, and here I read your and Steph's posts and realize that, all things being equal, I have such a gracious life.

Still…your problems are YOUR problems, no one else's, so if you need to wallow in them for awhile, try not to invalidate yourself by comparing your issues with those of someone else. Self-pity may BE selfish, but sometimes you gotta look after your own house first.

(As Steph would attest, given her plumbing problems!)

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