This won’t be a very nice opening for my most recent post….but I promise if you read on…you will find HOPE, possibly inspiration, and maybe a little attitude change. In the past six months SIX people in my life have died. And of all those people (with the exception of one)—every one of them was under the age of 55. I don’t know what age or stage of life you are in right now, but to me that is WAY too young. As a 52 year old, unfortunately I have to identify with those who are in “MIDLIFE” (as much as I do so kicking and screaming)…..but all these friends of mine—they DIED in what was supposed to be their “midlife”. Friends, we never know when our lives will end….three of these friends died from cancer, one died from ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease) and two died suddenly with no symptoms of any kind of illness. Life is short, life is precious, life is beautiful. You hear me repeat those words in almost every one of my blog posts. Let’s face it—we go to a memorial service and we hear amazing things about the person who died, the life they lived, the impact they made….and we leave…and we vow to make every moment count, to live life with purpose and intention….and then….LIFE gets in our way. But how are we going to live our “right now”?
I have sat on my soap box (this blog) for over two years now screaming as loud as I can that we MUST live each day with gratitude, with joy, with vibrant passion…..and I mean it. I know that work, school, sports, schedules, errands….all are part of this thing called life. But let’s really think about how we approach this life we are living….how our attitudes and our hearts affect our daily living.
I have friends going through every “midlife” crisis that is out there-- from job loss to divorce to affairs to financial troubles to parenting issues to spiritual famines to physical illness to chronic pain. It isn’t easy, and we know that no one ever said it would be…..(so why do we keep fooling ourselves?). But here is what I have discovered (and must re-discover for myself daily)—how we approach every circumstance is a choice of the heart and the mind. Yes, there are some horrific circumstances out there…..but how are we looking at it, how are we handling what gets thrown our way?
I had a goal to compete in a 5k, 10k and a half marathon during this year of 2015 of being cancer free. Then I got caught up in training for a triathlon as well. After my chemotherapy ended last March, I set out to re-train myself in my running….continued with my biking, and began to add swimming to my routine. I was on a roll—having a blast—especially on my bike. It felt great to be back on the road in beautiful San Diego and it felt invigorating….until the day I crashed on my bike. I had been doing a “brick work out” which is when you run and then ride (and do two parts of a triathlon back to back for your training workout). What ensued was that I now have a torn ACL and torn meniscus…..and will have surgery on my knee next month. My running is over (my knee is still unstable) though I can still bike ride—carefully and gingerly…of course until the surgery. I had to cancel the half marathon and the triathlon that I was signed up for. Obviously this SUCKS. I thought I was finished with surgeries…after all I had four surgeries related to cancer in the past two years! But what am I going to do with my given circumstances? Pout? Of course! Whine? Yep! Get frustrated and angry? Absolutely! But for how long? It is what it is….now I move on. I accept what my circumstances are and I set new goals and find out new ways to exercise. I deal with it. Do I do this on my own? Am I super woman who always has a smile on her face and a top notch attitude? NOPE. Not even close. I am a flawed woman who needs a Savior. I don’t have a good or joyful attitude on my own accord—it is only when I lean on Jesus Christ that my heart and my attitude are changed. That is how I cope. That is how I deal. That is how I move forward. Not on my own, but in the arms of the One Who adores me.
Yesterday I got to celebrate my son’s 15th birthday. Two years ago I didn’t know if I would be alive to share any more birthdays with my boys. I received a gift—a precious present of another day with my two sons, my husband, my family, and friends. I don’t know when my life will end, when my sons’ lives will end, when my friends’ lives will end. But I know that I have “right now.”
How will you live your “right now”?