my plans to finish five memes in five days were derailed yesterday – too many work deadlines first of all, too sad, second of all. Sad, just because – nothing personally has happened to me (knock wood, praise God) but the kind of sad that comes from living. This case has been stuck in my mind for two days and, in fact, was the first thing I thought of when I opened my eyes this morning. Yesterday most of my day was spent writing about the signs and symptoms of (a.) brain cancer, (b.) ovarian cancer and (c.) breast cancer. I’m particularly passionate about ovarian cancer because of just how mysterious it is, which makes it all the more deadly, and I am dedicated to breast cancer reseach, but yesterday it was the brain cancer information that really got to me. You see, a co-worker of mine is about to lose her fifty-year old aunt to brain cancer. Her aunt showed no symptoms of harboring this tumor until one night she woke up and started cooking dinner at four in the morning. When her husband awoke and found her doing so, he asked her what she was doing and she suddenly had a seizure. For a while she had hope through a clinical trial but her platelets dropped dangerously low and she went, in the course of five days, from being able to lead a relatively normal life (thanks to the clinical trial drug) to slipping into a coma. Another co-worker’s niece, age 25, was just diagnosed with a stage III brain tumor after going to the doctor because she blanked out occasionally in conversation. And yet another co-worker’s nephew went to the doctor because of troublesome sinuses and was also diagnosed with a brain tumor and given six weeks to live. All of this had me thinking about the desperate fragility of life, and the difficult time we all have negotiating illness, and while I was sad for my co-workers it was a productive kind of sad, the kind of sad you need to experience now and then to get through this life.
But it does not go hand in hand with memes.
Today, I am NOT sad, and so I will complete my last meme of the week, which I found on yogamum’s blog: Eight things I know. I’m pretty sure this meme comes from the whole Oprah “I know this for sure” thing, but I’ll give it a go anyway.
Eight things Courtney knows:
1. Despite the cliche, it is okay to sometimes go to bed mad with the one you love. Sometimes fights just unravel ridiculously through the evening and should be resumed over good coffee, in gentle morning light.
2. Have a lot of money is not important, but having enough certainly is. Enough means enough to pay bills, have a savings account of some type or another, and have some pocket money.
3. Life is short. Every morning you should wake up and repeat this: Today I will do good work, whatever that work may be. And today, I will enjoy myself.
4. Unconditional love for another person is incredibly difficult to achieve, and probably can only be achieved in certain moments, but when it is achieved it is utterly worth it.
5. It’s so trite, but you really do need to find what you enjoy and pursue doing it. You only get this one life and to spend it doing anything less than what you love most is a waste.
6. You should marry someone who shares your same ideas regarding children, money, sex, extended family and community commitment. You must be able to laugh with the person you marry, as well – but you better not consider laughter a good substitute for sex. You need both.
7. You should never ever ever ever think you will change the person you marry never ever. Perhaps one of you will take up golf, or the other will quit smoking, or maybe some one will go on a health kick and lose a few pounds, but the core of the person you marry will not nor will it ever change. Make sure you love the very core of the person you marry – make sure you don’t expect things to change. They really never do. You want to be thankful for that.
8. Ensure your own happiness. If you are happy, you can move forward in the world and make a difference. Value yourself and your ability to change the world, however you so choose to do so. You are born into a very specific moment in an otherwise long and storied history of the world, so seize the day.
Programming will return to regularly scheduled randomness on Monday.