Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

The Best Of You

I was sitting in front of the television one night, watching one of the award shows.  I cannot remember which one.  During an acceptance speech by, I cannot remember who, I heard the following words, “Life is not just about the moments, it’s who you spend them with.”  I was too concerned about the actual quote when I wrote it down, I figured I would remember who said it.  I did not.  Help.

I am sure winning one of these awards is an awesome moment, but it means nothing if you have no one to share it with, or worse, share it with the wrong person.  Another expression that comes to mind begins with “surround yourself with good people…”

Being an advocate, as well as a participant in the causes I advocate for, there are moments when faced with multiple levels of toxicity.  The key is not to absorb them.  Regardless of the many health issues that I face from my days as a long term cancer survivor, I take advantage of my good days.  Regardless of any disagreements I have with my former spouse, I cherish all the moments that I get to spend with my daughters.  It is not about the moments, it is who you are with.

Some wait for a health scare to make the conscious decision to release toxicity or eliminate stress.  Some go through a major event, and still are not convinced a change needs to be made.  For some, it just takes time to realize, that is what you truly want, inner peace.

On paper, there is a lot on my plate that I have to deal with, likely overwhelming for most.  And at one time, it led to high stress for me, as well as aggravating my health issues on an accelerated basis.  But recognizing the things I face, do I choose to obsess about them, and ignore all the good that is around me?  Or do I take the approach, “I will do what I can, and that is going to have to be good enough?”

One of the ways that I have dealt with this thinking, is to take a “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” attitude.  Why?  Because even being aware of the worst case scenario, takes away the surprise factor when it comes to emotions.  When faced with bad news, we often are rattled by our emotions, which leads to more bad things because we are not thinking straight.

An example, I am followed up annually for my cardiac issues related to my cancer treatment late side effects.  My issues are not about “will they happen?”, but rather “when?”.  As I go through each follow up, I go through my strategy… worst case, it is time for the surgery, best case, still waiting.  And I apply this to every situation that I face.  This allows me to remain calm and focused.  I know that if I need the surgery, there is nothing I can do about it, I need it.  Worrying will only make it worse.  I will be in good hands.

But it is important, to keep the “who” you spend those situations with.  As my daughters have grown older, they will soon take on a role, of educating themselves about my health issues, and I will have two very strong advocates along with those that already offer me support.  A far cry from what I used to have.  It makes a difference.  It is not just about the moments, but who you are spending them with.

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