Thursday, April 30, 2009

Where to Look Each Day

Day to day living after being diagnosed with cancer can be challenging. In between the doctor visits, tests, treatments, waiting for test results lies days to just live. Days that might require going to work, taking care of family issues, going to children's activities. Life after diagnosis has a new meaning and many might think that once faced with this would come open roads to do what brings great meaning, joy and not putting off for tomorrow.

The daily activities that were present before the day of diagnosis do not mysteriously go away and lead to the wide open world of carpe diem. Family members still have needs, children still need to be played with, read to and given bathes. It would be nice to sell the house and move to the Caribbean but life must go on. Yes, priorities might change and plans moved up, but when day to day life calls, where does one find inspiration?

I recently read a post from the blog, Zen Habits that lists 30 incredible places to turn when you need inspiration. In the post, Leo Babuta had asked readers on Twitter for ideas and he put many of his favorites on the site. The list is interesting and many do not require an electrical hook up or WIFI.

It can be challenging to find ways to bring inspiration into daily lives that often require routine tasks. I would love to hear from others what they find inspiring.
Today it was 20 minutes reading with a cup of tea before heading into work. Have to say the time taken was well worth it.


Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

I'm an 18+-yr survivor, in and out of rx (currently in remission). I've heard many people say they want to live each day as if it were their last. But that approach never appealed to me and had many downsides.

For one, as you focus on in your post, the daily activities, hassles, responsibilities don't disappear. To want to avoid - or to resent - the humdrum annoyances and inconveniences opens a path to unhappiness.

Another consequence of living for today and only today is that I'd lose hope: hope for better tomorrows. The hope that rests of delayed gratifications, such as working on a project now that won't bring real pleasure until later (maybe much later). Such as saving money now for a future trip or purchase.

For me, it has been living for today AND tomorrow. Trying to embrace all the little daily wonders, many that used to go unnoticed. Trying to brush off annoyances, but not beating down on myself if I do get annoyed.

I wrote about moving on in a poem entitled View From Remission that can be found on my website (click inspiration, and then click on poems).

With hope, Wendy

Ronni Gordon said...

Sometimes the daily chores themselves can take you out of your worries. You know, the old mindfulness technique: When doing the dishes, focus just on doing the dishes. I always find that getting into a good book or taking a walk or being with my children helps too. Of course the kids are people too and when they are having a bad/grumpy day, they're not such a great distraction!