Sometimes in life there are things beyond your control. You have to learn to roll with the punches. And that’s not always easy.
I know. I’m in a kind of precarious situation at the moment when it comes to my health. I’ve been in my doctor’s office three times since 6 August — first to discuss the symptoms that presented, then to follow up on each round of testing and decide the next course of action. There’s still no ‘clear’ indication of what’s happening or why. So, I wait. Wait for the next test, scheduled for next week, and then I’ll wait for those results. Waiting is the worst because, when I’m stuck inside my head, I imagine the worst of all scenarios. What if it’s this? What if it’s that? How will I react to whatever it is? Because maybe, after all is said and done, it’ll be nothing.
Still, I want to know what I’m dealing with, no matter what it is. The first diagnosis and course of treatment seemed to ‘solve’ one issue, then unearth another. What I love about technology is how it’s made accessing my healthcare reports easier. Through the Patient Portal, I can see when my results come in and my doctor’s instructions, like File or Contact Patient. I made the mistake on the weekend of checking to see if the latest round of test results were in. They were, but my doctor was on vacation, so I didn’t know if there was an ‘urgency’ — like the last time — for us to discuss them.
Returning from my doctor’s appointment yesterday, I know that it’s all beyond my control. Knowing that doesn’t stop me from brooding over what’s happening. I try to stay focused, but I know my productivity has taken a hit. Despite everything that’s happening, I’m trying to roll with the punches … take it all day by day.
But there’s a lesson in every situation. My takeaway is this: be sure that, wherever we are on our life journey, that we’re doing what we love. Now is the time to do it, because if we keep putting it off, we’ll never achieve the thing we feel we must do. We’ll never — and I love how Oprah Winfrey puts it — “[…] fulfill the highest, truest expression of ourselves as human beings.”[note]Oprah Winfrey, The Wisdom of Sundays, Flatiron Books, 2017, p. 8.[/note]
Now is the Time
Yes, now is the time, if you haven’t already, to strike out. Don’t wait until tomorrow to start training for that half-marathon. Don’t wait until you retire to write the book you’ve always felt was within you. Don’t wait until the beginning of the month to start that diet you’ve been talking about since 2016. Whatever you want to do, whatever you feel you can do … begin it. Now.
Let me give you an example of what can happen if you decide to wait. My father worked hard to provide for his family. It wasn’t until I was an adult, living on my own, that I understood the cost of raising a family, of living in this world (and that money didn’t grow on trees). We weren’t rich, we weren’t poor, but we never wanted for anything. We had the opportunity to travel — not extensively or luxuriously — but enough to not feel sheltered or uncultured. My father loved to travel and play golf. As his retirement neared, he said that travelling and playing golf would fill his days. A year and a half into his retirement (he was fifty-five when he retired), he was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer and given about six months to live. He fought, fought hard to live … to travel, play golf, and do what he loved. My father passed away at age fifty-eight, eighteen months after his diagnosis.
Strike Out Now
Yes, strike out now … just because you can, and that can yield fantastic results. Let me give you an example. At the beginning of 2018, I didn’t make any resolutions. I haven’t done that for over a decade. On 1 January, I woke up sick — sore throat, nasal congestion, and upset stomach. The cold lasted for about two weeks. Tired, feeling crappy and unusually irritable, I decided on 17 January that I was done with alcohol. No more drinking (I didn’t drink much, anyway). No more cooking with alcohol. My goal was to quit cold turkey. And I’ve been sober for more than 223 days. Together with running and paying closer attention to what I eat, I’ve lost twenty pounds. My energy level is up. I’m sleeping better. But I didn’t wait for the beginning of the next week or month to go sober. I started that day, a Wednesday, and didn’t look back.
Yes, I can’t stress it enough. Now is the time to begin. Do it. Now!