Friday, October 26, 2007

Struggling for Hope

I'm lucky.

I don't have to work on Fridays. My schedule entitles me to one less day of commuting and I am grateful for that. Lately I've taken to watching Oprah early on Friday before I get to my chores, shower, grocery list or workout. It has become one way that I transition from all the busy-ness/business of the past 4 days to the weekend.

Oprah has sure had some excellent shows recently. She's explored infertility issues a bit, talked about her own struggle with thyroid disregulation, interviewed people that identify as transgender and opened a very informative discussion about mens health. The show that I watched today (via DVR, of course) really gave me some food for thought. She interviewed Randy Pausch - a man with pancreatic cancer who gave a very poignant Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University this past September.

(Click here for a link to look at it if you'd like)

Mr. Pausch talked about his childhood dreams. He described one that took him 15 years to realize and spoke about the variety of "brick walls" that presented themselves along the way. The lesson he learned about those obstacles was that they were proof of how badly he wanted certain things for his life. He explained that, to him, the "brick walls" were not there to keep him out but a way to illustrate the wanting.

Now, I'm not a gal who gets all excited about the Power of Positive Thinking and that stuff. I prefer balancing honesty with hopefulness. I'm more about keeping it real. To me it is important to acknowledge when things are shitty and not talk someone (or myself) out of feeling their true feelings. I'm definitely not going to suggest to anyone "it could be could [fill in the blank]". I think that doing that sort of thing invalidates anothers reality.

I like Randy Pausch's description of the dartboard of life. He just happened to catch the dart called pancreatic cancer. Yes, that is life. His message is of encouragement to live life in the process of scaling "brick walls" and in spite of whatever darts one may catch along the way.

So, yeah, that was the part that resonated with me. Life isn't fair - but it is actually pretty good. Excellent, even. Sure we got hit with a couple of darts including a slo-mo adoption path. I'm not going to try to put a shine on it. It sucks. But, this is where we're at...and it is going to be another long year for us of waiting. I've let go of the illusion that if I hope hard enough Jzboy and I will travel to China before the Beijing Olympics. That just isn't going to happen. And, well, if I'm being honest....we actually may be looking at 2009.

My head hurts banging it against this:

Must remember that getting over this obstacle will lead to one of my lifelong dreams.

Today I will think about all the ways I intend to live life during this process. I will do my best to hold these intentions tightly as we enter into the holiday season - a time that tends to be very difficult for me. I'm thinking that if this guy with terminal cancer can find a way to live life in the face of such tragedy and embrace the last few months of his life with such tenacity and love - surely I can follow suit. My goal is to replace the stagnance with vibrance.

I am inspired.

But I tell you life is short
Be thankful because before you know
It will be over

Cause life is sweet
And life is also very short
Your life is sweet

Natalie Merchant/Life is Sweet


Tammy said...

Beautiful post.

I was in a meeting yesterday and something was said that really made me think - "Be careful what you're looking for, because you will find it. If you are always looking for the negative in a situation, you'll find it...but, if you look for the positive, you'll find that instead. Take your pick." Seems so simple, yet so profound. Kind of like what you just posted today.

Take care.

Joannah said...

Your post inspired me, too. Life is just a series of brick walls, in a way. We just have to keep scaling the walls to reach our goals and live our dreams.

Happy Friday!

Special K said...

Very well said. I couldn't agree more.

Katie J said...

"I think that doing that sort of thing invalidates anothers reality."

Mmm...well said. You have me thinking too. Thank you.

new girl said...

Well, you have brought me to tears (in a good way). This has become one of my all time favorite blog posts. xoxo.

kris said...

I saw this episode too. But your post had me crying harder, those good tears. Thanks for this. I needed it.

Cavatica said...

Good stuff. I haven't watched Oprah in ages, but I always liked her.

LIZ said...

Excellent post!...makes one think!

i-Con said...

Amazing post.

I've had my own dose of darts recently and they have done their job of giving me the perspective to realize how fortunate I really am.

Gotta love inspiration when it comes.

Beeb said...

I just watched this episode this morning (taped on my VCR ;) ). Mr. Pausch is indeed inspirational as well as the other woman who was on the show. Living in the moment, enjoying what is now. That is such a challenge and has been my quest during this long wait. I'm still working on it.
I love that song of Natalie Merchant's - you have to decide IN YOUR OWN MIND.

Thanks for the post - perspective is good

Princess Diaries said...

I'm an Oprah fan too (thanks to the DVR) I was so inspired by Pauch as well.

Shannon said...

Vibrance. That is a gorgeous word. I think I will write it on my hand everyday this week so I can move in that direction. Thank you! Keep us updated and inspired, k? =)

amy said...

what a lovely post and sounds like it was a great show!

Ashley Winters said...

Great message! I love Oprah as well.

Mrs. Vandertramp said...

I find that so much of life and happiness involves picking yourself up after hitting that brick wall and realizing that the world is still a beautiful place. Desiderata, anyone?

atomic mama said...


Doris & Dan said...

A reminder of what to take from life and how to look at things.

Keep smilin!

secret agent said...

you go girl,
you are more enlightened than me at the moment.
I hope to catch up
and get a life soon

walternatives said...

I, too, was inspired by Randy Pausch when I saw that video several weeks ago.

Brava for your words about feelings. Many years ago, a good friend (now a LMSW) told me "Feelings are never right or wrong." I've honored that wisdom -with knowing it - ever since. And it's precisely my feelings that MAKE my life so sweet. Great post, sweetheart. Keep up the Vibrance.

Mrs Pushy said...

A refreshingly honest and heartfelt assessment of your process. Thank you for giving inspiration and hope.

Headmeister said...

I came here looking for your butternut squash recipe and realized how many posts I've missed of yours because I haven't been blog surfing in a while. I stopped to read this one and I'm thankful for it. Beautiful post my dear, just beautiful.