One of the most important things that we have gained from our cancer experience is appreciation of what is really important in our lives and what is just fluffy stuff.
Guess what? In the grand scheme of things, most of what we care about is just fluff. Why is this important to recognize?
Because we have less energy than we are used to having and we need to be extra careful how we use it. When we wake up in the morning we only have so much energy to get us through the day; each time you use some of that energy it is spent, gone, never to be recovered.
Patients and caregivers alike are obviously under tremendous stress and have more to worry about and more to do than ever, so why waste any of that precious energy on fluff when there are so many truly important things to care about?
|First family (dys) function after cancer diagnoses.|
Personal offenses were flying (in our minds only. Our family has never been vocal enough to yell them at each other (until that day) we've always just talked things out when things have bothered us).
In the end, I found myself shouting at my adult kids, "Pop is dying, and you're carrying an offense because you were asked to sweep the floor, REALLY????? Someone just sweep the damn floor!" (I personally wasted so much energy that day!).
In the midst of cancer (or any other illness or crises) isn't that just fluffy stuff?
Why waste physical and emotional energy on it? You’re going to need that same energy later.
Ignore it and save some of that energy where it counts.
Why bother harboring an offense? It takes way to much energy to continue to feed it as opposed to forgive and move on. Love doesn't keep a record, so get over it.
The next day Terence calls a family meeting. My older sister (being the peacemaker and fixer--- she does it for a living- she helps businesses figure out how to change themselves and become more productive); she takes out the dry erase board and writes: "The new Normal"- and we talked about how we as a family can adjust to Pop's diagnoses in a healthy way.
|'Dys' function became a fun tradition.|
I have to be on guard for energy thief's—those things that might make me mad or cause a fight or other unpleasantness which, in reality, just don’t matter- there are BIGGER things in life that matter. Helping someone in need. Spending time with someone who has no one. Health. Life. Your family.
That’s why I say: choose our battles and spend your energy on things that matter. That’s right… we can choose.