I have a friend whose name is Sue. Sue and I got to know each other a few years ago for work related reasons. We discovered we had some things in common - not the least of which is a very sick and twisted sense of humor - and we became friends. She has been one of my biggest cheerleaders literally since I lost the first 20 pounds.
One of the first things you need to know about Sue is that she has had it ROUGH. And when I say ROUGH, I mean it! From challenges related to her difficult upbringing to what she is facing now - which I'll get to - Sue has had more adversity then any one person should be forced to endure.
The second thing that you need to know about Sue is that she is one of the most wonderful human beings on the face of the earth. I seriously don't think there is a mean bone in her body. Her job involves her fighting TIRELESSLY for children. She is not only incredibly skilled at her job, but she is dedicated beyond belief. She is also one of the most generous people that I have ever met. She is fiercely loyal and supportive of her friends - sometimes to a fault. Meaning she sacrifices too much of herself to be supportive of other people, especially her friends.
Which gets us to this. Sue has battled horrific and debilitating health issues for years. She has had spots of good times, but, tragically, she is sick a lot and has been in and out of the hospital. She just underwent a series of incredibly painful and invasive treatments. The last treatment was last Thursday.
We made plans to have her over for dinner Sunday night. Saturday she was still so sick that we weren't sure that she would be able to make it. But Sunday dawned and she felt better and was able to join us for dinner.
As we ate, she filled us in on the treatments - because it is experimental, no one knows what is going to happen now. And it will be several months before knowing if the treatment worked. In the meantime she is going to start weaning herself off some medication that has horrible side effects. Despite ALL THIS - all that she is going through - she never said anything that indicates that she is feeling sorry for herself. She was able to laugh and have fun. It was overwhelming to me.
As I thought about it later it dawned on me. Some people are living with such difficult life circumstances as I sit around whining about the little things in life that bother me.
Guess what? Living with cancer is HARD. Having a child who is sick is HARD. Having to work 80 hours a week to make ends meet? That is HARD. Having chronic pain is HARD. Caring for elderly parents is HARD.
Guess what is NOT HARD? Refusing a donut that your co-workers brought in. Walking 2 miles. NOT going up for seconds. Going outside and throwing a ball for your dog rather then sitting on your ass in front of the computer. Giving up diet soda. And, note to self, seeing 120 on the scale when you want to see 117? These things are NOT HARD.
I am going to try to keep this in mind the next time I start feeling sorry for myself. I can't promise I'll succeed, after all, I'm an imperfect person. But it is a matter of perspective.
And Sue, I hope that this treatment worked and that it is all downhill from here! I love you!