… it seemed I had lots of energy, although I thought I was already fading in that respect, and others. It’s been a flip-flop thing lately with the chemotherapy and it made me look back.
There are still days I feel better than others, along with some as bad, or low on energy, as I’ve ever known in my life. The “highlight days” are the kind you have where life is all the way up to so-so. Those days you merely tolerate, knowing things will soon be a great deal better, have been the days I previously looked forward to experiencing.
Except they no longer happen for me. Those “bonus days” I look forward to at this point of my life are the ones where I don’t get dizzy when I stand. Where I don’t feel too weak to run my errands or do the simple parts of everyday life. The ones without any real problems. It’s safe to say my “Class III days” have taken over as the oasis I’m seeking now.
Thankfully, because I’m older now, and even more thankfully because I spent 4⅓ years living homeless and it immeasurably deepened my perspective, I’m able to look back a great deal farther. It makes me wonder if I’m one of those people who can’t seem to be happy unless they have something to bitch about.
To be fair to myself, I could roll the film of my life back far enough to start at my age fifteen when my leg was crushed in a motor scooter-car accident. The injuries were serious and carried lifelong effects, but I can now see I made too much of it. Comparing my “now” with my varying stages of “yesterday”, I’m able to evaluate. To see what I once had and wonder why I deemed there was any need to complain about what it was and how I felt physically.
The physical injuries I’ve suffered have been many and very serious. The spinal fractures from a train-car wreck in ’76 were yet another setback. Granted, the back pain has been with me since then, reduced by time and healing to “tolerable” by the early ’80s. What I can see now, but wasn’t able to recognize then, is how we learn to live with the bad things in our lives and overcome the hazards inherent in bad events. At some point following any life tragedy we recover enough to enjoy ourselves despite of it. We accommodate the limitations and evolve to a point of enjoying life despite those hindrances.
I spent my 30s complaining about pain, letting it reduce the enjoyment I derived. Same with my 40s. When I could’ve-should’ve been enjoying my 50s I allowed my other problems to engulf them, and myself. At different stages of my life I’ve felt I was on the negative side, based on what I’d lost. The physical abilities I no longer possessed. It turns out my attitude was 180° from where it should’ve been. Instead of moaning and wailing to myself in various ways over what I’d lost, I should’ve been enjoying what I had while it was a stage of my life.
That attitude caused me to forfeit the joys of my “now” at those stages while ruing the loss of my “was” instead of comparing it to my “will be”. So, when I reflect without self-pity, another trait I was gifted while homeless and learning to cope with life, I see I gave up what I had instead of enjoying it. All that could’ve been avoided if I’d simply kept in mind a wise adage, something I hope this will teach you to live by and avoid the monumental losses I let myself suffer.
Happiness isn’t getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
I’m just sayin’.
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