I spend more than enough time tearing others a new one. However, I really criticize myself more than anyone else. I spend way too much time reflecting on my own faults, bad decisions and shortcomings. Time for a self-therapy session.
This past fall, I was on my way back to my home state of Colorado when I decided to make a little detour in Iowa. I stopped for 2 reasons:
- There were billboards all down I-80 advertising a bank designed by Louis Sullivan. I love architecture and Sullivan was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright. He is also known as a contributor to the Prairie School of design.
- I love little, Midwestern small towns. Wandering around the quaint downtowns, I feel like I’m in a different age; little mom-and-pop shops, friendly people and old buildings. Sitting on a bench and absorbing it all for half an hour is a good way to take a break from the road.
While wandering around downtown, out of the corner of my eye, I kept noticing a flyer on storefronts with a woman’s face on it. Finally, my curiosity got the better of me and I stopped to look at one. The flyer was advertising a fundraiser for a young mother (3 children) who had been recently diagnosed with an advanced form of lymphoma. The 10 year survival rate for this type of thing is about 50%. While it’s not a certain death sentence, I can’t imagine being a parent and having this kind of thing hanging over my head. I’m not afraid of death, but the thought of not being around to support my children terrifies me. If death must come early, let it come after my children turn 18.
I didn’t post Monday or Tuesday because we’ve just been too busy with work on the remodel. On Sunday, I woke up at 5:30am and finally stopped working at 7:30pm. I spent a good deal of time with bad thoughts going through my head:
- This sucks!
- I’m cold!!
- I have to go to Home Depot for the 4th time today for plumbing fittings!!!
I was not in a good mood, lamenting the amount of time I was spending de-uglifying Uglyhouse. My mindset was plain foul.
Back to Iowa
I noticed she had recently posted the picture you see here. Wow, what a good swift kick to the man-bits to put my mind in the right place. As I complain about the work I have to do on my home, this woman is thrilled to wake up another day just to see her kids from the hospital bed. I suck.
I am often too negative and I really don’t like this part of myself. I work very hard, but life is good. Why do I have to see someone in a bad place to make me appreciate it? Perhaps, this is just human nature. We get accustomed to our place in life and then when a wrench is tossed into our gears, even if it’s a small one, we are unhappy. Dunno. I must try to be better though.
And Becky, I hope you make it.
UPDATE: In the comments below, Adam makes a pretty valid point. I think that a truly enlightened individual doesn’t compare themselves to others. Having to see people who are less fortunate to be happy isn’t good. Similarly, lusting after what other people have isn’t healthy either. Work hard and be happy with where you are in life regardless of others.
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