My first attempt at blogging: I knit and have started a crochet project as well. I'm a retired elementary school teacher who still subs occasionally. I have a married daughter and a son who just completed his masters degree and, hopefully, will find a good job soon! My husband and I are currently organizing a walk for pancreatic cancer research through the Lustgarten Foundation. I will attempt to write about these aspects of my life, as well as about political issues of the day.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Have you ever had an experience that left you wanting to live every moment of your life?

This past year I watched my 50-year-old brother cope with terminal cancer. He always measured his worth in terms of his professional accomplishments - seeing his success in completion of tasks requiring weeks of 12-hour work days. To the frustration of his girlfriend and me, he used his last days of strength to finish a work project rather than to relish what we would consider to be the more important parts of our lives. But that was his way; it was what defined him as a person.

I also accompanied a very close female friend through her journey from "unhappy,but unwilling to admit it wife" to divorced, self-confident, dating, single, independent woman. She had long been the wife who kept peace by puffing-up her husband and having her own interests, needs, and accomplishments ignored. This past weekend, she gathered all those who helped her see herself through our eyes for a celebration. She is beginning to see what we see in her: a fantastic person!

What does define us as individuals? It should be more than our professional titles. Though they are vital parts of us that, hopefully, help us mold the world, they do not necessarily reflect our inner selves. We are friends, parents, siblings, children, lovers, spouses. We as individuals are the sum total of the many, many roles we fill each day, and of our interactions that come with each of these roles.

And, as the song says, "We Should Live Each Day as if We Were Dying". Maybe that explains why I have lately been so open to trying new (and for those who know me) unexpected things. This past year I have really become a knitter. I have been fearless in attempting a complicated first crochet project. And most unexpectedly just returned from a family vacation that included more outdoorsy activities than this Brooklyn-born woman ever imagined. Me in a log cabin? Me in a kayak? Go fiqure!


  • At 4:34 PM, Blogger Lucy said…

    That is my motto...go figure! I use it for everything. My life has been one giant GO FIGURE!!! Doing things I never thought my mind and/or body could handle...but it has...and I'm so incredibly happier for it!!! GO FIGURE!!

  • At 1:30 AM, Blogger Julie said…

    My motto has been "what would I do if I wasn't afraid". It's helped me take big leaps I may not be willing to make if I give in to the negative what if's. Having mottos like these are essential to letting us live our lives to the fullest.

  • At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's funny that I always considered you and dad adventurous, but that in the last few years I've also seen you become *really* adventurous. It's certainly true that much of our lives revolved around the safe and familiar, but the few times that really challenged those things (like leaving the city 20 years ago, say, or even just spending summers in the country) managed to stick with us and make us more open to new things.

    Sometime during the summer I turned 21, I let go of the fears that drove me and started approaching opportunities with the mindset of trying anything once. I don't know what it was that influenced me to do that, but I do know that having grown up witnessing illness and loss and also great joys, I have a keen appreciation for making the most of it. Through most of my growing-up years I was convinced that what I wanted was out of reach; once I realized that a direct path to happiness is a pipe dream, I was happy to stumble along and see what I could piece together.

    You and dad made it okay for me to stumble around, and to sometimes stumble very far from where I know you'd prefer me to be. But when you come and spend three days in a log cabin, it speaks more than words ever could that you appreciate my choices as my own. That you enjoyed it is even better!


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