I have to tell you that I find it really hard to write about my personal life, so this is my attempt at doing so , so help me God.
You see, on February 25, 2019, after a string of tests and doctor visits, I was diagnosed with an early phase of cancer which I was lucky to discover in its beginning. But, this post isn’t exactly about that. In fact, I choose not to bore you with my feelings, my emotions, or the ups and downs related to the matter. The truth is that I don’t find anything interesting in jotting down my day to day feelings regarding the last few months I was sick. I just don’t believe that my struggles are any different than those experienced by anyone in my position, nor are they particularly special when compared to those lived and felt by anyone undergoing any life changing experience of any type for that matter.
Instead, I will tell you what I learned from the experience. I learned that first and foremost we have a choice in life. We choose exactly how we want to deal with the things that happen to us, and this also applies to the life events that are beyond our control. We can either allow each challenge we face to define us or we can find in our challenges an opportunity to learn and grow.
I choose option two, because from the day I received the news, I realized that moping about the matter won’t speed my recovery. Sure, I had my down days, but even those to me where episodes in passing.
When I made the choice to be fine, I instantly saw that we as people have a deep strength within us. Life arms us with that strength the minute we choose to move from the position of victim to fighter. In fact, I went about my life as normal, while positioning my doctor visits as facts in my day to day activities. From day one, I made getting better my only priority so whatever brought me closer to this goal I did with no questions asked.
But apart from gaining strength to deal with whatever I need to deal with, I also realized that we as people have a tendency to really sweat the small stuff. This was my case before this change, and I am sure that this is our reality when we take life for granted and when we think we are living for ever. Prior to being diagnosed, a squabble at work or with a friend was enough to depress me for two days straight, but now I realize that nothing is worth being stressed about beyond its sphere of influence.
Sure, I care about my work, but I learned to only care about my work while I am at work or when I am actually doing something related to it. I banished those late night thoughts about work, and I stopped boring my friends with requests for advice regarding my job. I realized that stressing too much about anything doesn’t make us better at it.
I instantly saw that when we deal with the different areas of our life in the time and place where they need to be dealt with, we gain focus, and we do gain perspective. In fact when work is done at work and our friends and family are dealt with outside work, we become more productive and efficient.
I still would care if I argued with a friend, but I also learned that I will not allow the matter to depress me for more than the duration of the argument itself. I learned to trust in life that an argument is not a deal breaker unless it is with people who have no space in our lives to begin with.
The outcome from this resolve was that I saw people for who they really are. Some people in my life shed their skins as friends, and were peacefully moved to the accommodating acquaintance shelves of my mind. These shelves today are filled with the people who disappeared the minute I lost my ability to go out as much as before, or who just contact me in order to entertain themselves while talking for hours about their problems. The acquaintance shelves of my mind also fit the people who said things like “Call me when you can go out again.” without saying “hey, how are you feeling.”
I didn’t even need to burn any bridges, discuss the matter with anyone, or even state my reasons for changing how I deal with different people in my life. I just saw people their true light and acted accordingly.
On the upside, there are people who entered my life in these times, simply because they pleasantly surprised me. So, my acquaintance and friendship balance was maintained. I lost some friends and gained others. I guess life has its own way of cleansing your circle of family and friends.
You see, when your life forces you to pay attention to your health, and in my case this was a factor that I had taken for granted, you know that anything else should take second place. Without your health you can’t achieve anything in life. It’s that simple.
On that note, I also realized that being healthy is easier than I thought it was. I guess this choice is connected to my original resolve that I’m going to be fine. I started eating healthy food without really thinking about it, and I was finally able to cut sugar from my life cold turkey. The silver lining in doing so was that I finally lost a good chunk of the extra weight I was trying to lose for the last five years. I still have more weight to lose but I’m getting there .
I have been off from work for a month now, recovering from my surgery, and this time really allowed me to set my priorities straight. As I had stated in my previous blog post, I had learned that the power of perspective is really important. I learned to give everyone and everything in my life the weight deserved no more or less .
I guess, life forces us to figure out what is really important to us and what shouldn’t be. If we don’t figure it out on our own it throws a detour in our journey that forces us to stop and pay attention.
In my case, it was what it was. Thankfully, I’m fine now, I am still undergoing treatment but I am sure that in a few months the whole thing will be behind me, and I will rise from it a better person. I am a better person than I used to be, and I still look forward to more personal growth.
I guess, I am making myself a priority because without maintaining me, I can’t do anything else. I look forward to resuming my life and going back to work next week. The holiday is almost over, so let’s face the world again. 🙂
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