It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything but post quotes du jour here, and I haven’t done even that with any regularity. Of course, if you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you know that I’ve been dealing with a cancer diagnosis since last June, so my priorities and energies have shifted dramatically to say the least. I don’t want to go into it all here, but if you’d like, you can go to my Caring Bridge site and get the details on the ups and downs I’ve been through, especially in the last six months.
With illness—and the definite possibility of my life ending from it—being front and center for me, I nonetheless continue to search for meaning in my life as it stands now and in my life that has gone before. What have I contributed? What do I/can I contribute now?
I used to worry that I couldn’t do more to save the world. Then, when I finally realized that I couldn’t, it was such a relief. I’m not a flag-waver or the kind of person who starts a movement; I’m more of a one-on-one (or two or three) kind of person. I finally decided some years back that I could do my part to save the world one person at a time, by trying to have positive interactions with the random people put in my path. (“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” ~Mother Teresa) I count on the ripple effect: if I help someone have a better day, maybe that inspires them to help someone else have a better day. Of course, the drawback here is that you rarely get feedback from your efforts; most of the time you never know what effect you may have had on that person. You just have to trust.
A number of people have called me “inspiring” in the last nine months, and I wonder at that, since, over here, I often feel like I’m just hanging on by my fingernails, just trying to flow with the current of my life as it is. I suppose, though, that hanging on by one’s fingernails can be a pretty big deal sometimes, especially to others who, for whatever reason, doubt they could do the same in a similar situation. So I have to trust that whatever I do and whatever I say to people I encounter in the midst of what I’m facing these days may have some positive outcome, both for me and for them. In the end, what we can do is all we can do.
This blog is one way that I’ve been able to touch more than one person at a time, and I’m grateful for that. My time away from the blog has been understandable, but I also know that it’s as beneficial for me as it is all of you who have been kind enough to follow it. So I resolve to post more regularly, even if it’s only quotes du jour (though I found several posts in my drafts folder that are more or less complete and can be published over the next few weeks). In the meantime, thank you so much for being a part of pathwriter.