There’s an old saying in Jewish circles that if you get a group of people together and they put all their worries in a bag and threw their bags into the center of a circle and told them to pick a bag, they would all take their own bag back. Well, since my accident, I’ve been re-evaluating ‘my bag’ I guess. And, of course, when we do this it always seems that things are presented to us (both good and bad) to show us about our perspective bags.
Currently in my life, I have two very dear friends dealing with cancer. One has breast cancer, the other has liver cancer which has metastasized to multiple other places. Both are dealing with the treatments, the operations, the drugs, the change in their psyche and bodies and the multitude of other factors that come into play when something so devastating presents itself in one’s life. They are dealing with bravery, honesty, grace and as much strength as they can each summon. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. My incident was seconds in time–theirs, on going.
Also, every time I turn on the news and hear about the countries at war and the brave things that people are doing to help, I am humbled. The doctors that are risking their lives, going across enemy lines working in make-shift hospitals to help the injured, it amazes me. This is because the wounded have nowhere to go: the hospitals aren’t functioning; the doctors are being killed and the medicine is not coming through to reach the citizens. And the doctors that are coming are volunteering their time to do so. They could be vacationing on some tropical island instead, but they have chosen to help the suffering. To abide by the credo they swore to uphold. And I think: ‘my bag’ could be to live in one of these countries, where bombs land daily, and my children would constantly be in danger, where there is never enough food or money or jobs. Instead I live in peace and can be grateful for the people who do good work.
Yes, it’s true: I hear people complaining all the time about the politicians in this country and joblessness. And it’s true: there is homelessness in this country too. And it shouldn’t be that way in any country, but certainly not in America where millions of dollars are wasted on things like sports (sorry, but when people and children are hungry, this isn’t right). But I also know people who will only take certain jobs and won’t try for any job. This I do not understand. So in this case, I am grateful for what’s in my bag: a decent job that keeps a roof over my head.
All the little things I hear now that people complain about that somehow seem insignificant to me. I suppose when you face the grim reaper in the eyes, it just changes one’s perspective. I’m trying harder to be more positive. (Although I did take myself off the dating website. That will drive anyone to be negative!) I posted pictures today of dark clouds. But in typical New England fashion, today was a day of: looks like rain, bright sunshine, looks like rain, bright sunshine. They say– if you don’t like the weather: wait a minute. So that’s what life is like I guess: maybe it’s filled with the big stormy looking clouds, but you know right behind them is the sun. Give it some time and have faith, because it WILL come out. It may take some time but it is there, even if on some days you don’t really believe it.
So, I guess I’ll keep my bag. Even though there are times I feel like it’s too heavy or filled with crap. It’s still my bag and I’m used to it. It’s comfortable, I know what’s in it, know how to sling it over my shoulder, know what to do with the stuff inside, know what to throw away the stuff I don’t use anymore. Hopefully someday the bag may get smaller and easier to drag around. Maybe someday it’ll just be a purse. So, yup, I think I will keep it. And besides: no-one else would want it anyway.