A note from the LWK team: This is reprinted from a 27 year-young woman who was dying from cancer. We apologize we don’t know who to credit for sharing her remarkable and meaningful perspectives. If anyone knows who wrote this, please tell us so we can give proper credit.
“ I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and gray- most likely caused by the beautiful family ( lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts.
That’s the thing about life; it is fragile, precious and unpredictable, and each day is a gift, not a given right.
I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands.
Those times you are whining about ridiculous things ( something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s ok to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively affect other people’s days.
Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie ( substitute Pacific NW) air deep in your lungs, look how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; it is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that- breathe.
You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling.
Let all that stuff go. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go.
It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole.
I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more.
I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise- be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise my seem like such trivial things until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them.
Appreciate your good health and functioning body- even if it is not your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is. Move it and nourish it with fresh food. Don’t obsess over it.
…delete any account that pops up on your news feed that gives you any sense of feeling crap about yourself. Friend or not. Be ruthless for your own well-being.
Be grateful for each day you don’t have pain, and even the days where you aer unwell with the flu or a sore back or a sprained ankle, accept it is crap but be thankful it isn’t life threatening and will go away.
Whine less and help each other more. Give. Give. Give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more.
…It’s a weird thing having money to spend at the end…when your are dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and “things” in our lives. Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewelry. No one cares if you wear the same thing twice. It feels good. Take them out for a meal, or better yet cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Buy / give them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them.
This year, our family agreed to do no presents … people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other. … those cards mean more to me than any impulse purchase could. ..
Use your money on experiences. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material stuff.
Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water.
Get amongst nature. Listen to music…really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best. Cuddle your dog.
Talk to your friends. Put down your phone, Are they doing ok? Travel if it is your desire, don’t if it’s not.
Work to live, don’t live to work. Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy.
Eat the cake. Zero guilt.
Say no to the things you really don’t want to do.
Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life… you might want a mediocre life and that is so ok.
Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.
Also remember if something is making your miserable, you do have the power to change it- in work or love or whatever it may be. Have the guts to change.
You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable.”
These are wise words from a woman who was clearly leaving this earth too soon. As we close out one year and soon move on to the next, our hope at Live Well Kitsap is you will be intentional this year in how you live, work, play and relate to others in 2024.
We wish you great health, energy, peace, love, joy and the contentment that comes from gratitude,-not seeking approval from the outside world, leaning into family, faith and friends, and prospering both personally and professionally.