Friday 31st October 2014,
The Liz Army

Living is hard work

Liz July 8, 2012 Surviving 12 Comments

My cat makes living look easy.

An acquaintance of mine posted a photo to a social media account of her working out at the gym. The caption read:

Dying is easy.

Living is hard work.

I wanted to comment on the photo caption. But then I stopped. The more I thought about what she said, the more my response changed.

Was she right? Or was she wrong? Could someone so healthy have an opinion like that? Or was her positive attitude the right way to go?

Flip-flop response

My first response was to be angry. I have friends/cancer buddies who are in hospice, and dying is not easy. I wanted to give this acquaintance a piece of my mind. I wanted to grab her by her muscle-toned arms and tell her to FUCK OFF, she doesn’t know shit about dying.

But then I cooled down and thought, “You know, living is hard.” Sometimes I worry so much about a future death (that I might not even succumb to) that I stop doing things I should be doing, like exercising and saving for retirement.

Then I did a 180: What does she know? She hasn’t experienced a medical trauma. She hasn’t worried for her own life. Life is peaches and cream for this stay-at-home, take photos of her 2-year-old all day and post them to the Internet while experimenting with vegan cooking, 30-something mom.

Then I felt guilty for thinking this way.

What do I know?

We don’t know about the trauma that exists in our friend’s lives. Shit, I write a blog about brain cancer and I write about every component of my personal life. What if this person had a miscarriage? Or was abused as a kid? Or saw her best friend die in a car crash? It is not right for me to judge her or anyone else.

Moral of this story: don’t get worked up over stupid shit.

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  • http://twitter.com/cancer2gether Facing Cancer

    What was that line from the Facebook movie . . . something like,
    if it’s written online it’s written in ink, not pencil. I can totally understand
    your reaction, but yeah, I guess sometimes it’s better to think before
    responding. Because who knows? Everyone has a story, but not everyone blogs
    about it like those of us here.
     
    Catherine
    http://www.facingcancer.ca

  • Edward Slas

    Another moral is to not type when you are mad. I also admire your command of geometry,  using 180 degrees properly.

    • http://twitter.com/TheLizArmy Liz X

      Glad you caught that.

  • Jeepgrrlz

    My sentiments exactly! Life is too short and everyone carries their own bag (:

  • http://twitter.com/the_sdawg SDAWG

    Thanks for this. I’ve been stuck in a space between trying to accept that death is inevitable – and to appreciate the time that I do have.  You’re much more sophisticated in your response than I am at this point.

  • http://bt.offensivethinking.org/ Patrick Hof

    Whenever I get jealous of other people’s lives (which doesn’t happen too often) I try to remember that what we see from the outside is not necessarily the person’s reality. I imagine how they would see me if they didn’t know about my brain tumor or that I lost my dad way too early to cancer: certainly someone you might get jealous of, with a caring wife and a job that I love, generally living a very privileged life.

    It’s all a matter of perspective.

  • Teri

    You’re right, Liz…it’s really hard to know what’s going on in someone else’s head.  My uber BFF has gone through (and is still is going through) a lot of shit in her life.  But you wouldn’t know it looking at her.  She almost always has a smile on her face and extends a helping hand to anyone in need.  Other people whine over the smallest crap.  It’s all relative, and I think we just have to put it in perspective and then get back  to what’s happening in our own lives.  That’s why I enjoy reading your blogs.  You help bring me back to earth and look at what is in front of me right now.  And I really appreciate that.  “)

  • David

    Exactly.  I see stupid, ignorant crap on t-shirts and bumper stickers every day, but in my ‘older age’ I have learned to not get so worked up about it.   It just doesn’t matter.  

    A quotation that might be good to think about when you see something lame or stupid is:

    “Don’t let it rent space in your head”

    - To your healing and health, and your wonderful, candid blog.

  • Anonymous

    Guilty.I think we’re all guilty of judging other people when we don’t know what’s going on, on the inside but I think all of us with these time bombs in our heads want to just yell at the top of our lungs It’s not fair this sucks and why me,but bad things happen to good people and vice versa.In the end we’re all going to die we just have a real good idea what we’re going to die from.That’s all I got. 

  • Bdbmbrittmeg

    i have never written here before but i have been following your blog for awhile now.  i was diagnosed with a grade 2 brainstem astrocytoma this past feb.  this post really struck home for me.  i use to worry about all the everyday struggles in life but now i have to worry about a brain tumor on top of everything else.  life is not easy but living with a brain tumor is especially hard.  i saw my doctor yesterday and my mri is stable.  i asked her if iam going to live or die from this and she answered we just dont know.  i know exactly how you feel about being stuck between happiness and sadness.  happy thats everything stable but still sad that its still there waiting to change my life forever. believe me dying is not easy.  i worked in the health care system and actually held hands with my dying patients.  theres nothing easy about it!

    • http://twitter.com/TheLizArmy Liz X

      Thanks for leaving a comment, and thanks for reading.

      Sorry about your diagnosis. You are among friends here!

      You have a special insight as to what the end of life experience is for patients. I hope the rest of us will fair well enough to enjoy our years a bit longer. 

  • http://hopeforheather.wordpress.com/ heather

    This post is all kinds of awesome.