Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Living Your Own Life

To be happy, you must live your own life.

By living your own life, I don’t mean being selfish or self-centered. That’s what most people mean when they say “I’ve got to get away and have my own space.” That’s not living your own life; it’s running away from it. I’ve known men who walked out on a wife who had just been diagnosed with cancer by saying “I have a right to be happy.” That’s not living your own life; that’s destroying it.

I’m not quite sure what I DO mean, but I know when I’m living my own life and when I’m not.

I wrote on the first page of “Now That I Have Cancer I Am Whole: Meditations on Life and Healing for Cancer Patients and Those Who Live Them,” that my granddaughter, Brigid, is “my mentor in all things bright and beautiful,” and that grandson Joe is “my hero.” One of the reasons Joe is my hero is that he lives his own life. One of the reasons Brigid is my mentor is that she lives her own life.

That’s a remarkable feat for a young person. It’s a remarkable feat for an old person, too.

The years of winter give me a chance to live my own life. Perhaps a better chance than I’ve ever had before. A unique chance. My final chance.

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