Happy New Year everyone! As I continue to slowly dip my toe in the water of blogging, I am cheating and using some prompts from other people. There is a website called http://reverbbroads.blogspot.com/ where they posted a list of writing prompts for every day in December. As you can tell, I am very behind! Actually, most of the prompts felt too much like homework. And since I am done with my PhD, homework is no longer part of my life! Whew! However, the prompt for December 6 was intriguing to me and I continued to come back to it as I thought about what to write for the New Year. So, here it is, my list of “10 things I would never do.”
1. Never say never. The world of childhood cancer taught me that the world of absolutes does not exist. And, I have already done things that I never thought I would: shaved my head, connected with other momcologists in deep and profound ways, started a blog….
2. Go skydiving. I am afraid of heights and if I ever had that kind of disposable income, I am not going to waste it jumping out of some plane praying that my chute will open.
3. Never buy another Volkswagen. EVER.
4. Spend five years with an unreliable car that I hate. Not worth the emotional and physical stress.
5. Take a job where I have to commute more than 30 minutes one way. From December 2010 to November 2011, I drove 126 miles each day to get to work. Great position (I was a Director), great people, great students. But, the toll it took on me, my health, my family, my car, and my wallet were very taxing. Still recovering.
6. I will never go another year without some sort of regular exercise routine. See number 5.
7. Go back to school for a degree. There is a reason the PhD is called “terminal.” Happy to be a student for fun, but for grades, no way!
8. I will never say to another momcologist, grieving parent, or friend, “I can’t imagine how you feel.” Or, “I don’t know how you do it.” These words, to me, are patronizing. They put distance between the person saying them and the person receiving them. It is as if the person saying them is really saying, “Thank God you are experiencing that and not me or my kid.” I didn’t choose to have a son with cancer. We were drafted. Our choice was to fight like hell and win.
9. I will never say to another momcologist, grieving parent, or friend, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” BS. I am a person of deep faith. I believe in God. I believe that God died for me and for my sins. But, I do not and never will, believe that God causes children to suffer or that God gives us our sufferings to teach us a lesson. The universe is random (more on this in a future post) and bad things happen to good people. And, there are in fact many people out there who have “more than they can handle.” This is why we must pay it forward and help where we can.
10. I will never not have a big mouth and strong opinions. This is my curse. I say what I think. Sometimes, I do it in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am getting better at apologizing for those times. This is also my gift. I will spend the rest of my life using my big mouth and my strong opinions to fight and advocate for children with cancer, increasing awareness and raising money for pediatric-specific research. Awareness=funding=research=cures.