Monday, May 7, 2012

Chasing Daylight & finding happiness

I'm reading a really good book, Chasing Daylight by Gene O'Kelly. Because of this book, I had one of the best days I've had in a very long time. The author, a CEO of a major global company, tells the true story of the last three months of his life. He had inoperable brain cancer. When he's diagnosed, he's told by two top neurologist that he has three months to live. I know this sounds terribly depressing, but it's not. It's one of the most uplifting and moving books I've ever read. It's about how to live your life. It's really making me stop and reassess my life.

I took the day off from work and decided I wouldn't feel guilty about it. I had a hectic weekend getting the final paperwork together for my guardianship implementation plan and inventory for my sister. I put the finishing touches on it this morning (it's about 100 copies), had seven copies made at the UPS Store. Had my original notarized and certified mailed to the Alaska Court. Then the four other copies sent to the the four interested parties. I'm so glad that's finished. It was a huge project and has been hanging over my head for two months. It's not due until May 28 so I'm getting it sent in a couple weeks early.

Today I decided to take my sister to have her hair done, color and cut. There's a 40% discount on Monday's at the salon for the month of May on Mondays. Since their services are rather pricey that's a great savings. I also had her brows waxed and tinted. She loves getting her hair done (something I personally hate), so she was very happy on the outing.

Before I left to pick her up, I read a few chapters of Chasing Daylight. It really put the whole sister thing in a different light. Instead of feeling like it was chore to be with my sister, it felt like a gift.I had a whole different attitude about it. We had a really fun time together. After her hair and brows were done, we went for a walk near her home (the assisted adult family home). It was a spectacular day. Sunshine and 75 degrees. We walked (well, she "wheelchaired") for at least 15 blocks, then turned around and went back to her home. There was a perfect breeze and it was a perfect day.

When I came home, I decided I'd do more of the following in my life. These pictures are from this afternoon.

Enjoy the cherry blossoms in our front yard. There have been years (and this one almost one of them) that I barely even noticed this amazing tree.

Enjoy the perennials that come to life without any help from me. The bleeding heart is so beautiful. Again, there have been years when I saw it from the window but never even stepped outside to appreciate it.

Look up at the sky, under the umbrella of our huge maple tree. I love this tree. 

Spend more time with this guy, Mickey (fondly referred to as Mickey Mouse...get it, a cat named after a mouse). This is the coolest cat I've ever met (but I say that about every pet I've ever had). But guy really is special. Comes when he's called, cuddles when I want to cuddle, and loves to wrap his paws around my ankles when I come home, forcing me to pick him up. Who could resist?

Work less. Yes, I mean that sincerely. This was my cubicle about two weeks ago. Someone put up police tape as a joke because I told them to all stay out of my cube! I had work that had to get done and couldn't talk to anyone! Yes, work less is one of my goals.

Eat great food. This was my dinner. And yes, that is a small hamburger in the lower left corner. It's grass fed, 1/3 of a pound of beef, and it did taste delicious. I rarely eat beef, but today I wanted beef, so I had beef (soaked the fat out on a paper towel - but really, didn't worry too much about it). There's avocado on the salad and olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing. It was my only meal today and it was wonderful. I didn't intend to only eat one meal today. It just happened. Not a big deal.

Ah, the sun. I love the sun. When it shines here in Western Washington, I want to stop and just appreciate it. We don't get enough of it, and I want to soak it up when it's here.

My bare feet in the cool, moist grass. It felt great!

Read more, and read better quality books. The last three books were stroke books (possible therapies, the details of what happens during a stroke and after, how to prevent a stroke, etc.). They were as depressing as it can get. I need to read books that fill my soul. Chasing Daylight is one of those books.

Eat fresh, perfect, sweet strawberries. These were incredible strawberries. 

There's a whole life to live. It's not a downer to be alive. My sister isn't a downer. In fact, she's an inspiration. To have gone through what she's gone through in the last seven months and still laugh at herself when she does crazy stuff (her world is a little upside down and backwards), well, she's nothing short of amazing.

I think I found my happiness.

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