I love when a subject crosses my mind to write about and then it continues to pop up in my life, in a very “meant to be” way. Since my 2nd thyroid surgery, I have been trying to make the most of life and gain some new life experiences over the past year to not only keep me busy, but to just make some new, happy memories that could possibly overshadow the pain of this diagnosis (emotional and physical). I’m not saying you should always just distract yourself from your issues in life, but I also haven’t liked the idea of letting my circumstances with thyroid cancer control my day-to-day life, but I realized I was to some degree and that it needed to change.
If you’ve read my blogs, you know by now that I LOVE music… It’s ridiculous how obsessed I can get with a musician when I find a song or album that I love. In the past year, the main obsession has been Keith Urban. I’ve always loved his music, but after getting the amazing experience of seeing him play up close at Legends Corner in Nashville one night, I absolutely fell in love. The more I listen and watch interviews with him, the more I love him as a person. I feel connected, and he has a way of making me feel like I really know him on a personal level through the way he performs. He’s so passionate about what he does and after going to 6 shows this year alone (my 6th one is this weekend for my 29th birthday), the amount that I admire him grows more and more. I know I’ve written about this subject before, but PASSION. Why so often do we stifle it when we feel so strongly about something? We shouldn’t. If we love something, we should share it with the world. If we have a drive to help people, we should DO IT.
I will warn you now, that this blog may seem a bit all over the place… but I have to share with you some thoughts. I had been thinking about success and happiness and then I read a book by Dr. Phil called “Life Strategies” and I was already starting to think about this blog entry when I was starting to read the book and the subject came up again. Then, I ran into a friend within days of thinking about all of this, and he brought up the subject of success and happiness. Why do we so often only define how happy we are by the amount of money we make? Why can’t we just be happy and feel fulfilled because we are ENJOYING life and making the most of it and doing what we love? I LOVE my life, but something I know I am going to start working on is caring a little less about what everyone else thinks of me and whether I make money or not and start enjoying life, regardless of what everyone else says. Too many times I’ve let the comments of strangers or loved ones cloud my brain to the point that I end up not even enjoying something that *I* really wanted for my life, because I started letting other people’s opinions dictact whether I pursued something or not. I’ve already been in this process for some time… Between my blog, doing calligraphy (whether it makes money or not), summer vacation with Wes, seeing Keith Urban 6 times this year, going to the Survivors’ Convention in Nashville, traveling randomly to see my best friend last week & even my list of 101 things in 1,001 days… I can honestly say that I’ve had an awesome summer, despite the health issues. I’ve stayed busy… and yes, my “busy” might be different from someone else’s, but I would NOT trade my life for anything.
There were quite a few parts of Dr. Phil’s book that stood out to me, and while I thought of several people that one chapter in particular applied to; there were many parts that applied to my personal life. One quote said “You have to decide that you have the right to be who you are and how you are, so as long as it is not at the expense of other people’s dignity and respect. You have to be willing to claim your right to uniqueness.” I loved that… and I realized that I seem to try to justify the fact that I am a worrier or that I’m extremely passionate about something. Why do I do that? Is it because I want people to love and accept me and if I justify my actions, maybe they’ll judge me a little less? Maybe… but I know I shouldn’t do that. If people love us, they will love ALL of us. Quirks, shortcomings, passions and all. At the end of the day, I need to follow my passion & what makes me happy.
Going back to the topic of success. Some other parts of Dr. Phil’s book really hit the nail on the head. I’ve been really trying to work on my own self-improvement and after the survivors’ convention, I realized that a HUGE part of success is being a happy individual. If I’m happy, I can help make my husband and loved ones happier too. If I’m feeling successful and love where I’m at, I’ll want to keep that feeling and I will go out and be motivated on my own. I won’t be trying to prove something to someone else… I’ll want to do it for ME and hopefully (if I’m following my true passion & happiness), that routine or drive or whatever will stick. Just like my health issues… I realized that once I faced the possibility of surgery again, that *I* didn’t want to keep feeling like crap, so I needed to do whatever possible to make myself better in all aspects, and part of that new routine has been meeting with a personal trainer, training for a 1/2 marathon in October, going to the gym as regularly as possible and eating better… and you know what? It’s all sticking better than it ever has before because I’m SELF-motivated… and to me, I consider this a success. Does it mean that I’ll feel like going to the gym regularly in 5 years when life has changed a bit? Maybe not… but that’s okay. I’ve at least realized some new things that I want to try and I’ve come in contact with new, positive people in my life & I’m exposing myself to a positive environment, and I think that’s a good thing. As Dr. Phil states “…never in your life are you without problems and challenges.” Also… “Understand that success is a moving target and that in an ever-changing world, your life must be actively managed.” Do I still have less than stellar days??? Absolutely… but I’m finding that since I’ve been SELF-motivated and I’m finding MY passions and goals for myself that make me feel like I am accomplishing more in life, I feel more GENUINELY happy.
One final thought that I came across in the book Life Code by Dr. Phil is “As your own client, you must treat yourself with great care, and manage yourself with the understanding that you are a very important person.” I will add that YOU should be the most important person to you. I thought that it was selfish for me to just leave my husband for 8 days in the course of 2 weeks for fun with friends at a convention and a concert, but you know what? I stuck with my gut and went and had his full support and I feel like I came back a better, happier, more fulfilled person because I did it for ME, which I think will make US a happier, more fulfilled couple.
I will add one more little note… It may seem silly that I made a giant poster at the last concert for Keith Urban AND that I’m doing it again, in an attempt to maybe catch his attention and maybe get a picture with him… But what a birthday that would be if I could come back and say that I got a picture with one of my favorite singers and it would be a memory I’d hopefully never forget! It’s worth a shot… I’ve only got one life to live. I might as well live it up!