Sometimes you find inspiration in the most unexpected places.
It might be on an airplane talking to a random stranger or seeing a photo in a National Geographic magazine. These are usually my favorites moments to write about. These are the little pockets of life that take us by surprise, usually very pleasantly.
I was somewhere this week – can’t quite remember where – and I remember catching a glimpse of a magazine. Maybe it was the grocery store or the lobby of my counselor’s office. Wherever it was, it was just enough time to catch my eye and pique my interest but not enough time to pick it up and read any of it. So I filed it away for the moment when I sat down at some point to google all the random things floating around in my head.
Today was that day. A lazy Saturday with a gloomy sky. The day after a killer St. Patrick’s Day party (I love you, neighbors!). I put clothes on the upper half of my body and settled for pajama pants on the bottom.
You know those kinds of day, right?
So I google Valerie Harper knowing I don’t need to add any other search terms. The topic of the moment is her terminal cancer.
And that’s all I knew. Valerie Harper and terminal cancer.
Following my naturally morbid curiosity, I read that she had recently been diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer that’s extremely difficult to treat and fairly aggressive. Her time is very limited, being as little as 3 months.
You may not know who Valerie Harper is. She was kind of iconic in my childhood. I was a religious watcher of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (in retrospect, a very empowering show for young women) and Valerie famously played her free-spirited neighbor, Rhoda Morgenstern. Eventually, her character was spun off into its own TV show called Rhoda and I watched that one too.
If you grew up in the 70s, you know that we all commonly watched the same shows and as adults, we often bond over our memories of these shows.
But even if you’ve never heard of Valerie Harper until right this very second, she’s a woman worth knowing. When I googled her, I was led to a clip of her appearance on Piers Morgan Live. Well worth the watch in my opinion.
We’re all terminal and we’re all dying. It’s how we choose to focus on that fact that can really shape and define our lives.
My husband has an uncle that had a heart attack at age 40 and we always jokingly say and he’s been dying ever since.
He’s now well over 80 years old and I think of how he’s spent over half of his life preparing to die. It’s a sad and limited way to live and I hope I never get there.
Take a moment to seize the day today. Even if your day consists of getting half-dressed and watching a Power Rangers movie, live in the moment and enjoy it in the moment.