You made your bed….
Maybe it’s the impending New Year, the stress of the holidays or the fact that for only the 2nd time in 18 quarters, I will not be hitting 100% of my quota. But whatever it is, I am snarky, resentful and disenchanted. And as one of my favorites says, I am ’bout to go the hell off.
I spent 6 hours watching “Time of Death” yesterday. It’s a documentary series on Showtime about death. The series follows one family throughout 6 episodes and then also profiles another family/death each episode. It’s as depressing and sad as you think. I watched a 19 year old girl die of skin cancer while laying in her zebra print bed. I watched a man take his last breaths when dying of ALS (and subsequently irrationally cried to my husband “Just not that. Please don’t let me get that disease. I can handle all others, I just don’t want that one.”) I cried every single episode and yet couldn’t pull myself away. The way each person dealt with their terminal diagnosis was fascinating. It was incredible to watch how families helped their loved ones despite their own feelings of loss and abandonment. And the most beautiful part of the entire series was when Mel was describing his wife’s last minutes (She didn’t want the cameras in there). He was holding her close to him in bed and she turned to him and said “It was terrific.” He responded “It was terrific.” She looked at him one last time and repeated it. She died in the arms of the man she had loved for 53 years and thinking that her life was terrific. Heart-wrenchingly beautiful.
Anyway, after a day of crying and going through every thought process I have regarding my own death and those that I love, I am feeling pretty lucky.
But social media is just pissing me off. It feels like the self-righteousness of individuals is getting out of control. These aren’t people who are screaming about social injustice to the poor and needy, or inequality among minorities. They are screaming about why things are hard and unfair for themselves.
More often than not, we choose the life we live. If you choose to have kids, you are going to be more tired and have to balance your life differently than those who don’t. If you choose to be in sales, you may work on New Years Eve to close those last-minute deals. If you choose to follow your passion in the workplace, you may have more emotional investment than others in their jobs. If you are training for a marathon, your body is going to hurt. These are all choices. Choices we make and aren’t we so very lucky that we can make them?
Because the 7 people I watched die yesterday, didn’t choose to get cancer or ALS. They didn’t choose to die before their parents. And those who didn’t grow up as privileged as the people I follow, didn’t choose to have a harder upbringing than their classmates.
So let’s get a little effing perspective? Can we stop seeking attention for how hard our lives are when “hardship” is often a choice we make? All of those things I mentioned above – kids, jobs, exercise – aren’t actually hardships. They are the things that will someday cause you look back and say “It was terrific.”
You made your bed. Now lie in it… or remake it.