Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lazy Inspiration

People keep telling me what an inspiration I am, that I never complain, that I'm so positive in the face of such dire circumstances.

I think I need to set the record straight.

I do complain. I just try not to do it too often out loud or in public, especially on this blog. If I'm going to feel miserable, I see no upside to spreading that misery around me by voicing it aloud to others. I think that would just feed my misery even more. If I don't complain to others, at least I can feel good that I'm strong enough to keep it to myself.

Statistically, I should be dead before this year is up. I'm being realistic in facing this possibility, and maybe that's not so positive. But I am positive in my thinking that I'm not going to die until I'm actually dead. I'm going to carry on living and appreciating as much of my life as I can, while I still can. And if a miracle comes along and I'm alive for another year, then I'll consider that a bonus.

I feel funny when people say I'm an inspiration. It sounds corny. Rose Siggins, a woman who was born with a disability that left her with no legs, who lost her mother to cancer, is looking after her mentally disabled brother and her father with Alzheimer's, and raising two kids - all with wit, smarts, and a get-on-with-it attitude to life... now she's an inspiration. Stephen Hawking is an inspiration. Christopher Reeve and Jean-Dominique Bauby are inspirations.

I have an idea. Next time you think of considering me an inspiration, look at yourself. Maybe you only think I deserve all this praise because you don't think you can deserve such praise yourself. I bet you're wrong.

Don't look to other people for inspiration. That's just lazy. Find it in yourself.

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