Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Wasting Life


Life is precious, that is a thought that has really been made so clear to me. I don’t just mean mine, which is very precious to me, but I mean every life, of everyone.

I think this has hit home to me even more strongly since my last visit to the hospital. The ER doctor was very very nice, kind and professional. Again, I thank the doctor and the entire staff in the emergency room at Seven Oaks Hospital.

Isn’t it strange how one sentence or one thought expressed in a conversation can jump out and really catch your attention. It is held in our thoughts even when the rest of the conversation can long forgotten. The thought, my mind grabbed onto in my conversation with the doctor. He said: “we both know your condition is not one we can cure, only stabilize”. That one sentence by itself may sound harsh, but it wasn’t when taken in context with the entire conversation. He showed great compassion, caring and concern for my well being.

I realize that one sentence was something I needed to hear, to be reminded of. It is over 3 years now since I first heard the “you are dying” words. Only, once have I been able to get any sort of a time estimate from a doctor and here I am more than a year past that. I really do try to keep my thoughts positive, doesn’t always work but I try. Life in today, thoughts of tomorrow are focused on a long term future. The right attitude can carry you a long way and through a lot.

I really don’t know how many days I have left, but then really none of us do. My goal, my desire, my objective is to really live and appreciate everyone of those days.

Having received this needed reminder from the doctor, I sit back and really take stock of my life. I realize I have allowed myself to some extent to stray from my desired path in life, being the way I focus the positive and live each day to the max.. To put aside, ignore or not even see the little trivial stresses in life. Granted, it is no where near the way I have in the past viewed the world or lived my life. But, to some extent I seem to find myself forgetting and wandering off the path, at times allowing life to get in the way of my living and enjoying it.

I needed that reminder to help me bring things back into proper prospective. There are very, very few things in life that are worth getting upset over. Focus on the big picture of life and suddenly 99.9% of what at the time we consider to be problems suddenly are put into perspective and are seen as mere inconveniences, tiny bumps in the road of life. I look back over my life and am saddened when I realize how many of these little bumps in life, I took to heart, I took personally.

How many times did I allow some little bump in the road, a truly insignificant event to change my mood and rob me of any pleasure or love, that day may have held for me. When I speak of little bumps, I mean little bumps, things absolutely meaningless in the overall picture.

I am talking such little bumps on the road they shouldn’t even register on the radar. But I allowed them to so often register as big bumps on my radar of that particular day. I hope I was an extreme in what I so often did. I even allowed things as trivial as say, a clerk in a store that did not live up to my expectations of politeness or service to spoil my mood, sometimes even spoil my whole day. WHY? Something like a day with a grumpy coworker would almost be certain to bring my mood down. But, really WHY? Just because someone else is having a bad day doesn’t mean I have to allow their mood to change my day. True, being surrounded by negativity in a situation such as with the coworker can make it more difficult to maintain your mood but it can be done. Their mood their problems only become ours if we allow it. So many times I allowed the mood or actions of others to directly affect me in a negative way. I had a choice, I didn’t have to mentally allow this, but I did. WHY? How much enjoyment in life did I allow others to rob me of, and WHY?

I see so many others in life doing the very same thing. WHY? At times I would just like to give them a shake and say smarten up.

There is a very wonderful statement that goes something to the effect. The past is but a memory, the future but a dream. What we really have is the present and it is called the “present” because it is a gift from God.

This is so very true and important to always remember. Don’t waste you time fretting about the past or worrying about the future. Live your life in the present. The key words are LIVE YOUR LIFE and don’t waste it. A single moment of negativity is a moment lost forever. You can’t get it back, it is gone, wasted forever. I have to ask myself how many of these precious moments did I waste. For me, I realize, so often these moments stretched into minutes…hours…days…weeks or even years. So much precious time wasted on really nothing or at least on nothing that mattered.

I needed to hear the doctors reminder.

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10 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Wasting Life

  1. RubyShooZ says:

    Hey love,

    I’m just in the process of trying to get back up on my feet (a lil at a time, yes) after this flu and I’m trying to come visit all my buddies (again, a lil at a time) and you count right in there my friend. Something about this post caught my eye – although I’ve seen us both (and others, yes) make posts like this …. what caught my eye were the words, “… precious time wasted…” – somewhere along the line I think it sunk in to me that no time is really wasted if we are learning something from it – even if those moments might have felt wasted, I’m not sure they were – what do you thinK? Yes, we might have handled things better (I know I could have on many occasions) but does that really mean those moments were wasted?

    What I think more true is that perhaps our time could have been better spent but maybe that’s all just a matter of semantics. Help me out here – what do you think? I do ask you because well, #1 because you posted what you have here and #2 because I think you and I might have a bit of a better perspective than some on this topic. (I say might because I don’t think either one of us has the corner marketed on wisdom) (yes, I’m smiling bigtime)

    I know it’s hard for you to respond sometimes when you get so many comments but I hope you respond to this comment because I truly am interested in seeing if you think my ideas are just totally off-base and because I often admire your way of viewing things.

    Peace to you today Bill – give that wonderful woman Vi a hug for me and get one for yourself as well, okay?

    Much love.

    Hi Ruby you raise a very interesting point. One that I totally agree with. Time is never wasted, if it was spent learning. I can look back on my life and see time that I do consider wasted as there was a lesson to be learned and time after time, I failed to learn it. I guess I am just a slow learner. I spent to much time sweating the small stuff, the tiny bumps in the road that I now see as being so inconsiquential. So much of my thinking has been changed in the past couple of years, when it is almost to late. I can never be sure but I think knowing how I acted and reacted in the past, were it not for my health problems, I very well may have staggered through my entire life, never really learning. I am not sure why, but for me it has taken this major crisis in my health to get me to stop and think, learn and appreciate life.
    Do we learn from the mistakes of others, I don’t know. I do know that usually I didn’t, but I hope by pointing out some of my mistakes others may at least consider things differently now. Instead of waiting of a crisis as I did. Take the time to learn now.
    As for the cornering of the wisdom market, hmm, I can’t really contribute much there, my corner of the market usually looks like a vacant lot. What you and so many others occasionally share is really beyond anything I could aspire to.

  2. LorriM says:

    Our own actions, verbalizations and lifestyle also affect our family members. If we are down, they are down, if we are negative, they are negative, and the stress can overwhelm them.

    My mother was told thorugh several congestive heart failures three heart attacks and a severe stroke that she had 2-3 months, or would not make it through the end of the year (different years, due to her several heart issues). None of it held true. She was 76 when she had her first heart problem, and lived to see 84.

    Focusing on a time line is not in the best interests of the patient or the family, and often the family is more affected than the patient..and that is something, we as patients must keep in perspective (I’m a patient, so I understand this).

    I never write about my health in my blogs, because I know my family reads them. That is my choice. They know my medical conditions and if something occurs..they are aware, and for me, they don’t need it thrown in their faces on a daily basis. They don’t need to worry that every little ache I have one day, might lead to it being my last day. That also eases my mind, and makes my life more peaceful, knowing I am not adding to their stress (or mine), through their reading about my situation. But, that is my choice. I play a low profile, online medically speaking. There is no way I would want them to read about my daily aches or pains.

    I, the patient, choose to live my life as peacefully as possible. I the patient adhere to a healty diet, and I exercise. In fact, my diet has alleviated the need for some of the medications I was taking. I even exercise while sitting down and watching TV…it’s easy to do, and healthy for muscle mass. Now, it is down to my Lupus medications and my heart medications…which I cannot do without, ever, for as long as I live…however long that is. But, through trying to maintain my own health, I have helped myself not to take certain medications.

    We are dying from the minute we are born, some of us sooner than others. We need to be grateful for each hour and day we have. I know I am.

    Take care.

    Hi Lorri, I have read your comment many times, trying to come up with a response. You raise many good points. You in fact speak right to the heart of an issue that causes me much worry and stress. You write:
    “I never write about my health in my blogs, because I know my family reads them. That is my choice. They know my medical conditions and if something occurs..they are aware, and for me, they don’t need it thrown in their faces on a daily basis. They don’t need to worry that every little ache I have one day, might lead to it being my last day. That also eases my mind, and makes my life more peaceful, knowing I am not adding to their stress (or mine), through their reading about my situation. But, that is my choice. I play a low profile, online medically speaking. There is no way I would want them to read about my daily aches or pains.”
    I applaud you for this attitude. I truly do think what you are doing is wonderful and I do mean that. I question what I am doing with this very blog. By writing as I so, I am indeed so often throwing my condition constantly into the faces of my family. I regularly ask myself, how much am I hurting them?
    Originally, I started this blog anonymously, I was hudds53. I did that for the purpose of sheltering my family and not throwing it in their faces almost daily. That only worked for a short while and I was found out. I talked to both Vi and my daughters about it at that time and all assured me they were “OK” with it. They in fact encouraged me to share openly and honestly.
    Even with that though, I know I have one daughter that reads regularly and one that will not look at it hardly at all. I have one brother that reads daily and one that will not look at it.
    My goal is to try and help others maybe dealing with similar situations and am often told I am. I am grateful for that, but I do question at what cost to my family. Many times I have for that reason thought of just shutting it down. My family is the most important to me, I just don’t know.

  3. Bill, hug across the internet. Thank you, thank you for the reminder.

  4. Carol Anderson says:

    Hi Bill and Vi

    Trying to check out the comment section on our computer but it doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. If this transmission goes through, Carol will have more significant comments to write later. Hi! You know she always has to have the last word!

    Garry and Carol

  5. Carol Anderson says:

    Dear Vi and Bill,

    I have been trying to send a reply since I read your post about your trip to the E.R. I typed out a little note and hit send. I have been frustrated every since because it did not go. Of course, I have been nagging Garry for help and got none till now when I began to nag a little louder. Finally I get his attention and we find out that the problem centers around the wrong sender address or something like that.

    Any, who cares! Just a little bump in the road, right Bill. Get over it. I hope things are better for you now Bill. I have not been following the blog till November and now I am back in the groove.

    We are planning to visit Winnipeg the weekend of the 24/25 so hopefully we could spend a day with you then. We may come in Wednesday evening after work or more probably Thursday morning early.

    My daughter phoned the other day and commented that she had not seen anything from me for quite a while. So she is following the blog. I had tea with cousins Joanne and Lawrence a few days ago and Joanne indicated that she checks in. So it seems that a variety of relatives are quietly interested in the Vi and Bill story.

    I believe our visit should occurr after Vi’s surgery. We’ll have to keep in touch to see if Vi is up to company.

    Take care,

    Carol and Garry

  6. V- says:

    I read the book Tueday’s with Morrie. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with it, but it is the true story of a man who is dying and the wisdom he passes on to his former student. The one quote I took with me from that book was:

    “Live every day as if you’ve got a bird on your shoulder. When you get up evey morning ask your bird, ‘is this the day I’m going to die? Is this my last day on this earth?’ And if you keep asking that bird that question you’ll live your life differently.”

    In reality we all have a “condition that can not be cured”. I don’t think it’s a morbid thought to remember that but to remind us to embrace every moment we have on this earth.

    I whole hearted agree Lorim not to focus on timelines. Only God truely knows when our lessons here are learned and it’s time to move on. Each day, each moment is a gift.

    Thank you Bill for the reminder.

  7. LorriM says:

    Bill…I hope you realize my comment wasn’t aimed at your writings in your blog. It was aimed more at myself, as a reminder of why I do or don’t do, what I do.

    Survival is normally a natural emotion..the will to survive and overcome obstacles. It is almost an innate part of us human beings. Timelines often can diminish some people’s will or power to survive, and their behavior towards life can change…causing them to lose some of the emotional fight and power they have. Of course, some times a timeline does the opposite. Each on of us is different in that respect. I just don’t choose to focus on a timeline. When it’s my time, I hope it will be quickly and quietly. But, we never know, we don’t normally determine those factors.

    I keep my blog as light and airy as possible…for my family, but also for myself. I try to instill little bits and photos of my garden, nature, beautiful architecture, to encourage others to open their eyes to life in all of its forms.

    We each handle our blog in our own way…and yours does inspire others, as I see their comments to that effect, all of the time.

    Have a peaceful rest of the weekend.

  8. mel says:

    Ya know, it’s taken me a bit of time to respond to this one, Bill.
    Not cuz I had nothing to say, mind you. It’s rare that I have nothing to say. but
    I didn’t want to offend or appear particularly oppositional (which I am, I admit….LOL).

    Every piece of my life has served to bring me to where I am, today. Do I regret some of my choices–I don’t think so. Do I wish I would have ‘caught the wave’ earlier and learned the lesson without so much freakin PAIN……yes and no. I’m not necessarily fond of pain so that I would wanna do without. But I’m one of those experiential learners (eventually). I get to bang my head on the wall until I decide I’m done and no amount of telling me could get me to stop….until it was painful enough, I just kept running it. When the wheels fell off, I’d slap myself on the head and go DUH. But the wheels would have to fall off before I’d explore even the remote possibility that there might be a different way.

    I hear tell that’s how kiddos learn.
    ‘Cept apparently even THEY learn faster than I do. LOL

    I got to go where I got to go–and it’s brought me here.
    I looked for regrets in my life and I came away with one–I regret how that all affected other people.
    And then someone kindly reminded me that the Big Guy really is a multi-tasker. He makes good use of it all. That’s be His job, His doing and His way.

    I’ve touched lives for the good cuz of my stubborn, prideful, hardheaded ‘run it til the wheels fall off’ way.
    That ‘Five People You Meet In Heaven’ illustrates it–without my knowing, without my permission, it’s a Venn Diagram, it’s all connected and it’s all exactly the way it’s suppose to be.

    Wasted time—nah.

    It’s all been good. It’s all been used in service to Him and other people–me included.
    Sometimes with my knowledge, most times without.
    And all times without my permission. LOL
    I’m guessing He can do that–it’s HIS world, afterall………

  9. rhosie says:

    Thanks for sharing this nice thought…… i truly agree most of us were victim of what will other people say with the action will be undertaken. Most the times we think or consider first what will others opinion.We intend to forget that what matter is in life is the things makes us happy.It sad that we were influenced by the norms of the others….And its really true that live your life to the utmost…..
    Godbless you and your family…………..

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    Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Wasting Life | Dying mans daily journal

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