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Nov 16 2010

Putting problems into perspective

Every year, we make new year’s resolutions and every year, we’re inevitably bound to break them. But despite knowing that we’re somehow destined to fail, we repeat the pattern of making and breaking because we hope that maybe, just maybe, one little tiny resolution will stick and we’ll feel like a better person because of it. Because it seems that our lifelong goal, our struggle, the battle that we fight within ourselves is to live our life consistently trying to improve the person we are. And the hope of bettering ourselves by one little tiny resolution is enough to repeat the pattern of making and breaking resolutions every year.

via We Heart It

This past month, I’ve been waging a battle with myself. The battle to be more thankful, to be more forgiving, to focus more on the positive and less on the negative. The battle to nag less, to say “thank you for doing the laundry” rather than “why couldn’t you put the laundry away?”

Sometimes I win this war against myself. Most of the time I fail. Because in all honestly–it is much easier to make myself a martyr, to portray myself as the victim, because it makes me feel powerful. Look at everything I’ve done, look at how much I do, why can’t you just….

And then I start keeping score. And I wonder–when did marriage become a football game? Does it matter who wins and who loses when we’re both supposed to be on the same team?

I stumbled across this blog a while ago. Their story intrigued me because I quickly realized their story could have been our story, anyone’s story really. Two newlyweds, planning their life, thinking about buying their first home and starting a family…then stomach pains quickly reveal cancer. Stage IV Cancer. It’s everywhere. The doctors start aggressive treatment. They hope for the best. And quickly learn, hope is not enough.

He went to the doctor March 10, 2010. Two days ago, on Nov. 12, 2010, just 8 months after learning of his diagnosis, John William Goddard passed away. He was 28 years old.

I’ve never met his wife, Cat. I’ve never emailed her, I don’t even know if she knows that I read. But their story has affected me so much.

When you read stories like this, it puts everything in life into perspective. Suddenly, my never-ending job hunt doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world, but a minor glitch I will overcome. Maybe our home is small, but it is full of love. We’re already over our budget this month, but we’ve had some great times.

I can’t begin to imagine what I would do if I were in Cat’s situation. All you can do is hope and pray she gets through it.

Like I said, this past month I have been working on being a more loving wife, a more grateful wife, a less nagging wife. Some days are harder than others. But reading Cat’s story and knowing John’s fate…I got home yesterday and ignored the clutter and the dirty dishes and the dirty clothes, and just hugged my husband.

Some times we need a strong dose of reality to appreciate what we really have.

12 comments

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  1. Susan

    I love this post. I found Cat’s blog, too. I am not sure how, but I am so thankful for everything I have in my life. My little mishap to start my summer vacation is nothing compared to what Cat endures. Thanks for sharing. By the way, I am reading all of your posts.

  2. nashe

    How true. Definitely something we need to remember every day.

  3. Ariel

    I started at the beginning of that blog and was starting to get way too choked up by the end (really shouldn’t read something like that while at work!)

    Strong dose of reality indeed.

  4. Babybluewater

    Thanks for posting that. I do try to be kind and say loving things, but I’m really going to make an extra effort. I appreciate the link to her blog, I plan to read it all the way though. It gave me goosebumps.

  5. Emily

    Thanks for sharing! This totally struck a chord with me. I too am seriously guilty of being a nag, not saying / appreciating the little stuff. The best thing you can do is recognize it and start making the change now… Let’s get together for a Happy Hour soon that includes no complaining / whining! :)

  6. Mrs. Ruby

    This is why I love blogging so much. You read and “meet” such inspirational people with amazing stories. It is often so motivating and helps us to realize how lucky we all are and how thankful we should be!

  7. Cammy

    Well said! Sometimes we need a dose of reality. It is so easy to get caught up in the little things. I am going to read Cat’s blog now.

  8. Shannon

    That one gave me goosebumps. How important it is to stop for the reality/perspective check.

  9. Ashley

    Thanks for the reality check. I was just complaining about this “horrible” day I was having… but compared to John and Cat’s story, my problems are laughable. My heart goes out to Cat and her family at this time!

  10. Jennifer

    Thank you for posting this. It was exactly the type of message that I needed to receive this morning. Take care.

  11. Jessica

    Wow. Your post could not have come at a more appropriate time! The Mr. and I have had a string of odd bad-luck things happen to us the last few months and it’s really easy to play the “woe is us” game. But really, what we went thru is so very minor compared to Cat’s experience. Thank you for reminding us all to never take anything for granted and to be grateful every day. :-)

  12. brandt @ New House on the Blog

    Wow….I just read through the first few pages of their blog, and wow…

    you’re right – the “poor me” stuff kind of goes away after you read her latest entry.

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