Randy Pausch and My New Perspective

This week had its ups and downs and, at one point, I unloaded on DD and merm. They sympathized and empathized and assured me they are proud of me. I’d gotten over my pity party and was going to tell all about it tonight but then I heard that Randy Pausch had lost his battle against pancreatic cancer and was dead at age 47. That news drastically changed how I view my trials and tribulations.

I’d heard of Randy in passing but hadn’t really paid any attention until I was in NYC last fall. I walked in to talk to DD about something and she was watching part of his “Last Lecture” online. To say it was a motivational speech is like saying a tsunami is a big wave. A person couldn’t help being inspired.

Since then, I’ve seen him now and then on Good Morning America. He never allowed himself to wallow in self-pity. The fact that he had cancerous tumors in his body was just that—a fact. It didn’t become an excuse to hold back or whine about his lot in life. If we are to believe everything we saw on youtube and TV and read online, he set out to enjoy the time he had left with his wife and his children. I see no reason not to believe it. And I can’t be the only person in the world he affected.

And now for how it’s changed the way I look at things. I am 64 years old. I’m in better health than I’ve been for 61 of those 64 years. I don’t have any dread disease I’m aware of. I have a home, a car, and a job. I have a family who loves me and a cat that puts up with me. I have plenty of good food to eat and passable clothes to wear. I’m able to go to church without anyone trying to prevent me. I know how to read and write. My eyes, according to the chart at Wally World, are like those of a 40 year old. Etc., etc.

The negative happenings of the week have magically taken on an insignificance worthy of a speck of dust. I don’t need to rehash them.

Last Sabbath, we had a bright young speaker who is a theology major at the university. He knew his subject matter well and brought us a good message.

In the afternoon, I was able to get out in the sun for half an hour.

Sunday, I put the SoilSaver together as I’d said in my garden update and that plus working in the garden was my time outside. After that, I went to town with a side-trip to visit Mother’s grave and the promise I’d make it look better soon.

Monday, I picked up the arrangement for the grave and it is gorgeous! The florist outdid herself. She was pleased that I was pleased. I was able to get out in the sun in the morning.

Tuesday, my plans to get out for a lunch break were altered by the weather. It rained! Praise the Lord! It rained and rained and rained. WeatherBug was knocked offline by the storm so I don’t know how much it was but I didn’t mind at all eating inside.

Wednesday, I was out enjoying the sun and missed the first part of the Department Head Meeting. No biggie. I made it for the important part.

Yesterday was spent repeating to myself over and over,

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”

Just now, when I was looking it up so I could be sure to get it right, I found what comes after:

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Reinhold Niebuhr

The first part was enough to put me in a better frame of mind. I got outside for 10 minutes in the morning. Sunshine always makes me feel good.

Today was busy but busy is what we need. I made it to the nursing home in time to tell my friend good-bye before she left to see the doctor. She walked with a walker to her daughter’s vehicle.

The food I was able to work in here and there was enough to keep me going. I sat in the sun for 10 minutes and walked one lap after that. It rained .02″ this afternoon. I’m getting addicted to carob/banana smoothies. I’ll post the recipe and directions one of these days.

There’s to be a special about Randy on ABC Tuesday night. I’ll set my DVR to record it since it will be on after my bedtime. The world has been blessed by such an amazing person. I’m not going to mourn his passing. I don’t believe that’s what he would want. What he would want is for each of us to enjoy life as much as he did.

Rest in peace, Randy, and happy Sabbath to everyone!

4 Responses to Randy Pausch and My New Perspective

  1. Fruitloop July 25, 2008 at 11:42 pm #

    Tommie, that was a sweet post.


  2. Tommie July 26, 2008 at 7:25 am #

    I’m glad it wasn’t down to my usual standard! 😀

  3. RawFoodDietDiary July 28, 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    I was saddened to hear of Randy’s passing while watching Sunday Morning. I’ve seen most (not all of his “Last Lecture”) and I had much the same reaction: Most of the negative things I experience are insignificant.

    My reading this week is the book he authored, The Last Lecture. I’m only a couple of chapters into it, but it’s definitely proving to be a worthwhile read and is providing me with some much-needed reflection and attitude adjustment. I find it a perfect compliment to Will Bowen’s Complaint Free World program.

    Thanks for such a wonderful post!

  4. Tommie July 28, 2008 at 7:54 pm #

    He did manage to change the way a person looks at things. All in a matter of a few minutes. Amazing and powerful!

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