You never know

A friend of mine told me yesterday that she has breast cancer.  They caught it early, she doesn't have to do chemo, and the prognosis is very good.  She's been dealing with this very quietly for a few months now, and no one but a circle of her friends knows about it.  It was yet another reminder for me of how much is under the surface that we never know about.

It doesn't pay to be envious of someone else.  You truly never know what someone else is going through.  The "perfect couple" who divorces.  The fancy car you can't afford.  That nice house in the nice neighborhood where the husband killed his wife one day.  The woman who has it all together and is miserable.  The dream job that's a nightmare.  If we really knew what was going on in other peoples' lives, maybe we'd all be happier with our own.

It's not that we're all out there living lies, but the public face never rarely tells the whole story.  And you know, who wants to hear it?  My mom went through a stage years ago where she was miserable, and boy, she'd let you know.  A casual acquaintance would ask, "How are you doing?"  Well, she'd tell them, "I hate my job.  My car isn't running right. Etc."  You could see the look on their face...What am I supposed to do with all this? I was just being polite...Back away sloooowly...

I try to walk a line here.  Open, but respectful of my family's right to some privacy.  Positive, but real, because one, not even my husband wants to listen to me whine; and two, negatives are, for the most part, fleeting.  I don't want to look back at my blog and see that what I chose to document was things that make me unhappy.  On the other hand, when everyone puts on their happy mask, it's easy to put pressure on ourselves or think less of ourselves because of problems are issues that are, in fact, perfectly normal.

I wouldn't ever want anyone to make the mistake of thinking I have it together.  I'm a 37 year old girl woman who still doesn't feel like one of the grown-ups.  I rarely know what's going to be for dinner before I start cooking.  My house is a mess because I'd rather go for a run...or blog about a run...or read a blog about someone else's run.  (Sorry, mom...I know I was raised better than this!) Despite the fact that it seems (to me) like I'm always running, my food choices leave me hiding from the scale.  Oh. And my hair is falling out but I haven't yet made it to the doctor to find out why. 

So, as further demonstration of my inability to prioritize to make it clear what I'm really like, I rewrote Shel Silverstein's poem "Sick" instead of actually doing something productive.  My apologies to Mr. Silverstein and his fans.


"I have to clean my house today,"
Said Mrs. Peggy Ann McKay.
"Domestic skills I sorely lack,
My counter's covered with paper stacks.
Last year's cards hang on the door.
Dog hair carpets all the floors.
The laundry should be put away.
I only found one shoe today.
The 'frigerator needs deep cleaned...
Those mashed potatoes are mighty green.
The milk is sour, the beans are blue--
The kitchen smells a bit like poo.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I think it's from the oven smoke.
The bathroom floor is damp and sticky.
Our toilet bowl is, frankly, icky.
My dog runs loose, my kids are chained,
The water in the tub won't drain.
Where to start? I need a drink,
But dirty glasses fill the sink.
We tried to get some help in here;
The cleaning lady ran in fear.
It's time now to reorganize
And get this mess de-supersized.
Some elbow grease would help, I trust,
To wipe away the years of dust.
My keys are regularly lost,
Important papers have been tossed.
I'm over this mess and ready to start--
This house will be a work of art.
I'll work so hard, I'll get this done...
But first I'm going for a run!"


  1. LOVE it!!! I want that framed and on my wall! I agree on the whining and complaining, a blog is a nice way to get frustrations out but the good bloggers -like YOU, know how to do it in a self-depricating way, not whining and that your problems are way worse than anyone else out there. I hate myself when I am whiny and bitching and then I watch my husband go into the bathroom every night to give himself a shot. (for MS) I'd be a big baby pants! Your friend told you because she knows you care and will give her positive energy!

  2. This is such a great post. My Dad used to always tell me when I would make judgements on people that I had to walk a mile in their shoes before I could say whatever it was I was saying.

  3. This was a fantastic post! Come over to my house right will make you feel real good:) LOL, my house is a freaking disaster! I always joke and say...when my kids are out of the house...then it will be clean! That is such an awesome poem:)


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