Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Life Is Too Short For....

Lately, I’ve been thinking of my friend Denise, who often said that life is too short to drink the morning’s leftover coffee in the afternoon, so make a fresh pot (I’m sure she still says that, though now she says it from a distance, and I sure do miss her)!  Our current coffee pot does not have automatic shut off and so it will cheerfully boil the coffee all day long if we don’t remember to turn it off. 

I hear Denise’s sentiment in my head as I serve myself the charred remains of the morning coffee in the afternoon. And I’ve been wondering: What else is life too short for? What is my post-cancer life too short for?

Everyone’s list would be different, I suppose. I have a lot to be grateful for. But still, I’ve let so many things crawl in through the years and settle down that I would not have allowed if I truly believed I was entitled to choose based on my values, and not on the basis of the many “shoulds” I have allowed to consume my life.

I spent time working in my flower beds in the country this past weekend. Honestly, they are flower beds by default. We had to do something with the area because it had an old stump in it with roots all around and they would get caught up in the lawn mower blades. They were hard to mow over. The stump and the roots are hard to remove. So we dug up what ground we could in that area and started planting flowers. My parents came several weekends ago and weeded many of the weeds and planted new plants. There was a rose bush that could not be planted in the first location we chose because of the roots so we adjusted our plans and moved it to the other side of the bed (where it now seems very happy and is blooming its little heart out).

Anyway, this past weekend, I pulled weeds and a couple of small trees out by the roots in an effort to further define the bed and to make room for more plants. It seems to me the flower bed and my life have a lot in common—many things have happened by default, with no real firm plan in place. I guess one could argue that it worked out okay for both of us. Okay in a raw and organic and occasionally a little wild and beautiful way?

But still, I am left to wonder, what are the things that my life is too short to tolerate? What are the things that need to be pulled out by the roots? What are the things I want to make space for in my life?

There is something else I want to say, but my sense of "should," or maybe, "should not" makes me hesitant to say it.

(Clean up is a bitch, but it is an important part of our life's work.)

Note to self: Life also just seems to work better when clean up is done in a regular and timely fashion.


  1. Denise has the right idea. ~waves at Denise~

    I like how you're thinking.

  2. I have less tolerance for bullshit than I did pre cancer even though my tolerance for it before was less than most people's. I thought cancer would make me a kinder, sweeter person - at least I thought it should!

    Do those tiny little letters mean I should watch my potty mouth in July? Remind me to tell you in person what PSFD stands for, k?

    1. My tolerance level has always been rather high. I could stand to be a little less tolerant!

      I've googled PSFD and came up empty handed so I guess I'll have to wait till I see you in person to know what it stands for!

      And you can talk any way you want around me!

    2. Dearest One and I made them up. We only use it for dire circumstances.

  3. You wind up calling attention to the tiny words by making us squint for them. Maybe that was intentional. (Hey, this is important.) or maybe you were trying to hide that (from yourself). So many possibilities with a psychological reading. You shouldn't have let me get that degree.

    1. I wanted it to look like I was quietly whispering it (perhaps rebelliously muttering the words under my breath)!

  4. Writing professor hat off.

    It's such a wise thing to prune. It leaves the plants better. You talk of pulling weeds. I'm talking about cutting off beautiful branches to make the whole plant stronger, grow better. This plucking and pinching is a good thing. I've learned to do without some pleasant things against my will. It taught me to prune thoughtfully and with purpose. That is always right

    1. I like the added layer of thinking about thoughtful pruning along with pulling weeds!

  5. I like hearing you think, annie. Rolling with the punches is a way of life that is quite familiar to me. Recently I've been entertaining the thought of being more proactive rather than reactive. I wonder if it's even possible for me to make plans...

    Hey, I know what Hope's letters stand for and I do find myself saying it more often. Hot flashes and fatigue have blown up my BS meter and etiquette filtering system. I'm getting just plain ornery.

    How cool that you two shall be meeting face 2 face! Hope and I had a short but great visit once.

    1. Sometimes I think that's my problem, I'm just flat out getting ornery!

      I make plans, but then I don't follow them!

      I'm looking forward to meeting Hope face two face!

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  7. D.Lott Arellano8:46 AM, June 10, 2015

    I miss you, too, my dear, dear friend and I woke up this morning thinking of you and wishing for an Annie post to read.

    Life IS too short for old coffee and you deserve a fresh pot whenever the %@#& you want one.

    I am getting better at stopping myself when I start to obsess about things that don't matter. In fact, I find myself doing things to make that voice shut up, not by placating it as I've always done, but by acting in such a way that is too gobsmacked to even whimper. Result - a quieter mind and a chance to laugh at myveryownself.

    Now I must learn to distinguish when I am going without something to punish myself for past mistakes...

    Love you!

  8. I'm working on my list of things that life is too short for!

    As for the obsessing, I need to learn to go ahead and do some things to make the voice shut up!

    Don't be punishing yourself! :)

    Love and miss you too!


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