Quote of the Day: “Without hope men are only half alive. With hope they dream and think and work.” Charles Sawyer
For the past 2 mornings, I have met Cokie in Holladay and we have done a run/walk deal. It’s great because I am just starting out again and can only run so far without needing a walking break and she has an injury so it works for her too. It has been hard to get up in the morning for many reasons; it’s dark, it’s very cold- her car said 23 degrees yesterday at 6:00 A.M. and it’s early. I am so grateful that I have someone waiting there for me- it’s such good motivation. We each have to drive about 5 minutes distance but the thought of her out there waiting for me, and the guilt of me not showing up gets me out of bed. I have never regretted getting up in the morning except for 1 rare occasion where Sue O. and I did a long run in the winter, we were so cold, soaked all the way through our clothing and worried that our core temperature was dropping. But all the other times, the regret comes in not going! Anyway, I also keep thinking that if I can run a little more each day, then all these running times will add up to a marathon in May. The last thing you want to do is stand at the starting line of a marathon, unprepared. I’ve done it and it’s a long 26.2 miles to the finish line, you also risk really injuring yourself with a long recovery- which I have also experienced.
As time marches on and the further I get from my days of cancer treatment, the more confident I feel that it won’t reoccur. I think that’s human nature and I also think that’s why it comes as such a shock and heartbreak if it happens. It’s the positive side of human nature that lets us start to believe that we will have a full life in front of us or even that we can start to dream again. I didn’t really realize that I had stopped dreaming when I got this diagnosis and then one day something happened that made me feel like dreaming about the future and so I remarked to Joe how great it felt to think positively about the future, again. That’s something I would never have realized was a side effect of having an illness, heartache or disease. But we all need the dreaming, especially in this world. If we don’t have hopes and dreams life becomes this desert- it just marches on but the fun and excitement of life is gone.
I used to think that living today was a much less complicated task than for peoples in the past. Now, granted, I am living in America in the year 2011 and I have a lot of privileges that others in less developed countries don’t have. I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t realize that there is a lot of poverty and suffering in the world and even just miles from our homes. But I’m comparing my living experience with that of people who lived in the same area but in past years. Today, we have so many modern conveniences that make getting the job done faster and easier. Housework and cooking’s a breeze today compared to the 1800s. The internet has made communicating with a large group of people possible and so convenient but there is so much we are burdened with too. Suicide rates are very high in Utah- it’s part of this midwestern belt where the rate is highest in the U.S. And, In our modern, fast-paced, exciting world we have so much mental illness, so much drug use, so many children are diagnosed with autism, ADD and other issues- that may be a result of environmental contaminants- and apparently a lot of child abuse.
So, in some ways, some parts of life are easier but there are a lot of issues we deal with that make our lives more complicated. We had a family discussion regarding Joe Paterno’s responsibility in reporting child abuse allegations to his superiors. Obviously, he is paying the price for not doing more. I stand on the side of thinking he should have done more, should have made sure his superiors were following through, should have made sure the abuse had stopped, should have made sure that the person perpetuating the abuse was duly punished. Ahh, hindsight. It allows us to see clearly. Are we our brother’s keepers?
Taylor’s new area- Panajachel, Solola, Guatemala- he is on Lake Atitlan at the base of 3 volcanos