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A New Plan

"You have cancer." How many commercials, movies, friends and family members have uttered those words? They are horrible, devastating, scary words. People hear them all the time. You offer your prayers and support and go on about your day.

But when those words are told to you, well, you can no longer distance yourself. It's your reality, your new normal, your bad dream that's not a bad dream. Nothing like that baseball bat to the head to lead you to reconsider some things about your life and life in general.

I'm not writing any of this for an "I'm so sorry," reaction. Not at all. I'm only one of the millions who have to deal with this. I'm not special in any way. What I am is a person with low self-esteem, and what this diagnosis did for me, other than making me really avoid mirrors was to get me to re-examine. Not in the aspect of someone who's life is ending, because none of us really know when that is, but in the aspect of how I see things, express my thoughts about things, and want others to see me.

Take the pandemic out of the equation and 2020 still would have been difficult on many levels. I and several of my friends lost a dear friend early in the year. As devastating as the loss was for us, I can't begin to imagine having to deal with the loss as a spouse. It hurts and months later, it still does.

I still would have gotten a cancer diagnosis. Blaming 2020 is much easier to take than realizing the inevitable.

What's my new plan? On the surface, the plan sounds easy, but from what I've learned from social media this past year, it may be a challenge.

Positive or negative? Which do I choose? In order to choose, I must first be mindful of what I'm thinking, why I'm thinking it, and who will see or be affected by my attitude, and what the lingering legacy will be.

I do believe in the beginning, social media was designed to be a place where people could connect, reconnect, and share their triumphs and good times in life. That's me being Pollyanna. What it has become is a place of extreme vitriol and negativity.

I spend more time on my author pages than my personal social media pages for that very reason. However, even on those, it at times seems that if authors don't "take a stand," then they are part of some problem. I'm an author because I want escapism. I don't want to deal with issues. I want to have fun.

What I seem to find on Twitter and Facebook is post after post of negative opinions and hateful words; words we wouldn't dream of saying to someone in person. This is what my rambling is about. Negative thoughts and attitudes make us negative people. There is some evidence pointing to people who constantly look for negativity can have overall poorer health.

I'm sure, I've reacted to or made posts with a negative tone. It's easy. Something bothers us, and we must notify the world.

No more.

I'm thinking of my plan as this. If I were to die tomorrow and people were scrolling through my Facebook and Twitter accounts, what would their lasting opinion be of me? Would it be that I was basically a happy and blessed person, or would I be seen as someone who found their pleasure in complaining, being hateful to people, especially strangers, rushing to judgment, or just being downright mean?

I don't want to be that person. Regardless of what I'm going through now, and believe me, some days suck a big one, I have a terrific life. I have a husband who's totally devoted to making me happy. I have family and friends going out of their way to do things for me I'm not sure I deserve, but I love them for it.

We said a "don't let the door hit you on the ass" goodbye to 2020. We've started a new year with anxious hope to find a new sense of normalcy. I plan to find the positive. I will find the positive because the negative serves no purpose, and I need a purpose.

This is a world of a wonderful collection of odds and ends known as people. We may not all be in the same boat, but we are all on this planet together. Would it hurt to be a little nicer?

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