I am getting used to my new routine – from Monterrey to Texas and back every other week. I am so lucky to have friends who have offered to have me stay with them. Todd and Lisa are gracious hosts with a beautiful home and darling girls. They are kind and funny. They are a joy to be around. They are happy people.
My sweet sisters have also come out to be with me in Houston. They are also happy people and have made my time in Houston more fun. We have explored Old Spring, found the Mockingbird Bistro and Escalantes, driven neighborhoods and even gotten a pedicure.
My life is filled with happy people. My husband is a happy person, even when he is under stress. Starting a pioneering international venture fund at the same time his wife has had cancer has been quite the family adventure. Last June, I commented that our first year in Mexico was our hardest year ever. Little did I know what was coming in August or December!
We are working to get the fund settled now that it is closed (congrats to the AVM team – 60M in January!) so we can add a bit more predictability to our life. I am two months into the travel routine and am getting better at coming and going. The 3-year-old is still a bit confused and keeps asking “Are you coming back?” It is a logical question for him after having me gone for 6 months during the transplants. Really, it has been plain hard on everyone.
Over the last two months, I have been frozen by my to-and-fro treatments and the stress of the startup. But you can only be paralyzed for so long before you have to do something else. Being a victim is really not sustainable living. I tried it, I really did. But the anxiety didn’t really get me anywhere. And so I am consciously making the transition from being a victim to someone who is empowered.
Happy people have a secret. They look at the world in terms of what must be done to change it and they use their agency to change the environment around them. Some happy people have taken charge of their healthcare – educating themselves on their disease and tracking their results. Some happy people look around to see how they can serve others – how they can make someone else’s day just a little better. Some happy people never accept a status quo – there is work to be done to change their world. There is a theme here – choice and then action. We get happy in the doing.
Knowing that you should do these things to make yourself happy is very different than doing the things that will bring you joy. As Stephen Covey says, “To know and not to do is not to know.”
If you want to be really depressed, tell yourself that you can’t change anything, watch some TV, be resigned to the way the world is. Do everything you can to be passive. It is a sure-fire recipe for sadness.
For me, it is time for the something else. I can exercise a little every day because I need the endorphins. I can tend to the 6 kids, my husband and my friends with cancer that need attention. I can continue my research to ultimately change the way healthcare works. There are plans and decisions to make to provide a sustainable way to live. For all that I can’t do, I blame the dexamethasone. But there is so much that I can.