Trying to Make Today Count

One of the good things about being a cancer survivor is that you’re more apt to appreciate each and every day than those who imagine they’re going to live forever. Hopefully that doesn’t mean living in fear, or self-indulgence, but, rather, living with the realization that each and every day is precious.

For me, at least, it has meant doing what needs to be done now and narrowing down the many things I’ve always wanted to do to the things I really can do. As a natural dabbler, someone more interested in learning how to do things than in actually doing them, I’ve long collected books and tools with the thought that I’d like to read them someday or I’d like to learn how to do that someday.

Though I’ve thrown out several books on electronics and other areas I would have loved to read and digest, I’ve actually managed to carve several projects that I’ve put off for years, finally applying some of the many art classes I’ve taken since high school, and finding the process truly rewarding.

When I started my webpage three years ago I had books that had been sitting waiting to be read for over 30 years. And while I’ll admit that there are still a few of them left, I have now read nearly all the books I own. Now when I find a book I’m interested in, I put it on my Amazon wish list and buy it right before I want to read it. Strangely enough, I’ve found it much more rewarding to actually read the books I have than to put them off until later.

Perhaps most fulfilling of all, I’ve actually finished, though I use that term loosely, some of the poetry I’ve had laying around in various journals and notebooks for years. After years of teaching writing to others, writing every day has made it easier for me to write every day and, hopefully, even made my writing more enjoyable to those who read it.

Carving away
what is not —
reveals what truly is.

3 thoughts on “Trying to Make Today Count”

  1. I was treated for cancer for two years (2000-2002), L, and it was the first time I truly began living in the present because the present was all I had. The present was the great gift cancer gave to me and it’s something that I still hold on to even though my ordeal is over. I rarely spend time dwelling on the past or brooding on the future now. Big hugs to you. I am enjoying reading your thoughts here. Planethalder.

  2. I can relate to the learning/doing thing. Similar phenomenon here. And a collection of books and materials to match as well.

    Congratulations on the new granddaughter too.

  3. I was brought to this site initially by my wish to learn more about Ezra Pound. I’ve got to say, your May 22, 2003 observations on Pound are the most refreshing I’ve read. I am more interested in learning about how Ezra Pound promoted his fellow poets & writers and the literary magazines he was involved with. Perhaps you could suggest a good biography or web site.

    Also, my prayers are with you and your appreciation for each and every day.

    – Bill King

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