I wanted to dedicate a post in my blog about Randy Pausch who is dying from pancreatic cancer. He is a husband, father of 3 young children, and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He gave his last lecture at the university on Sept. 18, 2007. I saw the abbreviated version (11:32 sec) on a YouTube video from an Oprah show several months ago. If you haven't seen it, try googling "the last lecture" and it pulls up this short version. If you've got some time on your hands, visit http://www.thelastlecture.com/ and you can see the entire lecture given to an audience of about 400 people. But after all was said and done, he didn't just give the talk to those in the room that day; he gave it as a lasting legacy for his children.
My friend Christi alerted me that his book also entitled "The Last Lecture" was published in April and I recently finished reading it. I'm thankful she recommended it as I found it to be truly inspiring and I agree with his overall philosophy on life. The book and the lecture aren't about dying; they're about living and how to live your life. So, I'm gonna list my 10 favorite quotes from the book below that really hit home for me.
1) "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
2) "The brick walls are there for a reason. They're not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
3) "Through the whole ordeal, I don't think we ever said to each other: "This isn't fair." We just kept going. We recognized that there were things we could do that might help the outcome in positive ways...and we did them. Without saying it in words, our attitude was, "Let's saddle up and ride."
4) "Give yourself permission to dream."
5) "Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won't make us happier."
6) "If nobody ever worried about what was in other people's heads, we'd all be 33 percent more effective in our lives and on our jobs."
7) "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer."
8) "Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other. Go out and do for others what somebody did for you."
9) "Each of us must decide: Am I a fun-loving Tigger or am I a sad-sack Eeyore?"
10) "It's not about how to achieve your dreams. It's about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you."
So clearly, the book touched me tremendously. I will continue to work towards leading my life in a good and meaningful way. I continue to learn more about myself through this whole journey to baby. I've learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. I am more tenacious than I had thought. My brick walls have surely proven to me just how badly I want a baby. I will never give up and I will get over those walls. I am not a quitter. I never have been.
What has the book shown me that I need to continue to improve upon:
1) Try to complain less about how all of this isn't fair and instead adopt a more positive, can-do attitude.
2) Worry less about what other people think.
3) At every disappointment (notice I don't say 'failure'), I need to continue to remember that something new is learned every time to hopefully help me arrive at that elusive successful outcome.
4) Show gratitude more often with old-fashioned thank you notes, cards, letters, etc. It's just the nice thing to do and you never how special it can make that other person feel.
5) Finally, I feel that on the lows of my past 2 IVFs, I have been that sad-sack Eeyore. I am in a much better frame of mind right now than I was back then. I have been the energetic, optimistic, enthusiastic, and fun-loving Tigger in the past. I'm going to strive to be more like Tigger each and every day, because there really isn't an upside to being an Eeyore.
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