something real

One often criticized aspect of social media is the unrealistic one-sidedness of it. Do you tire the superficiality?

Is he being honest here? What about that aspect of life that everyone in your life has witnessed as a major challenge? What did she learn from that awful, or “misinformed,” decision?

Nobody wants to air dirty laundry any more than it already is in this day and age. But to scroll and read an instance when a friend, or even a “friend,” comes forward with a bit of courage in a comment of genuine, awkward, tragic and beautiful originality, it captures my attention and grace! Not that I want to read those inappropriate public airing of personal grievances, to see you struggle, or be entertained by your failure. I do love seeing all the original pics and comments of your small and large victories as well!

I suppose…either way, I just need something real. That’s what brings me back to it, and sometimes does seem relatively rare. Because everything is awesome in social media world.

Stepped in mud, got new brown shoes
It’s awesome to win and it’s awesome to lose…Everything is awesome!

-Lego Movie

Am I any less guilty? I try to be honest and have some courage here and elsewhere. Is it discouraging to feel a deep pressure under your right ribs every time that you roll over in bed; to lay there in the dark thinking about the reality of tumors obviously still present? How difficult is it NOT to dwell on that bit of recent history, where a break between invasive treatments resulted in fast and quite problematic disease progression? Not knowing if there will be a different result next time; that alone is enough to keep you awake if you don’t steer those thoughts downstream.

Is it a nuisance, and almost embarrassing, to feel like ice every time the temperature dips below 40 degrees (not truly all that cold), and constantly want to retreat to an electric blanket? Do I really want to complain of being cold, about easily cracked hands and my numb feet (again), which I haven’t felt since last February, especially in light of the alternative of no effective treatment? I do sometimes quite literally stumble in the dark.

Does it get hard to be a man and provider for a family yet constantly accept so much charity and generosity that I should simply be thankful for? When you still get fatigued like Grandpa Simpson and desperately wish to sleep or at least sit down every few hours?

I could go on. Ugh. I’d much rather, and it is indeed more fruitful, to dwell on and report the victories and progress. Thankfully, there is plenty of that going on as well! I’m aware of and absolutely feel the concern and prayers. All the support absolutely helps me to endure the grind, not to mention a rock solid, genuinely caring oncology team at UPMC Camp Hill.

I have intentionally picked up in the social medial realm, often writing physical therapy content (seen under Bonny Lane Club) and random thoughts. That’s often all I have the energy to do to entertain myself or otherwise remain occupied. After all, this social media business is primarily -supposed- to be about connectedness and entertainment? I’m not one to be bored ; ) Topics unrelated to my health condition, as well as original content related to my profession are good for me, though obviously not revealing the nature of what I’m dealing with that day.

I have gained a far better appreciation of the fact that having time and a state of mind and being somewhat forced to sit and read and think for a time is a privilege. Sure, I still watch too many televised sports and semi historical series and documentaries. But while my body continues to slowly heal, my eyes are wide open and searching deep places.

I look forward to continued physical improvement, returning to work and improved capacity for more active endeavors with the family, around the house, and otherwise. But too much has it’s limits, of course. When I recover even further (Lord willing), I will have left some things behind and have kept other things that mattered. I hope this may be true of all of us, having to deal with the current pandemic. I know that we all have realities; the challenges and grief that life eventually brings.

I have always loved the Thanksgiving Holiday. Friend, I’m thankful for you, even in the highly limited social media capacity, with little actual time together, and personal interaction is unrealistic. Thank you for taking the time to read these. I hope they have been real to you. And I do hope this will be true for you as well.

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
10,000 reasons for my heart to find
. [gratitude]

-Jesus Culture

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