Reality Check – A Reminder of What Really Matters

Image from Mummy Quotes

Image from Mummy Quotes

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” 
~ Stephen R. Covey

 

I have a beautiful girlfriend who is the ultimate career woman. She has worked for the same corporation for 25 years, starting at the very bottom and working her way up. She is one of those women who has climbed the ladder and broken through the glass ceiling. For twenty five years she has devoted herself to this organisation, and enjoyed a meteoric rise. She’s a stunning project manager, and she gets things done. They always call on her in a crisis. There is always a crisis. She works insane hours, lives and breathes company business, and is paid accordingly.

In the middle of this she has managed to complete a degree, an MBA, and to marry and have two children. She always wanted to have children but by the time she and her husband started trying for babies in her late thirties, pregnancy just wasn’t happening. She has two beautiful daughters, aged 3 and 6, both from IVF, which was a long and difficult process. It took many attempts to bring those little girls into the world.

No, this is not a post about leaving babies til the last minute.

It’s a post about leaving life til the last minute.

You see, my friend sent me a frantic text yesterday morning, and then called me as soon as she knew I was awake.

I haven’t seen her for a couple of years. You know how things are when people get busy.

She had news. The worst kind. She’s been diagnosed with aggressive and advanced ovarian cancer. It’s inoperable. They think she may have twelve weeks to live, give or take. There’s no time left for treatment. Only for palliative care.

She started losing weight eighteen months ago and put it down to stress. But secretly she was also thrilled. She had put on plenty of weight during each of her pregnancies and had never been able to get it back off again. Still, her tummy stayed round and bloated.

She hasn’t felt her best since the babies were born. But that’s normal for busy mums, isn’t it? Anyway, she always said to me that she was too busy to have the luxury of a sick day.

My friend left it so long to do something about the pelvic pain, the back aches, the bladder leaks, the fatigue, that when she finally made the time to see a doctor it was all too late. She is riddled with cancer. It’s in her bowel, her brain, her liver, her lungs, her bones. Everywhere.

What should she do, my friend asked me. She has recently moved her husband, two little children and their nanny to yet another new city while she works on a difficult merger. They haven’t really settled in yet. She began to tell me all about the work…

Screw the work, I said. Come home. Come home to your family and your husband’s family. Come home to the people who love you, and who can take care of you all. Forget the responsibilities. Now is the time to focus on what truly matters. Living. Loving. Drinking up every last moment. Creating the best kinds of memories. Gifting yourself and your loved ones the time you have left.

She kept crying, over and over, I thought I’d have more time. God, it almost undid me.

All her working life my friend has put things to one side; holidays, celebrations, lazy Sundays, time out with family and friends, because she though that one day she’d be in a magical place where there was plenty of time, and plenty of money and plenty of life left to enjoy all those good things.

heart

Life is so short. So precious. None of us ever really know how much time we have.

Oh, it breaks my heart, dear ones. It just breaks my heart.

I’m going to take a few days off blogging, while I support my friend through this next part of her journey.

Please, look after yourselves. Look after your health and your loved ones. Work out what matters and spend time on those relationships and activities. It’s the journey, as much as the destination. You know that, don’t you?

That great behemoth of a corporation my friend works for will get by just fine without her. She might not have realised it, but she is expendable to them, although I’m sure they’ll miss her, and her talents.

Her husband and kids? I’m sure they can’t say the same.

My friend, ever the one to seek productive outcomes from any situation, asked me to write this post. She hoped it may serve as a reality check for people like her, who’ve strayed too far from what really counts.

Will you hold her and her family in your thoughts and prayers? Her name’s Julie, and she sure could use a little extra love and light right now.

Thank you.

Image from Paper Masters

Image from Paper Masters

30 thoughts on “Reality Check – A Reminder of What Really Matters

  1. My heart breaks for your friend and her family but thank you so much for writing this post with such an important and poignant message. It certainly made me think long and hard about my priorities. X

  2. Love and Light to dear Julie and her family as they travel this next part of the journey and how wonderful to have you Nicole guiding them Bless you all Much Love <3 Gil x

  3. Reading your words had me in tears… for your friend Julie and for all of us who wait for that magical time… which is right here beside us… time in itself is magic. Thank you for the precious reminder. K xo

  4. How easy is it for all of us to loose touch with what really matters. We are all dispensable to corporations in truth. In the end we all get brought home to ourselves. Maybe it’s a good day to tell those we Love…. that we Love them. I can’t imagine telling any corporation that!

  5. Julie – I am praying for you and sending you and your family a Legion of Angels – thank you for your selflessness and honesty at this time.
    Forgiving yourself and others and showing them your love for them is one of the greatest gift you can give yourself and others. If your children and family absorb this it will give them a chance to set themselves free in their lives as well.

    Julie I am wishing you gentleness in your home coming as you deal with your grief.

    Thanks Nicole for the post – some words are hard to write.

  6. I love your message, and I wish the best of luck to your friend and her family in the last stretch of her journey. I hear stories like this more often then I care to, a coworker of mine was diagnosed with lung cancer April 2013, it had spread to her brain, liver and spinal cord. This was a huge blow to our organization, and she was able to do many of the things she had always wanted to with her family before she passed away in August. Don’t leave things to the last minute, live for today!

  7. What to say? This is just too sad, because in the end, we always think there is time. My wish for Julie is that she is surrounded by love and light in her final and most important project – herself xoxo

  8. Tell Julie to get straight into a juice only fast (organic fruit & veggies) .. no eating of any food what-so-ever … contact people like Don Tolman and Tyler Tolman (both on facebook and both hold juice and water fasting retreats and do consults). They have cured many people with late stage cancer .. when the doctors say there is no hope. Also research Gerson Therapy … another juicing method for curing cancer when all else fails. Cannabis oil cures many cancers too (Rick Simpson). Look to nature for remedy. Also, get at least 1 hour of full body sunshine every day, half an hour on back and half an hour on front. Much love and light for Julie’s healing xx

  9. This made me cry and I don’t know Julie but her story is so normal, so many people think one day I will do this or that and before they know it they are out of time and have done nothing……….I will pray for Julie

  10. Sending love to Julie and her family <3

    Couldn't agree more with 'screw the work.' I took significant time off work to go to physical therapy last year when I broke my hand, and every time I thought about the work I wasn't doing, I reminded myself that with any luck, my hand would still be working when the product I was working on was no more. Loved ones and self-care come first <3

  11. There are some things, and some times when wor s seem superfluous. Thi s is one of those occasions.
    My heart is filled with love for Jule and her family and will be sent to her to heal the hurt and cocoon them in love. Peace for all concern ed. I am so terribly sorry for your/their situation.
    Blessings. Susan 💖

  12. My thoughts and prayers are with Julie and her family …take will me you Nicole but as always you’re doing a fab job
    Cherryx

  13. Sending love and prayers to your friend Julie and her family, may the Lord carry them through the trials they will face over the coming weeks.

  14. Thank you Nicole this comes at a perfect time to remind me of the importance of taking time for life not just work…I will keep the both of you in my heart and prayers. Love and radiance

  15. Pingback: Time With Julie, Crafting Dying Her Way | Cauldrons and Cupcakes

  16. Love and blessings to both you and Julie. White light healing and peaceful times are sent to Julie as she savours her life and uses each day she has to reward herself and her family with forever memories. Loads of love and blessings. namaste. Jocelyn xo

  17. Pingback: Back to Meditation Tomorrow! | Cauldrons and Cupcakes

  18. I too send much love and healing energy to Julie and her family, especially her husband and little girls. Thanks to Julie and you Nicole for sharing this story. Through poor health I’ve made changes to what I saw were “priorities” but I still fall into the trap of doing what’s not really important. Julie’s story will help me reassess again. Sending all much love. xxx

  19. Pingback: Saying Goodbye To Julie | Cauldrons and Cupcakes

  20. Pingback: Sometimes The Best Way to Honour The Dead is to Celebrate | Cauldrons and Cupcakes

  21. Pingback: The Phone Call I Hated to Make | Cauldrons and Cupcakes

Leave a Reply