Yesterday was my birthday. I find that as I get older these matter less (sounding like my grandmother). The past two days have been rough. Tuesday I spent basically the whole day in bed. My body ached and I could find no relief. I feel like my legs have lost all their strength and are now rubber. I think I figured out that it’s the G-CSF injections. Basically those migraines I was suffering a few rounds ago came back but distributed to the rest of my bones. I’m fairly certain that’s what was going on. And yesterday more of the same. Felt like a zombie and tried to just sleep it off. Started to feel better in the late afternoon. And just in time. Michelle brought Burma Superstar home for dinner (one of my favorites). But first chocolate cake and candles.
This stands in stark contrast to last year when we had a gigantic bash in the back yard. Obviously circumstances this year are different, not to mention the terrible air quality. So it felt like a win to actually get out of bed and enjoy it a bit. What has become apparent regarding expectations is that they are fully controllable (duh!). Satisfaction is found in a reduction of needs. It means feeling grateful for what one has and recognizing when things exceed that bar. This notion is not at odds with setting aggressive targets. Those are important. But I think it’s about understanding one’s perimeter of true needs and finding a base of satisfaction there; no sense getting upset about not winning the lottery! Recognize and celebrate it as upside. It’s about the delta between actual and expected. One insidious cause of suffering that I know all too well is this idea of ‘should’. Should takes a person outside of the here and now and flips this delta and for me at least results in the opposite effect – thoughts of scarcity. Something like this:
- a true needs mindset (gratitude, abundance)
- what you have – true needs = high
- a should mindset (fear, scarcity)
- what you have – what you should have = low or negative
I caught a second wind after dinner so Michelle and I decided to go to a meditation around the corner that she found. It was all I had energy for and it was questionable I even had enough for that. We donned our N-95 masks and walked around the corner. This must have been the most low-key birthday on record: chocolate cake, nice dinner, birthday cards from kids, meditation. I thought I’d be stuck in bed. This was extravagant.