I hope I’m not speaking too soon, but life has been very kind to me recently. I have found time, and stayed fit enough, to catch up with lots of people in the last few days. It seems that much as I decided that cancer was not going to dominate my life, it actually is, but in a different way to the one I had imagined!
When I was diagnosed, on that terrible day back in 2007, I was very determined not to let cancer dictate my life, and to be able to still choose what I do with it. I suppose at that time, I was getting a little ahead of myself, as there was no guarantee that I was going to live for very long at all. However, a few years on, and with treatments improving all the time, I am beginning to find myself with a reasonable quality of life.
It is ironic, that I have chosen to fill up my life with cancer content now. I draw comfort from the fact that it is all work that I can now choose, and involves meeting with lots of wonderful people, either patients or professionals. As I have mentioned frequently, people are my passion, and I am finding that my business background is helping incredibly with the things I do now.
A meeting with someone I had never previously met has prompted this post. They had been observing my work in social media for some time, and pointed out that I always took the trouble to thank people. My reason for this is that I know how busy everyone is, and if they take time to do something for me, I should show my appreciation. This person had come a long distance to meet me, so I thanked them too! It was then that I realised that I now value people, in terms of time, not money.
We all have a value to others, although sometimes we can’t see that. We feel that if we do things for no financial reward, that we have no personal worth. Actually, the truth is very different to that! In my business life, I got used to everything having a cost, therefore it was easy to place a value on something. The same in our personal lives, we tend to judge people by what they earn, as it is an easy comparison to use. But for me, the most valuable thing I have is time. My time is borrowed so I really do appreciate it’s value!
Given the fact that everyone is precious with their time, I can now ascertain my value in peoples lives, by how much time they give me. The same applies in reverse, by how much time I afford others. On this basis things start to look differently. I dare you to look at your social life in the same way!
I now realise, that one of the reason’s I struggled psychologically with the fact that I was unable to return to my old life, was the value that I placed on myself. I was earning very well, and was always busy, I felt I was worth something. But very quickly, as I got sicker and sicker, and further away from work, I began to feel worthless. Mostly because I was no longer able to earn money. I can certainly empathise with people who lose their job for any reason. It has taken me a long time to find my true value, which is not in financial terms!
As I have slowly come to terms with my current life, my value is becoming more obvious. My personal and business experience is now in demand, and people are arranging their schedules around my availability. I know the efforts I have to make, to talk with people, either face to face,or on the phone. My treatment etc takes a lot of time and physical effort, also, as my family is increasing, it becomes more difficult to fit things in but I will if I can, and I want to.
My personal cancer experience, has taught me the value of my own time. It has also made me appreciate, the value of other people’s too. We all choose how we use it, so I am very grateful when people decide to give me some of theirs! Whether it is by taking time to read this blog, share it with friends, or follow me on Twitter, thank you, because there is not much higher compliment you can pay someone than sparing time for them.
How do you value yourself? How do other people value you?