Never window shop for something you have no intention of buying. In an effort to stop researching breast cancer on the internet (which makes me sad), I started researching cars (which produces no emotional reaction).
Wouldn’t you just know it? I fell in love with a 2004 Audi convertible in Cincinnati. It was too far away and too expensive, which made it just perfect for an online fling. But then things got real.
On Tuesday, my daughter and I left Athens in search of an Old Navy store. And there, sitting in the mall parking lot, was a 2004 Audi convertible with a big ole FOR SALE sign in the window. It was half the price of the one in Cincy and had fewer miles. I texted my husband a picture. He called and bought it for me. Gosh I love that man.
In the time between texting the picture and buying the car, I started to feel great guilt and condemnation… how many people could I feed for $4800? Won’t people think I’m showing off if I buy a convertible? If I write about it will I get hate mail? I don’t deserve a car like this.
Over coffee, a very wise friend offered another viewpoint. “You’re going through a lot, Nic. I understand how you’re feeling, but there is a time to be generous and a time to allow God and others to be generous to you. Buy the car.”
So I did. And I love it.
I’ve been thinking about cutting my hair and dying it blond. Never look at hairstyles you have no intention of wearing…
I made it through my first public speaking event post-cancer diagnosis! I’m sure it would have been much better had I had a professional speech writer, but since none of you offered your expertise in that area, I muddled through on my own.
I talked about being a kid and visiting my mom’s husband in prison and about becoming Miss Wisconsin and about marrying my childhood sweetheart. I talked about the healing balm that is Kindness and how much more enjoyable life is when you take your eyes off yourself and put them on the needs of others.
And then I talked about what cancer is teaching me about kindness. I actually don’t even know yet what cancer will teach me about kindness, because this is all so new, but I think it will have something to do with this: 1) When life is hard, it is especially important to be intentionally and courageously kind, 2) I need to learn how to gracefully accept the kindness of others and 3) I need to cut myself some slack and let sad/bored/anxious/angry or whatever-else-I’m-feeling-at-any-given-moment be okay.
I’ll be sure to take good notes on this crash course because those seem like pretty good lessons for all us to learn, regardless of what we’re going through.
I get to speak tomorrow for the first time in almost a year! My friend’s dad is in Rotary and was in charge of picking the speaker, so I’m pretty sure I’m part of the friends & family plan, but I’ll take it!
Now I just have to figure out what to say…
Before moving to Ohio, I loved speaking. I felt very passionately (and still do) about the power of kindness to transform a life. By the time it was time to move, I had my message down to a science. But now, here I am, one year later, with a cancer diagnosis sitting in my lap. I’m confident there is some great connection between walking through trials and healing and kindness, but I haven’t connected all the dots yet.
So I guess I’ll show up, through on a little lip gloss and share what I know: Life is better when we are kind.