“It just goes to show you Jane, it’s always something.”
Gilda Radner as Roseanne Roseannadanna
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
The Cancer of Distraction and the spiritual lessons it contains for me this day
When I woke this morning, I had an agenda. I had two big notes to myself and a smaller note below, detailing three points of priority for the morning.
Alas, hours later, I have been derailed, distracted, and otherwise involved.
It really is always something, as Gilda Radner would say.
It certainly was always something in Gilda’s own life. If you haven’t read her autobiography, “It’s Always Something”, it is a study in choices.
We all make em, and they shape our lives. She made hers with the same gusto she brought to the stage and screen. Hers were not simple choices either. In many cases, her choices were gut-wrenching and painful. She made them with a courage, grace and wisdom I admire.
The many choices Gilda made in battling ovarian cancer, resulted in a tremendous amount of suffering. She went the medical route and repeatedly suffered with chemo and the traditional western medicine treatments.
Gilda also tried macrobiotics and many different types of natural healing. I remember the macrobiotics initially seemed very beneficial and she felt good and then, the cancer gained ground again.
I felt empathically touched by her honest and raw recording of her bouts with depression and self-pity as the cancer kept coming back, like a boomerang.
Cancer finally took the body of Gilda Radner. However, she lived til it took her. She loved and laughed and helped others til it took her. She chose life in every moment, even in the face of death. That’s a good choice.
Unless there’s a quantum leap …. We are probably all gonna die someday. I believe in the concept of quantum leaps outta here and am working on programming that kind of exit for myself. However, I don’t know anyone who has personally done it so I’m kinda thinking I’ll probably just lay this body down in the traditional way one day.
Will I be able to look back on it and say I did it my way? Will I be able to say I lived and loved and laughed and helped others as long as I lived?
I think Gilda could.
What would prevent me from making the same claim? I’m thinking about the cancer of distraction today. I’m thinking about my choices when faced with this time-eating cancer. Today, I haven’t done that well with it. Today, I feel a bit more devoured by life than lived by it and in it. That is today. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow or even the next moment I experience.
I always value awareness and it has come today.
What I do with it, that’s another story. I believe when we allow cancerous thought or behavior to eat away at our life, we can set the stage for physical cancer to follow, so this is no small morning of awareness in me.
Roseanne Roseannadanna’s legacy is not so much that it’s always something but that we can live and laugh and love and help others in spite of that “always something”. We can choose to spend precious moments on precious pursuits or to fritter away moments in worry, fear, doubt and activities of distraction.
What will I choose?