Alright, so it’s Thursday and like promised a few posts back I’m actually going to release a blog on time, as long as the words spill out here. And I find something interesting to write about. I had a very good response to my latest post https://stephenmedhurst.ca/2021/12/21/self-help-we-all-need-to-find-happiness/ so feel free to click that link and check it out, if I’d purchase the business package here on WordPress I would be able to short form that, but oh well, I’m cheap, lol. Honestly though I am overwhelmed with all the comments and likes…keep em coming. And I will continue to write a very open and raw account of my life and the ups and downs in dealing with a rare form of cancer, neuroendricine tumors and we are all zebra strong.
Alrighty, now to dive just a little deeper into that, and I promise I won’t go on and on about this, of coarse your sense of be happy / healthy will be different from me and it very well should be, as how boring would it be if everyones sense of joy was identical. So…for me to achieve how and when I’m at my happiest comes with the struggle to get there, because without the struggle or hardship how could you possibly know when our happiest moments in our lives really are.
And if you want to get down to the real nitty gritty and I’ll be honest, besides my Cancer, most of my struggles and those of us blessed to live in a developed country most of our struggles are 1st world problems. Shit, I can turn on the tap anytime I want and the water just magically pours out, millions would be happy just to have that. Even to have Cancer in a country like Canada, I’m very fortunate….doctors, imagining, mental health care….and the list can go on, especially getting the best medicine out there to treat me and help prolong my life and the quality of it. Many have no chance when it comes to proper health care…unfortunate. Something as simple as getting a vaccination against Covid-19 is unavailable, and here we are standing in line fortunate enough to have booster shots available, that’s a touchy subject and let’s not dive into that here. The point is everyone around the planet will have a different definition of what it means to be truly happy.
Now getting back to me here for a bit, I can tell you I’m happy today, I have a great family, friends, roof over my head, food in the fridge and a book or Netflix to entertain me and it’s all good, it really is. But, deep down is that burning desire for real happiness, I’m talking the type that takes hard work, struggle and determination. For an example of this I’ll take you back to mid September when Chris and I went on our Temagami trip, what’s called the Red Cedar Lake and Jumping Caribou Lake Loop. It was day 2 and it started off with great weather and a short paddle from the end of Surveyor lake, then a short portage around the dam that controls the flow of water to the northern section of the Temagami River. Now most of the morning went great we ran some whitewater rapids(we aren’t pro’s at this, but between us we do have some common sense) and all was well until rapid # 4, Herons Leg. We decided to portage most of our gear down to the end of the rapids then walk the bank back to scout for possible lines to take the canoe down the river, we were there for fun, but were hesitant based on the low water level and it looked pretty boney. We came up with a plan to start right/centre where it looked to be a good entry point, then steer left and run the last of the rapid in what looked to be rough, but deeper water……well we never made it that far. As we entered the top of the rapid, we had the line we were after, then as entered the fast following water and quickly picked up speed without warning I heard a huge BANG and saw Chris tossed overboard, with me shortly following. For a second my leg was trapped and water spilled over my head, then I popped free and remembered to float with my legs out in front of me. I saw Chris bobbing in the current ahead of me hanging onto the canoe, I yelled,” just let it go, it will wash up shortly downstream”, and the water wasn’t that deep. I hobbled to shore and Chris met my there, a nervous laugh came over me, but I felt exhilarated. My leg was so badly bruised I had trouble squatting and my other knee was also banged up, but I had a smile on my face. Unbelievably the only things we lost or broke was both fishing rods(bummer) and map, kinda important. Story not done.
After completing the river, we came to Red Cedar Lake, a big body of water. It started off as a nice paddle, but by mid afternoon the wind picked up, we came across a couple campsite we could have taken, but really weren’t to our liking and very buggy….so we carried on further up the Lake, big mistake. As we came out of a cove and into the vast expanse of open water, the winds picked up….a lot, at some points I would call it a gale wind. We were heading north and the prevailing winds hit us from the southeasterly direction, so ya tailwinds which are pretty sweet, not when they’re not causing 2 to 3 foot swells. We could see a campsite off in the distance about a kilometre away and for the half an hour it took to get there it basically took everything I had from the stern to keep us on point, while Chris paddled hard from the bow. As we drew near the point we noticed tent already set up, “SHIT” was all that went through my head, but to our relieve there was someone on shore signalling us in, prob thinking “look at these idiots”. Pulling around the point into a calmer cove a huge sense of relieve came over me. While both Chris a I are pretty accomplished canoeists we both agreed that was one of the very few times we were nervous on the open water.
After setting up camp in the bush behind the point where the other campers were set up, we had a quick supper and then enjoyed a fire on a peaceful beach, and were joined by the other campers for some campfire stories, and some beer which they generously gave to us. What a day!!!
Whew! Well that was long winded just to get across my point, that without those struggles of the day and the determination to push through adverse conditions, the sheer amount of joy, happiness and accomplishment would’ve in no way felt so good as it did that night, with strangers around a campfire in the middle of nowhere. Happiness from hardship and joys of the small things, Priceless…..oh, and those beers sure tasted good.
As the holidays fall on us here very shortly I’ve been asked a few times, what do you want for Christmas? Well to be a little selfish for a minute, my answer is of coarse to be Cancer free, but that I know will most certainly never happen. So what I really want is your gift of TIME and I’ve said this before, give me some of your time, have a coffee, a drink, a jog, even come canoeing with me. This will always be my answer for an occasion, give me some of your time and I will give you mine, which is most precious. Most important to me, is just follow along with my story, what does this take to read maybe 10 minutes? TIME
And through hard times, struggles, loses and grief, at the end of it all if you (I) work to get there, there will be happiness. Then it will be time to find it all over again and again.
Well time to wrap this one up and say Merry Christmas to everyone who has followed along so far, I have a very compassionate group of readers here and want to thank you all for the warm and positive comments. Christmas for me now means reflecting on what’s really important as we about to turn the calendar again. Besides the obvious, my family and friends, this blog has now become part of my identity and once again a smile comes across my face as I think of what to blog about next…….Cheers! And Much Love.
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