I was scrolling on Insta a few days ago when a picture from HONY (Humans of NY) popped up. In case you aren't familiar, HONY is a brand that documents the lives of folks in NY byway of photographs and interviews. Sometimes they catch the life of a precocious 3 year old wearing the cutest outfit, or they sit down and chat with a young man that tells his story of survival on the streets. It's a mix of fluff and realness that always manages to catch a vulnerable moment that is much needed on our feeds in this day and age.
So, like I mentioned I was scrolling when one of their posts popped up on my feed. I saw a beautiful mom and adorable daughter posed for their picture, smiling and looking so alive. I assumed this was going to be a story about how smart the daughter was or that she had just come from a piano class or something. Nope, I was way wrong. Read below:
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(1/2) “My mother was literally a drill sergeant. And my father was Olympic level karate. So between the two of them, there was always someone pushing me to be better. I grew up with this competitive thing inside me that always wanted to be the best. And that carried into adulthood. By the time Logan was born, I was working sixty hour weeks. She was born on a Tuesday, and I was back at work on Thursday. My husband did everything. I’d come home, give the baby a kiss, then shut the office door. I told myself that I needed to work a little harder—get a little more security-- then later on I could stop and enjoy life. But that time never came. Because each time I reached a goal, I’d increase it a little more. When Logan turned three, I was diagnosed with brain cancer. At the time they told me ten years. We’re on year six right now. All my scans are clear. The tumor is still there, but it’s not growing. Who knows what will happen. But I do know that without the cancer, my little girl would have grown up without me. I’d have been around, but not there. We’d never be sitting in this park right now. So I’ve come to believe that everything happens for a reason. I was never afraid of dying. Even in the beginning. But I was always terrified of leaving her. And that fear changed everything.”
The mother basically said that she was pushed as a child to be her very best, so much so that as an adult she worked long, grueling days, delivered her daughter, and was back to work two or three days later. Every time she reached a goal she'd push herself even harder than she was working before and never slowed down to enjoy and experience life as a wife and as a new mother. The only thing that finally slower her down was a diagnosis of brain cancer.
Did you catch that? The cancer is what slowed her down. Not her husband. Not her child. The cancer caused her to slow down because she didn't want to die and leave her daughter.
Ladies, I'm not here to "tsk-tsk" or anything like that but I do hope that you take a moment to realize that it is possible to run ourselves ragged and when we do, we open ourselves up to depression, sickness, stress and other undesirable effects. One of my new mantras is now "I will not run myself ragged" and I live by that. I refuse to allow anything to take me off this earth sooner than God intended. I am saying no more. Telling folks I don't have time. Turning my phone off. Using all my vacation days. Asking for help when needed around the house. I will not work myself to the point of no return. I hope that this becomes part of your narrative as well.
Thank you for prioritizing yourself,