jueves, 8 de mayo de 2008

Sometimes live sucks

Today I’ve received this mail from a colleague based at the London office:

As some of you may know, I will be out for a while as I have been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and unfortunately not the standard kind either. The good news is that this explains my terrible marathon time from a couple of weeks ago, the bad news is I already moved in for the next couple of months at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead to make my way through several rounds of chemotherapy. But hey, at least it is unlikely that I need to shave for a while.

Anyway, Jim will communicate the team structure changes to those of you who are affected.

I hope to be back soon.

I know this kind of things happen from time to time and it’s only a matter of time until someone close to you is affected. In fact in my close family we had our own cancer fights and chemotherapy sessions so I can’t say it’s the first time that someone I know receives such terrible news.

But maybe because he is sportier than me (I never dreamed seeking for a time in a marathon) or because he is approximately as old as I am or maybe because I believe he has two daughters as young as my own daughters I was really touched by his mail.

Yes, sometimes live sucks, but optimism and sense of humor is what really help us and I’m glad he has enough of that.

A cuidarse
Javier Arias González

3 comentarios:

  1. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.

  2. I think that the positive way your colleague is facing his illness with should inspire us to look on the bright side of life. We have not real problems comparing to this, so life is not that bad.

    The other day a colleague at work asked another colleague how he was doing. Not bad, he said in a sad way. I didn’t sound positive at all and it was Monday morning!! The other colleague replied him “I used to complain about my shoes being too tight for me and having my feet sore when I saw someone with no legs and then the pain disappeared”. It sounds like a silly story, but the following day I was with some other colleagues I’m working on a project with who were complaining about the really tough situation they were facing in that project with the customer; bad stuff I must admit.

    I then told them this story and we all realized that this sort of problems that worry us so much aren’t that important, if you consider that we have a place to live (a flat), a job to pay our bills (not matter how big our mortgage is), a family that love us and care for us, lovely children to see grow and evolve, we live in a country with no wars, no hungers, no natural disasters, we and our families are not facing major illnesses like cancer, aids, etc…. If you really think about it, our problems at work are not problems at all. Even the Euribor raise is not such a big problem. If you just can dine out once a month instead of once a week, that’s not a real problem comparing to those that have nothing to eat.

    Anyway, this comment is sounding too moralistic. What I’m trying to say is that reading your colleague’s mail hasn’t made me think that life sucks, mainly thanks to his positiveness and good sense of humor. Let’s learn from him….we don’t really have problems so life is great!

  3. Hi Txerra,

    Thanks for your comment to the entry. I fully agree with your point.

    Precisely a couple of weeks ago as part of the admission process for an MBA I had to write an essay on the topic "What was the most difficult problem you have faced in your life, and how did you deal with it?" and part of my answer was:

    "Some years ago I got to the conclusion that you can tell how “real” someone’s unhappiness is just asking that person for his biggest, or most difficult, problem. In my conclusion if someone says that the biggest problem he is facing at this moment is that he doesn’t know if he is going to have something to eat tomorrow, you could tell that his unhappiness (if he feels unhappy) is “real”. On the other hand, if someone declares that he is unhappy but to the question of what his biggest problem is, answers something like “my car is not as big as I want”, you could tell that is not “real” unhappiness. It is probably a person that does not realize how happy he is and that is probably his biggest problem.

    Now I am asked “What was the most difficult problem you have faced in your life, and how did you deal with it?”, and I am finding it very difficult to answer to that question. It is not only that I find it difficult to identify “the most difficult” problem I have faced in my life; it is also that I find it difficult to identify just a single problem I have faced in my life that is big enough to be mentioned. And this, according to my conclusion above, should mean that I am a happy person; the good news is that I am fully aware of that. I am a happy person and I have had a happy life.

    What I can easily tell is how I deal with my problems. Every time I feel I have a problem I ask myself “What can I do?” It is not just I asking myself a question that will remind unanswered; it is the first step of a “can do” attitude. What can I do to solve, or at least reduce, this problem? Let’s go for it! I have found that very often once you start working on the solution of a problem part of it disappears.

    There are problems without solution (i.e. some health problems), normally these are the ones we identify as difficult or big ones. The key point here is to realize that you are not facing a problem, what we are facing is a fact, and facts are not to be solved but to be coped with over time."


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