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There’s almost nothing zen about me. But the one bit of eastern philosophy I’ve consistently practised is to not wish time away. Never to say: I can’t wait until Friday. I can’t wait until the trip to Cuba. I can’t wait until all this cancer treatment is over.

Even though I'm speedy by nature, I live by the principle: Don’t rush it, because it rushes itself. I don’t know where that came from. It’s just what I do, and what I try to share with my kids. It’s work not to wish away the hard or boring parts, not to wish ourselves into what we think will be the fun bits.

But otherwise, there`s not an eastern bone in this whirling, yoga, meditation-resistant body.

Last night my 10 year old wanted to watch Adam Sandler’s Click. It is (in my opinion) a sexist, racist, fatist, piece of drivel, based very loosely on It’s a Wonderful Life.  A dick-head, played by Sandler, gets a universal remote so that (spoiler alert) he can fast-forward through the icky parts of his life, and move directly to the achievements. Blah, blah, blah, he loses control of the process, the years pass too quickly, he misses the great shit with his kids, and his she’s-way-too-good-for-him wife finally leaves him for a short goof who coaches her son’s swim team in a red (circa 1973) Speedo.

Don’t ask me why we didn’t stop watching Click. It’s been that kind of a month. I never said I was proud of all the moments I wasn’t wishing away.

The movie gets super sad. The man can’t get a grip on time, and in the end he’s on his deathbed (well, lying on the rainy front driveway of his futuristic hospital), sobbing and telling his children to seize the moment. Me and my 10 yr old are crying, and I’m telling him not to worry, the guy’s going to wake up and his kids will still be little.

He does wakes up. And his kids are still little. And his life looks fucking great. And it’s all a fucking dream. Or maybe not. Maybe he got a second chance because he’s an asshole who really regrets being an asshole.

I go upstairs with my little guy. He goes into his room, I go into mine. I shut my door and start to sob, hysterically. On the surface I’m upset the guy in the movie got to wake up, and it was all OK. His rushy, anxious, mediocre life now seems fabulous. 

I don’t get to wake up.

I called my friend Ingrid, who has listened to me cry a lot over the last 6 weeks. She let me bawl my way through a description of the movie - which was so beside the point - and then say banal, idiotic things like “I don’t want to have cancer", and "I don’t want to be going through all this.”

“Tomorrow you’ll laugh about crying about Click,” she said.

“Tomorrow I’ll write about crying about Click.”

The other day, when I didn’t have cancer yet, we were driving in the car listening to the Avicii version of Wake Me Up, and I’m mindlessly belting out the lyrics.

So wake me up when it’s all over. When I’m wiser and I’m older

The 10 year old pipes up from the back seat. “How’s he going to be any wiser if he sleeps through his whole life?”

So right now, I’m up for getting any wiser, even if I’m occasionally covering my eyes or my ears. We know that doesn’t block out what’s hard. It just controls the rate at which it goes in.

I’m working to see the joy that, as I keep saying, hasn’t actually gone anywhere. Like lying on the couch with my 10 yr old lying against me, watching a really shitty movie together. And not Clicking.

 

Comments

I'll be thinking good thoughts and saying the me-shabarach.

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