On Saturday morning, me and Tobias went for a stroll to a nearby farmer-market, laughing at jokes.
Tobias: I think I laughed more than you. Because I smile every time I see you.

Me: This morning I read a post on Facebook about marriage. It said marriage is hard because life is hard. Relationships are hard. Parenting is hard. Work is hard. We should work harder! 

Me: Look at us! I never think like that. I enjoy you, enjoy us. Sadly, society always told us to work harder, and scarcely motivates us to pause and enjoy the present.


Life is like smoke, 
lingering then fleeting.
When I try to grasp it,
it eludes.

I used to think that wisdom and hard work will bring us success and makes life worth it. Even though it brings more stress and frustration.

The questions of what the future will be, such as will I get a promotion, a new partner, get married, a new business deal, etc. would constantly eat at me and make me daunted wondering what life will look like. 

Disturbing realities then showed me that my views were upside-down:
The fortune not always comes to the wise,
nor the wealth to the brilliant,
nor the favor to the educated,
time and chance happen to us all,
in wealth, in pleasure, in status, in career.
Life is uncontrollable.

Like animals we all are going to die.
A good man dies young,
a bad man dies of old age,
a rich dies unable to enjoy his possession,
a poor dies from tragedy,
time and chance happen to us all,
to the wise, the foolish, the rich, the poor.
Life is unpredictable.

Uncertainties and inequities,
in wisdom, in work, in wealth.
Life is like an unsolved puzzle.


I was a perfectionist.

So, when I started writing my stories, I wanted to be significant and make an impact. 
Then I realized, I cannot control people.
I may have a degree of influence, but I don’t have ultimate control.

I learned that I cannot make my reader, you, change your mind and attitude, nor do what I want you to do.

Therefore I don’t want to fall into resentment, and I stop trying to control the outcome. 
I learned that your destiny is not my burden to carry. 
I am called to tell you God loves you, and I leave the rest to Him.

Because I’m not so obsessed with obtaining a certain outcome, 
I feel freedom, and I am actually having a good time wholeheartedly writing my stories for you, right here and now.

I learned that the moment we let go control of how our future ought to be, we gain freedom to be joyful.
We can’t create joy for ourselves, it’s given, lies surrounding us.


Having foodgasms from home-cooked pasta dinner:
Me: My goodness, delicious food brings pleasure to me. Satisfaction! 
Tobias: I think because we’re human, we need food to survive, we need sex to reproduce. So these are basic things that brings enjoyment.
Me: True. Added to that, human needs relationship in community, work to do to not become crazy, culture to express, good weather, and much more.

Living with brainstem cancer, 
I learned,
I have no control over my life.
I have no control of how many days I have left to live.
The best I could get,
is just to enjoy simple good things everyday, and to be glad!

I acknowledge that this simple enjoyment in life, is temporary, not permanent. 

But still, I choose to enjoy ‘bread-crumbs” goodness I can get: 
The smell of a fragrant flower, enjoying sunlight in winter, drinking coffee with friends, having a good meal, embracing intimacy in marriage, being close with family, finding time to write this, cooking, enjoying classical music, indulging in good tea, laughing at humor, munching donuts, helping the poor and donating to the needy.

These are gifts from God.

Vice versa, I choose to fear God, too. Because at the end there’s judgement.


Restlessness and weariness in our life.
We are never satisfied with the present,
the future is too slow to come,
the past flights too rapid.

We wander in this times which is not ours, 
and forget the only one which belongs to us. 
From dust to dust we are.

We try to control matters,
but found out it’s not in our power.

Our thoughts are only occupied with the past and future.
Seldom we think about the present.
We only use the present to plan the future.

So we never live,
but hope to live, 
and always prepare for future happiness.
While failing to see,
little moments of happiness,
in the here and now.

The secret of life,
is nothing better for us to be happy, 
and to do good while we’re alive. 
This is a gift from God.


Yesterday before falling asleep, closing our prayer.
Tobias: ….feels like we’re living in a fulfilled life. May You grant us more days like this. Amen.


“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”Ecclesiastes 3:12 NIV

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14 NIV

“A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 NIV



So far I’m doing fine. Recovering from re-irradiation, and tapering dexamethasone slowly.

I gained 4 kgs since I started dexamethasone in mid December. I joked with Tobias that he has a wife that could entertained him by changing the appearance of her face: v-shaped, oval-shaped, balloon-shaped, and hopefully back again. 😁

I will meet the doctor at the National Center for Tumour diseases in Heidelberg, followed by meeting my oncologist here in Karlsruhe at the end of this month. To discuss the possibilities of further treatment.

Appreciate your continued prayer 🙏 

This flower Hyacinth blooming so fast! Smells so good 🙂
I find pleasure in cooking 🙂
Typical Chinese comfort food: Tomato egg noodle soup
I started sharing Today’s Praise. To get updates please follow me on instagram @titien.maier, or twitter @TitienMaier.

5 Replies to “DO YOU ENJOY LIFE?”

  1. Hi Titien,

    It’s really great to read yours and Tobias’ thoughts (almost) every day. Inspiring, and really helps to bring us down to earth.
    Recently, we also came across a text from Eduardo Galeano, a writer and journalist from Uruguay:
    “For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin, real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to solve first, some unfinished business, some time to wait, a debt to pay. Only then life would begin. Until I realized that those obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see that there is no road to happiness…happiness IS the road.”
    [Full text (in Spanish):

    Seeing your big smile in your photos makes us think about these things a lot. Thanks for reminding us about what’s important.

    As you know, you and Tobias are in our thoughts at all times.

    Gavin and Sònia

    1. Hi Gavin, Sonia,
      Thanks for sending me positive vibes 🙂
      Although we don’t see each other often, but I am happy and very grateful for our friendship!
      You are the most chatty lovely couple in BCN haha!
      Wish you always in a good health, success and happiness in life!
      Love n hugs, The Maiers

  2. Thinking of you and Tobias from USA. Puyallup Washington 🌟 Very happy to see you made it through radiation. Dexamethadone is not a fun medicine to take. I did not enjoy my Moon face.

    1. Thanks Natalie!
      Are you still on Dex?
      In Summer 2017, for months after biopsy and during radiotherapy, I took high-dose Dex, 20mg. I developed cushing syndrome.
      I tapered it quite fast, in 2 months to 0mg.
      After winter 2017, I started wash-out cushing syndrome. With fisiotherapy, I gained back leg muscles to walk, and moon face started going away too.

      I understand how you feel! I hope your fast recovery after stop Dex.
      Sending you hugs & love, Natalie!

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