Last week, a lazy Sunday evening on the Sofa.
Tobias: Oh I’m an old man. I need 3 days rest to recover from 4 days working.
Me: You’re so blessed, not everyone could have what you have, working 80% and love what you’re doing. Priceless!
Me: Better is one hand open with rest, and another hand is working. Than both hands are working and chasing.
Tobias: True! Is that a Chinese wisdom?
Me: A quote in the Bible I read this morning hehe.
::: WAKING HOURS
Since I was diagnosed with late stage brainstem cancer, I spent most of my time at home. What I am doing in those 24 hours?
I’m fortunate that even in the past, I always felt 24 hours is enough.
But for some of you it may feel like:
There just isn’t enough time in a day, or
you just don’t know where the time goes.
I am busy.
It doesn’t stop,
balancing work and obligations,
and family and friendships,
and planning and life.
It continues on,
busy is getting bigger,
accompanied with checking,
chasing and rushing,
efficiency and expedience,
in knowledge, in work,
in pleasure, In wealth.
The present moment left over is shrinking,
rest can’t be found.
::: DANGER TRAPS
“Don’t give up on your goals! Keep chasing it”!
“Don’t quit until you’re living the life you dream of”!
“It’s not about talent, it’s about who’s hungrier”!
I heard a lot of self-motivation like this. As if being busy and working harder is like a steady companion, who could get jealous if we spend time away from it.
Before I got married and then diagnosed with cancer, I was working in a professional position, experienced in both Government institutions as well as in a big company. I was running a business too. So I know what is work and why we are working.
My basic answer:
Paycheck! Money to survive!
My advanced answer:
To prove who I am! A badge of honor!
Then, I found it’s ironic!
How we are always on the move, in a rush, and still late for our goals. A delusion to get admiration and existence from work.
For some people, work is a pleasure.
For many people, work is a burden!
Joy never comes,
instead it brings stress and anxiety.
For some people, they love what they do.
For many people, they can’t find work they want and it frustrates them.
Their identity is shaken.
It’s a dangerous trap!
To use work to prove who we are.
It tempts our insecurities, jealousy and envy for others, comparing ourselves to others.
It tests us into competing, working harder, or treat others wrongly for our goals.
Imagine if on our graves, it was written that he/she worked hard and very efficient, or it was written that we were lazy and not efficient.
Is this our quality and meaning of life?
Does work define our self-worth?
our life is not defined by our work.
Our life is defined by God,
to live to the fullness of our given identity:
children of God, created by His image.
::: WORK MATTERS
When I stayed 2 months in the Karlsruhe Klinikum. I truly appreciate the janitor. She cleaned up the bedrooms and bathrooms for patients. I felt good, not only because of a clean room, but she greeted me every morning with smile! Her work mattered!
Human workplace: earth!
Scientists said the age of the earth is 4.5 billion years. The timeline showed that in the beginning, the earth was unrecognizable and inhabitable. Then, thanks to sunlight and evolution, we ended up where we are now.
plants and animals,
mountains and seas,
wonder and beauty,
existing to benefit us, human beings.
Astonished, I learned that
work matters when it is meant to be shared, not simply for survival.
Work matters when we bring beauty and benefit to others.
To work and to care.
It’s a divine gift to imitate God,
who yesterday, today and tomorrow,
works to bring goodness,
and benefit for us,
whom He loves.
::: DISCERNING VOCATION
When I took a blood-test this week, I was surprised the nurse suddenly opened up about her life.
She: We need more nurses in the market, but nobody wants to do this job. It’s a dedicated job, years of training, but under appreciated. I am struggling with my low-wage, I split up with my boyfriend recently, I come to work everyday from out of town. Life is hard.
Just last week, the security staff at German airports went on strike demanding wage hike to 20€ per hour. Considerably more than what a nurse earns.
It’s tragic and seems unfair.
Indeed the world is not our oyster.
This is the reality of life!
In many situations,
life is hard if we we work to get compensation.
Life is ok if we follow our passion, it is fulfilling, but not providing enough.
Life is great if work is a pleasure and brings wealth.
Life sucks if you are just out of college and it’s super hard to find a job, and end up with no direction.
Well, stuff happens that we have no control over, or
come as consequences from our dumb choices.
Market conditions are full of weed, thorns and thistles,
trying to suppress our dreams and goals.
In whatever season you’re in now,
in fact it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in the wrong place.
It just mean that we live in a world compromised by corrupt humility,
and life is hard because of that.
Yet, we have a choice.
Work is the place,
where we exercise our moral judgement,
our freedom and dignity,
our discernment of good and bad,
scenarios and decisions,
all of the time.
::: JOY AT WORK
Joy is a moment that presents itself to us in our surroundings.
I want to share with you some harsh reality of my life, too:
- I was contributing a lot to the bilateral relations of two-countries being employed at an embassy. I desired to leave a legacy. I was forgotten.
- I brokered business deals for companies worth millions! Valuable but soon forgotten.
- I contributed to the poor and needy, I wanted to leave a mark! No guarantee it’ll last long.
- Or, I failed and things didn’t work out as I wanted.
the least I can do is, just enjoy it!
I find happiness in where we invest most of our time.
Stay away from frustration and anger.
Enjoying simple moments with people who surround us.
This is the key to find joy at work.
::: NO WASTING TIME
Laziness is foolish,
workaholism is futile.
Best is one hand rest,
one hand work.
I am free from the tyranny of work,
I am doing something for my life,
to give it meaning.
My time is well spent,
it is not wasted.
My activity and creativity,
it benefits others,
significant and excellent,
and bring glory to God.
““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.”Colossians 3:23-25 NLT
::: UPDATE ABOUT ME
(1 Year 8 Months post biopsy, DIPG Grade IV)
This morning sadness struck me. I cried it out to Tobias, and then I felt better again.
Physically I feel more head pressure, my speech is a bit more mumbling, and my right arm feels weaker.
Meanwhile, side effects from cortisone (dexamethasone) are also hitting me. I now weight 56 kg from 51 kg last December.
I tapered dexamethasone from 8mg to 3mg already (cut 2 mg every 4-5 days)
I am not sure if I should take dexamethasone for long term use as palliative care, to ease neurological symptoms and discomfort.
I will ask the doctor at the end of this month, also to arrange the next MRI in February.
Appreciate your continued prayer support. 🙏