Thursday, March 31, 2016

Life Lesson

I scan a lot of documents related to surgeries which have been performed. Specifically, Mohs surgeries, which are a method of excising skin cancer. These documents are multi-page affairs which include color photographs of the surgical area.

Sometimes, the lesions are small or are in an unobtrusive location. Other times, they're either significant in size, and/or in a really prominent place on the body (like the face). But I realized something a few days ago.

In some of these post-surgical photos where the patient's face is visible, it's clear that the patient is SMILING. I don't mean a great big "taking a selfie at a fun party" sort of smile. It's far more subtle than that, but it's there. When it happens, there's no missing it.

Of course, I have no idea what the person's inspiration is when they choose to smile. Perhaps it's a reflexive "smile for the camera" thing, maybe it's a "BLEEP YOU, CANCER" stance, maybe it's putting a brave face on a tough situation, or it could be relief that the surgery is done and they can move on to the next phase of putting cancer in the rear view mirror. Maybe it's a bit of each.

But when I see one of those images with a smile in it, I have to do a self-evaluation and realize that compared to what this person is going through, my issues are minor. The biggest source of pain in my life right now is that someone hurt my feelings. Do you think, as I do, that the people in these photos (smiling or not) would trade problems with me in a moment? So what right would I have to walk around moping or frowning, hauling a big raincloud above my head everywhere I go?

No right at all.

So don't expect my postings on here, on Facebook, or anywhere else, to look significantly different. I can deal with my hurt feelings without dragging everyone else down. Maybe I'll even smile.