Happy First Birthday to Me

It’s my birthday today, in a weird sort of way.

Last April 8, after well over a year in the clutches of the medical profession, I went in for surgery and awoke to find that I didn’t have the deadly cancer they spoke of as a proven, unmistakable fact until, of course, it was after the fact and I didn’t have it.

I’ve been more than mildly miffed at the whole process that led to the operating room, although the truth is that I’d do it again. Because, really, it’s better to have the surgery and find out you didn’t need it than to not have the procedure and learn too late that you did.

Based on normal percentages, about 150,000 people didn’t make it through the end of this day last year, but I did. Even if I couldn’t get out of bed and the drugs weren’t nearly as powerful as promised, I was alive and not dying at any faster rate than anyone else.

Last April 8, I got my life back.

One year later, though, I’m taking stock of how I’ve been spending my time, and I’m not even sure I’d give myself a C+ on my performance. What have I done to make this world better? How much have I helped other people cope with situations far worse than I’ve had to face? How much have I smiled, how much have I shared, and how much have I succumbed to the despair of the mundane?

After one year of being reborn (not the same as born again), can I honestly say I’ve made the most of it…or do I have to sign up for some remedial pleasure classes this summer? Will I look back on April 8, 2011 and give myself a pat on the back, or will I still be giving myself a C?

Of course, I could be asking this question every morning. So could you. New day. New possibilities. New life.

Whatever will we do tomorrow?

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