I’ve had many comments over the last four months on my courage and positive attitude in battling my disease, my dance with death. I sincerely appreciate all of those remarks, as they do encourage me, and provide mental fuel for my battle. Still, I feel a bit guilty of accepting these accolades. I do not feel particularly courageous or brave. My outlook is simply one of practicality and logic.

Lee is constantly telling me I’m incorrigible, but I think she really means encourageable. Of course neither of these has anything to do with courage, but by introducing this nonsense it is an effective tactic to confuse and get people off the subject. This sort of puffery is a skill I learned in college debating which became very beneficial in my life long career in sales and is also currently on exhibit in the load of dung that is the 2016 Presidential campaign.

But I digress.

I do not feel courageous in my fight with cancer. To me, courage involves choice. I did not chose to fight cancer, it picked the fight. If I want to live, I must do battle. It’s not a choice, it’s simply what must be done and the only practical and logical response to a deadly threat.

Attitude! Well I certainly do have an attitude. My attitude got me fired in 1982. My offending attitude was an honest evaluation of the situation. The economic environment  was not rosy for the business I was in at that time. An effective strategy needs to be based on facts, not on dreams. I made the mistake of pointing out the flaws in my boss’s strategy assumptions in front of my peers at a sales meeting. Oops! I did this with good intentions, all honesty and a whole lot of naivety. I never repeated that mistake (never embarrass your boss) and ended up with a much better job a few days after I was canned.

My attitude is still the same as it was in 1982: Be Real. My attitude is essentially a strategy based on facts to best obtain my goals. My goal upon retirement was to enjoy myself as long as I can. A worthy goal, indeed! Other than financial planning, there was no real focus. There was lots of time, no need to rush, there’s always tomorrow. In March the facts and assumptions changed. Instead of 20 to 30 years to enjoy retirement, I probably have 2 to 5 years. It could be more or it could be less. But the goal is the same. Enjoy my retirement for as long as I can. Now that my life will be shorter, I need to focus and make a plan of action to maximize my ROI (that is MBA speak for return on investment).

Time needs to be more effectively managed in order to achieve my goal. To me this means there is no time to worry, no time for “what if’s”, and no time for “why me” complaining. Worrying and complaining not only reduce the days of enjoyment, those negative thoughts also impede healing. My strategy is simple:
1. Put in place a medical plan to curtail the cancer and extend my longevity. Adjust the plan as necessary.
2. Live in the moment. Don’t worry about tomorrow, don’t regret the past. Easy to say, sometimes hard to do. But ya got ta work the plan!

I was a big Star Trek fan and my favorite character was Mr. Spock. I think the dispassionate Spock would approve of my plan. He would say something like “Very logical, Jim.  Well done”.

So, thank you one and all for your ongoing support. But I gotta go now. There is a party down the street with the neighbors. Wine and appetizers. Two of my favorite things. As my friend and fellow colon cancer survivor John McGean would say, it is another day being vertical and this is a very good thing.

Live long and prosper.


21 thoughts on “Attitude!

  1. Wow your ROI of empowering the communication process through your Blog has us keenly aware of living life to the fullest. We constantly come looking for these
    posts to witness your change. Your attitude has us coming back for more & like that primo rojo vino we are tasting something we have never had! To be “Real” is
    living life full & Lee & you have opened your hearts to us. We thank you for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your attitude is always a great example to us. Keep it up! BTW, loved the photo of young Master James in Solvang — another place we will have to add to our list of future “must-do” trips. And after reading Spectator reviews, have added Arista to the list of wineries to visit on next visit to Windsor. Enjoy the vino and appies. Love you guys!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. every day everyone’s life gets shorter. having cancer or not having cancer. no one really knows how many more days they have to live even if they are in excellent health. it takes something like a cancer diagnosis to make us understand that in a personal and immediate way. you can take this new found knowledge and crawl into bed and cry or do what you are wisely doing and enjoy the hell out of everything you can. smart man. love you, jim.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Enjoyed spending time with you and Lee this evening! Great neighbors! Continue to enjoy each day “to the max” and carry on! We’re walking the path with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your picture at the end of your thought inspiring piece made me chuckle. Fondly it tis the memories of you pushing through your daily workouts that many days caused me to change my attitude. Yep, here’s to another twenty years. My glass I tip to you and Lee. Hugs, Earline

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JIM – you damn well ARE courageous. It takes courage to be blunt and honest with yourself and others. That effing well IS too “a choice,” and I thank you for making it. Not easy; not usual; very much admired and I will strive to emulate you if I get the chance. (If my final moments give me enough to time to reflect, as opposed to being an instantaneous interaction with a drunk truck driver, for instance.) Live your life and drag Lee with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ATTITUDE is a GREAT thing to have. My lady friend who had cancer in both her breasts and in OTHER parts of her body ALSO had ATTITUDE. She was given ONE YEAR to live and it’s now been TEN years. So you KEEP that ATTITUDE of yours. It’s a WINNER every time. All my best, Sandi B.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. All those tactics you learned and used during your working career to help your employers succeed you are now using to help yourself succeed at your present goal of enjoying the moment. And that is sending a strong message to your body. So not only drink in that good wine, but also drink in those accolades so the love behind them fortifies you. We all admire you, Jim and Lee, thanks for sharing with us. Marj

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, all I know is that there’s a lot of crybabies out there and you are not one of them.
    You have a highly evolved sense of humor – it’s very nice. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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