I was recently introduced to the visual metaphor of living an alive life being akin to a heart monitor. The huge peaks and valleys means that your heart is well and full…BA-BOOMP, BA-BOOMP. Living a dull life means that you’re near the middle of the range…almost flat-lining (blip-blip, blip-blip). This is not usually for me.

So, the upside for me is that, well, I enjoy a lot of ups. The downside? You guessed it…there are some downs. Light and dark and all that jedi stuff.

I succumbed to the down over the weekend. Could have been be brought on by a number of things. But, I did allow myself to be self-indulgent. I felt sorry for myself and even had some tears (not that this would come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever met me). Don’t get me wrong, I think have a good cry is not only good for the soul, I think it’s a healthy physical release (my grandfather also had a theory about it releasing toxins during a cold too). Here’s the reason I’m impatient with myself:

On Friday night, my husband and I were invited to a stunning gala in support of the Credit Valley Hospital. We knew we were in for a fun martini bar and some good time to chat with our gracious hosts. That was all we were really expecting. Then it happened. I sat down next to Tony and Sharon Clark.

Tony and Sharon are like the prom King and Queen…just being near them makes you feel cool. And when Tony told me their story of how they met, I had no choice but to tell the 63-year old that he was like a 17-year old…devilish, filled with mischief and fun. I suspect he has always been like that.

Tony was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2004 and was told in 2005 that he had one year to live. Since then, he founded Kidney Cancer Canada (with co-chair Deb Maskens) whose mission statement is as follows: “Our Mission as the first Canadian-based kidney cancer support group is to increase awareness about kidney cancer and provide timely information to patients and caregivers facing a diagnosis of kidney cancer.” You wouldn’t believe how far they’ve come in 2 years. It is astounding.

I was sad when Sharon and Tony had to leave on Friday night as I really enjoyed talking with them both…about life mostly. They had to leave early to get on with theirs.

Next morning, I googled them. Yup…I’ll admit that I do this when I meet interesting people. And I came across this quote from Tony: “I wake up each day and say, thank-you God. I’ve got another day. People are just so busy that they’re not enjoying the journey. They’re just trying to get to the destination.”

So I was pretty surprised when I found myself feeling sorry for myself yesterday afternoon when I got some disappointing news and allowed myself to have a weep…and actually heard my internal voice ask myself: “why do bad things happen to me?” After that question was asked, I stood up, shook my head, thought of Tony…and moved on.

Today, I’m home with my flu-ridden daughter. And though the day is disappointing for us both (she wanted to go to school and play, I wanted to get work done), we’re going to sip chamomile tea and watch the “Sound of Music”. And enjoy this journey. Today, in the mid-range, tomorrow in a peak or a valley. It won’t matter. Life is good. Living it is better.