Were you riveted to the Great British Bake Off like I was? Twelve British home bakers tackled a series of increasingly difficult challenges until only one remained. The intrigue, the suspense, the personalities….
The Brits are a civilized people. These contestants didn’t smirk when they outperformed the competitor next to them; they looked over kindly with tears in their eyes.
The latest winner, Nadiya Hussein, was a delight. Her husband entered her in the competition without telling her because of his faith in her abilities; she’d never have entered on her own. Nadiya is a spunky firecracker with a keen sense of humour, and her confidence grew each week. After she was declared the winner, she said, through tears:
I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can’t do it. I’m never gonna say ‘maybe’. I’m never gonna say, ‘I don’t think I can.’ I can and I will.
When I think of taking on a new challenge, I am too quick to kibosh it. Soon after my leukemia diagnosis, I had good reason. I was too tired to consider doing much of anything, and I thought I was on death’s door. But things have changed. I spend much less time with doctors these days, and my ailments aren’t all consuming the way they once were.
You can understand, then, why I took Nadiya’s message to heart. I’ve been using my cancer as an excuse not to challenge myself. My health has been stable yet I’ve been wasting my time. Even baking gets stale after a while.
Shouldn’t I be living rather than waiting to die? Did I not recently write about this? Time to take on new challenges instead of convincing myself not to. I don’t have cantcer. Why sit around and wait to get sicker when I could be capitalizing on being well?
So I’m looking into a few options. Since becoming an Olympic athlete and climbing Everest are probably out of the question–best to set attainable goals, I remind myself–I’m considering volunteering. Sure, I have leukemia, and occasionally I may need someone to fill in if I’m unwell. So what?
I think I have what it takes to stand at a booth promoting Canadian Blood Services, don’t you? I’ll hound people to give the gift of life, just you watch. Or how about joining the Pet Access League Society (PALS), which will allow me to take my exuberant pooch for visits with people in need of some puppy love. I think Jelly would make a great PAL, don’t you?
J. isn’t convinced. She laughed aloud when I first told her about my PALS application. I had to answer hard questions like: “Will your dog steal food from people’s meal trays?” [Insert J.’s raucous guffaw here.] Needless to say, Jelly is working hard with me to reach her obedience potential, with the help of her tasty new training treats. Sure, transforming Jelly into a well-behaved dog may seem unsurmountable, but this ain’t Everest. If PALS refuses us, it’s their loss.
Enough excuses, Annie. Time to start living again. If volunteering will get my tuchus off the new comfy couch, that can only be a good thing. They say sitting is the new smoking, don’t they?