I’m collecting my Mother from hospital this afternoon.

Two days ago, she started to have pains in her left thigh. Having broken the neck of her right hip years ago, she has been limping to the right. When she woke up, she had unexpected pains on the left. They were worse yesterday morning, so we went to the doctor, where she got an injection and a liquid medication; they didn’t help at all.

Last night, the pain got so bad that she was whimpering every time she moved, and often when she didn’t. After waiting over an hour for an emergency doctor to call, and being informed that it would be at least another hour before he arrived, I arranged for an ambulance to take her to hospital. She had to stay overnight, because they wanted to do X-rays and ultra-scans. She doesn’t have a thrombosis, which is what she was scared of, because the husband of an old school friend lost his whole leg after a deep vein thrombosis. It seems that she just pulled some muscles when she tripped up a couple of days before.

All this goes to show that we seldom know the cause of problems, and our fears are often worse than reality. Or as a friend used to say:

Don’t burn your bridges until you come to them.

However, my Mother’s fears led me to think about our attitudes in the face of eternity. After all, no matter how long we live, in comparison to eternity, or even so short a time as the lifetime of the universe, our lives are unbelievably brief. That being the case, why should we go out of our way to be miserable, when we could be happy?

The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.

Carlos Castaneda

The choice is yours.

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