I often refer in an offhand manner to my “OR Litmus Test”. My longtime readers, who accompanied me on my journey to and through transplant, know what this means, but for my newer followers (welcome!!!!) I thought it would be good just to re-clarify what that means.
Before I got sick I was overwhelmed with the need to build and acquire. Every time we visited a new place I would pick up real estate flyers and make a loose plan to start operating a vacation rental there. It was like I couldn’t fully enjoy a place without feeling like I could potentially own part of it.
I no longer have any desire to build a real estate empire or own twenty houses throughout the world.
I realized as I lay on that hard, cold metal table in the OR, that if I didn’t wake up from my transplant - a possibility tons of doctors warned me about - this was it. I wasn’t going out with my houses, or money in the bank. It felt to me at that moment that all I could take with me was love and memories (I know whether memories can be taken with us is a matter of debate, but it’s what I feel is true). All I could leave behind was the impact I had on others, and my writing.
That hour before my transplant everything became crystal clear for the first time in my life.
Love = the most important thing
Family = everything
Helping = sign of a good life
Creating = leaving something of meaning behind
Memories & Experiences = the only wealth we truly possess IMHO
Money = can’t take with us
Prestige = irrelevant
Property = means nothing to the point of seeming ridiculous when faced with death
Material possessions, except those of a sentimental nature that can be passed on = Nada
This “OR table” litmus test continues to inform my decisions and inspire my dreams.
I now feel a strong, surprising call to the vagabond life.The ideas of failure, disgrace, criticism, what other people think - all of that seems unimportant in light of my drive to create.
Things that I deemed unimportant on the OR table are not where I waste my time and energy.
I am still reeling with this new clarity that was gifted to me along with my new liver.