Don't choose your life; live it - Nina Mckissock blog

Don’t choose your life; live it.

Do you really think that you can choose the life you want? You can choose your belief system and control how you see your life, but you can’t control it.

Three beliefs you may tell yourself are: “I blame…” or “I’m entitled to….” or ” I deserve…”

Well, guess what? They’re myths. It’s just like the people who say they are cancer survivors. “Oh?” I want to say to them. “You aren’t dead yet so how do you know?”  I don’t mention the scores of people I’ve had on hospice whose cancer returned 15 years later. I’m not being mean, but it entertains me when people say this.

It’s the same when people say they’re middle age. I do say, “Oh? Cool. You know when you’re going to die!”

No one is entitled to anything that the person next to them shouldn’t be entitled to. I volunteer for a couple of homeless support agencies. I always leave thinking that life is crazy; a crapshoot. Take for example the homeless Vietnam vet who volunteers to walk dogs for the dog-in-the-front-window fancy pet supply stores. He dresses nicely, gives a fake ID to the stores, then sneaks these glorious sweetheart dogs to the areas where he knows the homeless are hiding, overdosing and/or are in need of love. I sometimes slip him a box of donuts and he, the rag-tag dog, and the homeless men and women have a modicum of joy for a few hours I guess. (He’s always gone too long. I better tell him that the shelter is getting suspicious.)

I’m fixated on them. I worry that the females (humans) will get pregnant. I worry that my favorite, brilliant veteran who I love talking to about cool military airplanes will succumb to the crack pipe again, I worry that the little brother of a heroin addict and gabapentin dealer will find his mother that he’s been begging to find. She lives in North Carolina and if you want to witness soul-breaking sadness, you have to witness this beautiful Southern woman visiting her beloved homeless heroin addicted sons. You can overdose in your Bucks County manicured lawn custom house or you can overdose under the overpass of a major highway; you’re still the same as each other.

Unless you look at your life as being one of entitlement, that is. Then go live in your fantasy world.

And no you don’t deserve anything. When serving the dying as a registered nurse, I witness all this wasted energy scrambling within a family. “She drank a bottle of Jack every day, no wonder her liver is failing. She brought this on herself.” Or the person who chain-smoked most of their life and are now dying from lung cancer. Oh well. So what. I just want to say, “Okay, okay, I’ve heard this a million times. Can we get to the point now? You just sit down right there while I examine her and I want to hear stories about the good she’s done. Only the good.” Then I smile because I know they want to curse me out. Addicted to their stories, their definitions. Like most of us.

The nursing homes are filled with vegetable eating, church-going, scout volunteering, country defending, non-cursing, only-slept-with-one-man old people. Who the hell thinks that drooling down the front of your washable blouse while sitting in a wheelchair while “your generation” movies are blasting is a cool way to live out the end of your life? Um…not me.

The nursing homes are also filled with mean bastards and bitches who continue to scratch, manipulate, objectify and bruise other people. I could tell you stories of horny old women and men who would be sent to the principal’s office for their behavior. Or jail, actually.

So here’s to my blog that hardly anyone reads. I’m advised by my marketing people to blog once a week, but that sounds kinda crazy and self-indulgent.

What I’m trying to share in this blog is that nothing is owed you, there is no one to blame and there is no special deserving in this life.

Just make this moment as awe-inspiring as you can, love as much as you possibly can and just roll with it. Cause no harm.

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  • Kitty

    ✨Truth…from your lips to my ears.
    “Keep on rocking’ in the real world”. YOU rock!
    So refreshing as always Nina,
    Can’t wait till your next blog.
    I thank you. 🦋
    All my love, KK

  • Ken Brown

    Hi Nina,
    Ref: Don’t choose your life; Live it. Wow – You were in rare form when you wrote this one ! … And I loved it. I read “From Sun To Sun” in July, 2016. I was so lucky and surprised to meet you at the Death Cafe meeting August 1, 2016. I have read SUN every month since then – partially beacause of dementia – and I take every opportunity to share with others your thoughts to help them enjoy life AND death. Nina, I’ll always be greatful for helping me more fully enjoy my life and death.
    Sincerely, Ken Brown

  • Carolann Defoney

    Bravo Nina!!! You are truly inspirational by addressing issues that many people are too fearful to see! They are all just very quick to judge others and look down upon others less fortunate. Everyone from all races and beliefs have a story of their own but those that walk amongst us are too detached to care about anyone but themselves. Please keep writing and inspiring others as we can all relate to. Thank you!!

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