Days ago I received an email from the amazing Duolit team, telling the story of Julie. “Our indie-ninja-in-spirit Julie Forward DeMay dreamed of being a published author, and in 2011 her first book was released — two years after Julie (a daughter, sister, wife, and mother) lost her battle with cancer.”
Julie’s mother decided to self-publish her blog in 2011.
Cell War Notebooks is a compilation of the blog Julie kept during her last seven months — it’s beautiful, funny, brave and truly inspirational for anyone, whether you’ve been through cancer or not.
So the idea Duolit came with was that on January 31st, bloggers (authors and otherwise) would show support for Julie by dedicating a blog post to her. I was immediately on board – how can one not truly want to be part of this? Especially because all the proceeds from the book’s sale go to Julie’s nine year-old daughter, Luka.
I’ve been thinking of what to write for this campaign for days now. ‘A post about an experience in your life where you were inspired to overcome an obstacle.’ Ummm… Isn’t that what daily life is about? Aren’t we every day overcoming obstacles to get through the day, to live? At least to the average, working guy or gal, each day has its own obstacles to overcome.
I mean…think about it. Every single day you have to wake up in a time not of your choice, to get ready fast to a commute that you probably won’t enjoy, to get to a job that most people don’t really love… So, the first obstacle, each day, is the laziness. That feeling, every morning, that your bed never seemed so comfortable before that moment when you have to leave it…
Then, the urge to stay home, to stay with your children instead of going to work, or to study. Okay, that little responsible voice in your head, built year after year yells “Go already, you’re getting late!”, so you stop musing and go.
Then you look at the bus stop, and there are already several others like you, and the commute itself is an obstacle. In some cases, a horrendous one. Talk about closeness with strangers! Boy, you have no option in a crowded bus, trolley bus or train (the three of them every day in my case!) than to share a lot more of intimacy that one would like with totally unfamiliar people. Some of them clean, some not… Well, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
Then you finally get to work…and the obstacles turn into a mountain in front of you. It may be your boss, a colleague, the work itself, the phone, the emails…or everything all together. The result, usually, is one looking constantly to the watch, counting the time left until freedom!
And, of course, there’s the commute again. Perhaps even worse, depending on the time you leave work. Finally home, you think of resting, of watching some TV and doing nothing. But normally you can’t, because there are house tasks to do. The dishes, the clothes and the floor refuse to obey my orders and clean themselves! I’ve been trying for years, but never faced anything more stubborn than those three… And food, you have to prepare and eat something. If you have children, you have to play with them, to check homework, to chat…
Anyway, it’s a day-to-day battle, and we face it every day, most of the time not even noticing it. So many obstacles. Life is made of them.
And yet, we love it. Even in our bottom moments, when life seems like just a huge amount of work and no pleasure, I bet most would never trade if for the alternative. Put into perspective, our mundane daily obstacles seem so small when we have health enough to face them every day.
We complain a lot, and I’m a firm believer in the power of protest. I’m a very happily-grumpy person, if you can understand what I mean. I hate doing so many things, but I know I have to do them, so I complain, but in a grumpy humorous way. At least that’s what I try… My point is, you have the right, almost the sacred right to complain. It’s not fair, it’s too much sometimes, we all would prefer a life of full pleasure and no work, so let’s all whine, let’s all scream inside of us to the people in front of us in the stairwell who don’t walk, making you late; to the people who simply do not understand the concept of “wait in line”; to our bosses; to the lack of money; to the lack of time; to whatever makes you feel oppressed and stuck. It’s reliving, stimulating…soothing. If you think protesting makes you ungrateful, I beg to disagree. I think it’s just normal and healthy.
In my humble opinion, what makes one ungrateful is to forget the other side of life. To just complain. So…let’s protest, but let’s also remember that it all seems so small in comparison with stories like Julie’s.
Life can be tough, but even then, it’s life; it’s valuable and beautiful. That’s how I overcome my obstacles, all my life. Always believing that tomorrow will be better. As long as you have tomorrows, don’t waste them, they’re precious; they’re [potential] dreams coming through every day!
So yes, Julie and her poignant, touching story can make you see things differently. I hope you find it inspiring as I did, and will help spread the word about her and her book. Please read more – read it all – here. Then, go tell everyone you know about this campaign. Let’s make an angel smile seeing how so many people are helping to promote her book!