What’s Fair?

I caught myself out last week, saying a sneaky little “It’s Not Fair!!!”  It’s easy when I take a somewhat child-like view of ‘everything is against me‘ and so…  ‘it’s not fair‘.  It’s so easy to slide down that way and to end up feeling completely sorry for myself.

In my family, my second oldest nephew is well known for his “it’s not fair!“.  Of course, being the second oldest, and worse still, the middle child, is first on his list of what is ‘not fair‘.  There’s sometimes bigger issues at stake for him too.  I’ve heard his father (my second oldest brother and a middle child) give Master Thirteen his reasoning for why actually it is fair.  It’s something to do with being fair or equitable.  Actually it’s lost on me, but then his speech was never for me anyway.  Sometimes though, it would be helpful to have someone who would remind me of a better way to look at things than ‘it’s not fair‘.  Sometimes it’s too easy to forget.

Last week I went to the doctor after a few weeks of what seemed concerning and slightly weird symptoms.  I’m never very good at getting myself to the doctor but googling some of my symptoms left me with the clear instruction to do exactly that.  Go to the doctor.  Now.

To cut a long story short (I know you don’t have all day), the doctor started using the words ‘likely tumour‘ and began the process referring me to an ENT specialist.  As he said, my symptoms were out of his league.  I guess at least he was honest.  Then again, that ‘T‘ word is a bit like the ‘C‘ (cancer) word.  Words we don’t want to hear. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say.

I think I was only in the car park when I began on my ‘it’s not fair‘.  Doesn’t it seem like some people go through life with not a problem?  No serious illnesses, no big crises, not even huge relationship breakdowns.  They just glide through life.

And that’s where I got in my rating of fair.  I didn’t need to go any further than mental illnesses and chronic physical illnesses.  It seems like it’s one thing after the other.  I won’t go through all my other woes.  If you’ve been reading you will have an idea of them.  If I simply look back at the last five years?  Wow!  Crisis after crisis.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a quiet patch?  A space in which life would just flow easily?  Is that too much to ask?

I started to think about what ‘fair‘ actually means.  I didn’t get very far.  What dictionaries suggested was that “fair  was the right way to treat someone, and what they deserve“.  But what does that mean?  Who gets to decide what is right for my life compared to what is right for say, yours?  And even more so, who gets to decide what I deserve?  That starts to suggest karma, and I have to admit that I actually don’t believe in karma (I’ll probably be shot down for that one).  Karma, in terms of retribution makes no sense to me for the same reason as fair makes no sense.  Some people get such a rough deal in suffering when they’re actually very good people, where others just sail through life and are scoundrels.  I can’t accept that this is because of what they might or might not have done, or even what they deserve.

So I’m choosing not to say this latest blow at the doctor’s surgery is fair or not fair.  It just is.  It’s just the next thing that I’m going to go through.  It scares the hell out of me but I don’t deserve this any more than anyone else would.  It’s not about fair, it’s simply about what is.

In the meantime I just have to wait.  The New Zealand Health System is such that I just have to wait my turn to see the specialist.  The doctor told me I am likely to get bumped up the waiting list because of what he called the serious nature, but I still have no idea how long that will take.  Hopefully not too long as some of the symptoms are getting on my nerves, and I sure can’t claim to being a patient person.

“The world isn’t fair, Calvin.”
“I know Dad, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?” 

― Bill Watterson, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury


18 thoughts on “What’s Fair?

  1. silverscreendreamer

    Oh Cate, I’m hoping you’ll be seen ASAP. It’s so hard to put into words how sorry I am that you’re having to go through this, and I have to admit I was saying “it’s not fair!” on your behalf. But you are one of the toughest cookies I’ve ever met, and you’re dealing with this better than I think I would have. Stay strong, march on. xx

    1. Hey Lynn, you know what our health system is like and going private is way out of my league. I really appreciate your words of support and confidence. I guess marching on is all I can do for now. Oh and BTW, you know I regularly look at your Twitter feed and think to myself “Wow, this woman is on fire”. So talk about tough cookies? That’s how I see you. Maybe you and I should take over this city. 😉

      1. silverscreendreamer

        We should! You’ll get there, we both will. 🙂 Thankfully I know that the ENT team here is really amazing, so when you do get seen you will get absolutely the best treatment.

  2. I completely agree with your post. My Mum used to drive me up the wall with a saying she had about the scoundrels that seem to just sail through life “The Devil looks after his own”!

    I hope it works out for you

    1. Hi Cat, Actually I remember hearing that statement myself but I’m just scratching my head trying to work out who said it to me. That will keep be occupied half the night. 😉 Thanks for your hope. I appreciate that greatly. xox

    1. Hi Janet, I think you’re right. Waiting is just awful. If I just had a timeframe I’m sure it would help but instead I run to the letterbox everyday waiting for an appointment letter, and then wonder why the postie is keeping my mail from me. I’m sure he’s not but in my impatience I’ll blame anyone I can. Thanks so much for your support, Janet.

  3. John Richardson

    I think we make a mistake when we try to compare our lives with others. While, to a certain extent it’s normal, I’ve know a number of people who look like they are gliding through life when suddenly they crash because they are carrying an unseen burden. The poem, “Richard Corey” comes to mind, so I don’t think I’m the only one that’s noticed it. Take it day by day and count your blessings. We tend to take a lot for granted. I know that’s a problem I’ve got, but I do believe a grateful heart makes the journey a little easier. There is also a pretty good chance, statistical, that your tumor in non-cancerous. God Bless!

    1. I’ll have to look that poem up, John. You’ve got me curious now. Taking it one day at a time is exactly what I’m choosing to do. No other way really. Thanks for your support, John.

  4. Cate! I’m trying not to be scared for you. All my good wishes and vibes are going your way.

    I’ve heard myself saying the It’s Not Fair thing many a time. Oddly enough, for me, what gets me off that line of thought is telling myself that it just is. Just like you said. It may or may not be “fair”, but it IS. If I were better at accepting that, I’d have a much rosier outlook and disposition.

    1. Hi Sid, Actually I think if I were better at accepting that ‘IS’ and not just talking about it, I’d be with you with that rosier outlook. But hey it’s something to aim for. As for being scared, you concentrate on not being scared. I think I’m doing enough of it for both of us. That said, I spend a lot of time in denial (this can’t be happening). Writing this post finally was about letting go of that denial. But until I know for sure I’m just going to take one day at a time. That’s pretty much all I can do. Thanks for your support and friend, Sid. xox

  5. You are absolutely right. Lately my mind keeps screaming it’s not fair; I try to be the best person I can, yet the unfairness just keeps heaping itself all over me. Sometimes it’s hard when we’re in the middle of yet another thing we have to “just get through” to remember that life owes us nothing. You’re right, it doesn’t.

    My heart goes out to you on this. I understand the fear and uncertainty; been there. I’m hoping and praying you find it turns out to be a minor thing. – It can happen. Even if it doesn’t, you’ve got a lot of people cheering for you …. which is more than some of those vapid people can lay claim to.

    One day, one moment at a time. Don’t absorb the enormity of the situation every day; cut it down into manageable pieces. Focus on THAT day. That hill to climb. Once you complete the journey you can look back. – Also, don’t take everything the doctors state as fact; life is nothing, if not unpredictable. Determination goes a long way. 💙

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