Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I am reminded of this saying when I think of my friend Sheila who was killed the day before her 43rd birthday 5 years ago. Sheila would throw this saying out anytime her friends even hinted that they wanted to give up on something. Though she never said it, we were all convinced that her feelings on this came about when Sheila's mom just gave up on living. Sheila came from a single-parent home and was the 3rd of 4 children. When Sheila was 15, her mother decided one day that life was too hard. She stopped going to work and eventually wouldn't even get out of bed.
I met Sheila in college and her story was really remarkable to me. We became fast friends and still were at the time of her accident. She was such an inspiration. After her mom's illness, Sheila worked two part-time jobs from the 10th-12th grade, graduated with honors and received a track scholarship to a good college. The first time I heard her use the phrase, "Crazy is Easy" was when one of our dorm mates took an overdose of aspirin which she later said was from the pressure of school and depression from a recent break-up. Sheila and I were talking about it later and she basically said that just throwing up your hands and giving up is the easiest thing in the world. Hanging in there and finding a way to overcome difficulties is what separates the winners from the losers. I had never looked at it that way and I remember at the time thinking it was a little harsh.
But today, I hear the words of my old friend. I miss her --she was like a relentless drill sergeant who led by example. I can't ever remember a time she got down about anything and that made it hard for her friends to ever be down around her. So today, when I don't feel that great and I want to eat whatever and not exercise, the words of my friend keep popping in my head, "Crazy is Easy." Giving up is easy. Slipping back into old habits, that's easy. So today, I've decided I want to be a winner and winners don't do easy. Thank you, Sheila.