THE BLOG

Life Priorities, When Chasing

03/26/2015 04:06 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2015

I didn't read all 827 comments on the New York Times piece written by Angelina Jolie Pitt this week called Diary of a Surgery. But I read one by a person who was saying she should take into consideration that many people don't have the options she has.

Tonight, after rebirthing a work dream, I got to relax for a few hours. I'd heard the ABC Family show I found last year ended a season I didn't even know had restarted. I'd seen eleven episodes of CHASING LIFE up until December. Tonight, I discovered that there were nine more episodes available to watch.

I don't know about you and your impulse control. I don't know if many of HuffPo's readers like or even prefer to binge watch particular shows on certain weekends. But, I've had a few times when I couldn't sleep. When I watched the first season of Orange is the New Black, I got through it over night, but didn't sleep a wink. Every hour on the hour, I told myself I needed sleep, but every hour I couldn't resist temptation for total surrender and satisfaction.

It's always a toss up of priorities. I know as I'm gorging on good material that there are moments I should savor. But the total package is so seductive that I can't be bothered to be polite, reasonable, health conscious or disciplined. I have to have it. I have to know. The characters are so enthralling, sometimes so much more entertaining (always) than most day to day situations mundane life provides. It's like I don't trust if I can't get it now, there will be a later during which I can get the same thrill of the hunt, the conquest, the satisfaction. Instead, perhaps later it will just be one more duty, one more obligation on the To Do List of Life that demands updating every day after a significant health crisis has curtailed one's trust of time being reliable.

Yes, I write run on sentences and hope someone can keep up -- someone can relate, someone can feel the desperation I have at times to communicate something important. Yes, we're told to write like Hemingway-short descriptive sentences. Do I want to precisely communicate or am I throwing caution to the wind? Like that marketing phrase: "Throw enough spaghetti at the wall, and some of it is going to stick."

A few days ago when researching Caroline Myss' connection with Saint Teresa of Avila, I read a number of interviews. She spoke of people being drawn to be of service after surviving a crisis.

Life priorities. Some people give so much to others they leave little energy to explore their own interior world. Some keep so busy with life's essentials, like having enough food on the table, that they don't have choice, much less free time to deliberate how they'd like to spend their free time if they had any.

I've been sick the last few days. Caught something in a kindergarten class. I have no business staying up all night. But, these characters on Chasing Life to me, after being extremely aware of Llife with cancer, engage me just as much as The Newsroom, Homeland, and House of Cards. All five of these shows engage me so deeply. I hear what the writer is saying, what the characters are engaged in, what the actors are striving to achieve. I know I should go to sleep. I shouldn't go back and reread the HP blogs I wrote when first diagnosed with cancer myself. I really shouldn't watch even one more hour to find out how much more of April's hair grows back before her remission ends. Don't get me wrong, her grandmother is a romantic at heart and a kick of truth in every word. Her family situation overall is so intimate and real, her love life so gnawing and curious I feel I'll just lay in bed counting how many hours till I can watch again.

I need the sleep especially now, not just because of cancer, but because I was hoarse this morning and living on the edge demands heavier payment when immunity is down. I heard this past week on Ellen that Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory) goes to sleep at 8 PM. If I went to bed that early, maybe I could be as funny or successful as he is.

But it's one of those things, in the moment we feel all kinds of things that the demands of life run over cruelly when there are more important things needing our attention.