"Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls aren't there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show us how badly we want things."-Professor Randy Pausch
Last week, my husband and I watched as Diane Sawyer interviewed Randy Pausch on TV. He's a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon who delivered his "last lecture" called Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, in September 2007.
I had never heard this man's name before. I almost changed the channel but something stopped me. Maybe it was the video of him playing with his daughter...her two tiny feet planted safely in his palm as he balanced her precariously on an outstretched arm, as they both laughed.
So I kept watching. Turns out Randy has terminal pancreatic cancer, with maybe 6 months of good health remaining. In the footage they showed from his lecture, he talked about it openly but briefly, and with a tone of hope and strength. Not despair. I was instantly drawn in by that sense of strength, his dedication to his family, and his humor.
After watching the show, I went on YouTube to see the lecture in it's entirety, and came away with a new attitude and game plan towards the many challenges in my own life. I approach Noah's diabetes-related hills and valleys in better stride now. I try to acknowledge the bad and move on instead of dwelling on it, and I hope Noah will follow that example and learn in his own way. Not giving so much voice to fear has made my whole family happier. I try to remember Randy's brick wall statement as a sort of mantra, and it has given me motivation in times when giving up was a much easier and more appealing road.
If you have a little time to spare, listen to this amazing guy speak. His exuberance for really living life is contagious.