#386 So…Carpe Diem

Carpe diem. Seize the moment. We live a life of impermanence. The one certainty in life is that we will die. We don’t know when, we don’t know how. So it is important to live life to the full, live each day as if it is our last. And by that I mean take advantage of what is around us and be grateful for our ability to be grateful.

It could mean getting up earlier, maybe 30 minutes earlier, in order to see the sunrise. Or phoning and speaking to a loved one who hasn’t heard from you for some time. Just being able to enlarge your comfort zone brings forth gratitude. Changing the scenery brings joy.

There is brightness in everything

Yesterday I decided to go swimming again. After packing for my trip to Holland, I set off for the pool. I went to the boulangerie and enjoyed beaming happiness towards the servers, always always asking them how they are. I realised that I was going to be later than I had anticipated. No worries. It is what it is. And when I went through the shower section to go to the pool, I saw a beaming smile from a friend, who is always there doing her exercises. She was honestly happy to see me and that made me smile. Then I saw Edy and she had a beaming smile too. Happiness begets happiness.

She introduced me to her husband, Patrick. A lovely man. They are a lovely couple. Married for 16 or so years. Hats off.

Beauty is what gives you joy. It can be anything. Looking out of the window on the way to Holland, I see greenery. I see ⛅️ clouds and a little bit of sunshine. But what makes me smile is the thought of being with the people that I love. My twin, my sister, my cousins and Charlotte. Beautiful. I look at my kids opposite me on the train and smile a happy contented smile. They are in their own worlds but are also here with me. And that gives me joy.

I have been trying to understand my thoughts and feelings over the last couple of days. There has been a lot of anxiety. Anxiety surrounding the organisation of my trip to Holland, packing, the clothes I plan to wear on New Year’s Eve, cooking for the kids etc. Maybe this is just normality to others but in my bubble, on my journey, these are things that keep me awake at night. And yet as the day progresses or rather as time advances, these monumental challenges dissolve into smaller bite size issues and finally either get resolved or just disappear as they are no longer an issue.

This is a very special set of circumstances that I find myself in. I do suffer from anxiety. Unnecessarily. But have the strength of character to continue. I do a lot of breath work, meditation but I still find myself falling into the abyss. For example this morning, I could not find the tickets for the train to Holland. I didn’t remember to check this yesterday. It just didn’t occur to me. So 5 mins before the train is due to leave, I am searching on my phone for these tickets. And I couldn’t find them. I started to panic. Take a long deep breath and I thought about everything is figureoutable. And I thought that I could ask the guard at the entrance to the train. Good solution until Orlando told me that there was no guard and without tickets I would not be able to get on. Plunged back into the abyss and panic reaching a new level. I then just made the decision to go and find a controller. It’s helpful to be action oriented. I had no way of knowing if I had bought the tickets or not. Worst case scenario. This is something I do a lot at the moment. Think about the worst case scenario and it never is as bad as it seems. And move on from that. So the worst case is that I buy 3 tickets on a train with seats that goes to Rotterdam. So we get there today. Be positive. Cool. It’s like playing baseball and being thrown a curve ball but managing to watch it all the way and finally strike it into the outfield. Not necessarily a home run but hitting the ball all the same. The watching of the ball is represented by the anxious moments. Elements that I am not totally in control of. It takes all my internal resources to keep on track and not be sidelined by these concerns. But it’s working.

Living in the present works both ways. There is the here and now and it is what it is. But there is a feeling that the future, the planning of future events, is on its way and I would like to control it. But I can’t. Because I don’t have the foresight to remain calm and matter of fact. This is the memory issue again. But I do embrace it. I lean into the abyss and the issue. And give it space. And life carries on. And it’s ok. Maybe not perfect but then life is never perfect. Believe and Carry on. Carpe Diem.

It is getting better and stronger. Slowly. Very slowly. But there is progress. The difficulty is that time does not stand still. It marches on. And I am desperately trying to catch it up and be in sync with it. It’s so tiring.

But then I find myself in another place and the moment or period has somehow passed. And l am still alive and looking around me I am on a train and as David Byrne so eloquently sung, “So how did I get here?”

Once in a lifetime by Talking Heads

It is a question that I ask myself all the time. Every day. But life continues. And I am still a part of it.

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