So this year I have started with a regular dose of ‘New Year enthusiasm.’ (See my previous post.) Attempting to close out some of the national disasters from last year and stay focussed on the potential that is here for me in 2023. Despite life doing it’s best to blow us all off course, my family are all well, and ready to go again. For me, every day is literally a bonus, so I have nothing to fear. However, as late last year, each day we got news of a celebrity death. Today as I write this, one of my heroes, Jeff Beck has died. But the worse thing for me so far is the death of one of our great friends who we had known in excess of 40 years. We had so many incredible times down the years. It was a real privilege to spend time with her.
They wanted a quiet life, and as soon as they could they moved from London to an isolated part of Devon. It seemed they had found their idyll. They enjoyed their peace and quiet until covid came along. Like many, they became fearful of the possible impact, as they were both in the vulnerable group. Barely moving from their home, for essentials only, and definitely no visitors. Then the world started opening up, but they were still not keen on getting back the their own ‘normal.’
I am so frustrated! We kept in touch of course by phone and email, but then came a call that we had dreaded. Our friend was diagnosed with cervical cancer stage 4, terminal. A total shock to us all. With no symptoms, as many of you will know. After a dreadful 6 months with surgery and aggressive treatment she died recently. Leaving her husband to pick up his life alone. Due to those issues we haven’t seen them for nearly 3 years, and now it’s her funeral! There’s a message for us all there, I believe.
The way we work and socialise is very different for most of us since covid. Even in my little world, I see less face to face conferences, and more hybrid ones. Many meetings are now done online. If we add in the ‘cost of living crisis,’ most of us are choosing to go out less. It’s certainly a lot easier to become less sociable. But life is about creating new experiences and meeting different people. It feels like with all the financial issues we are facing in this country, and the collapse of the NHS, fear and anxiety is beginning to dominate our lives.
Many of us being unable to keep up with rising bills. A good percentage of the nation deeply concerned about how our health is being dealt with now too. There really seems no end to the problems. But time goes so quickly. Personally, I lost several years to fear, after my diagnosis and serious treatment. All my self-confidence was gone. It took a monumental effort to pull myself out of the ‘black hole.’ With the help of medication and clinical specialists, I eventually managed it. There was no way to get that time back, just ensure it didn’t happen again.
The coming of covid was the big test. After the early months and first vaccinations we decided that where possible, the virus would not stop us living our life. When we could, we still went out, with caution of course. Spent so much quality time with family and friends, attempting not to miss any precious time watching our grandchildren growing up. The one thing a cancer diagnosis gives you, is a better perspective of the value of time. It’s finite, sooner or later your life will be over. Every minute seems to feel so much more valuable.
We have friends who are less keen to meet up so frequently, and are much more considered, in their approach to living. Maybe part of that is a natural progression as we get older? I seem to get tired quicker, but change the way I now live, to compensate. With everything I have been through since my cancer diagnosis, I have become empowered. What do I have to be frightened of? Life has thrown at me some of the toughest mental and physical conditions I’m ever likely to experience. But I’m still here. No more personal fear.
It is impossible to ask someone to think positively, if they can’t. No amount of ‘positive mental attitude’ talk will change things. It hasn’t cured my cancer, but it does make me feel better about my life, though. Fear can take you prisoner in your own life. Often, it is worse than the actual event you are worried about. Please follow your dreams, and don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Wear your best clothes more often and spoil yourself and your loved ones. In this day and age, who knows what tomorrow may bring?
As always, these are my personal opinions gained from my own experiences. Please feel free to share yours below. Make sure you watch the video below, it might change the way you currently think!