In a constantly changing world, my life is also moving quickly. I started with the intention of continuing my battle with large healthcare in 2018, but have had a total change of heart there! Now I have reached the time in my working life where I have to become much more selfish and focus on what I am doing. My personal work is becoming in big demand and of course SimPal is becoming busier by the week. That is enough for me now. I can no longer pick up battles that take my time and focus from things that I can achieve. For many years I have fought the current system and can see very little progress in terms of attitude. I have talked about the waste and duplication amongst giant charities but know that I will not be able to change this culture in the short term.
I must therefore concentrate on the things that I can effect, my own life and work and that of SimPal. My focus will be much more narrow and effective, with more feeling of success than failure. Since before Christmas, my email and social media have been crazy, with requests for help. I have realised I no longer have the physical or mental capacity to take on large corporates, nor the desire if I’m honest. Simple economics will bring about change eventually. Day after day I start with a full inbox and I find myself catching up at weekends. How crazy is that? Yes, I created the beast, and now I have to control it. I get many requests to meet up with people and I’m already struggling to fit those into my diary. Bad signs so early in the year, and I know I can’t let that continue.
My grandchildren have become a big influence in my life, so I have decided to now do the number one thing on my bucket list, which is to take my entire family to Disneyworld in Florida. We are all going to spoil ourselves rotten, and give those children the time of their lives. I just want to see their faces when we get to our villa, and take our first day in Disney. These will be things that money can’t buy. It has been my biggest ambition since they were born, if things had gone badly I would not have been around to see either of them. I know how incredibly lucky I have been, and this is yet another thing I am able to achieve.
People are what make my life, and my work enables me to meet so many. I get incredible experiences daily, and for me it is all about making memories. I want to do that in a more relaxed manner now. No more looking at the clock and worrying about answering emails. My life is going to be much more relaxed from now on. Work certainly keeps me satisfied, but it has now got to the stage where my time is being dominated. There is nothing left for me to prove to anyone or myself now. If I write less pieces or talk at less conferences, it will only be me that notices. Sometimes, we like to feel important, but the world of cancer was here before I got involved, and will be here long after I have gone.
Helping people is still my biggest focus, but I know that if I don’t do the things I want to do, I will become resentful and frustrated. “Less is more,” is my new buzz phrase. In general our concentration span is becoming smaller, as we struggle with prioritising our mobile communication devices. I want to make great memories and tell interesting stories. I have many already, but want to make more, and enjoy them, not just ‘do’ them. It’s taken ten years to get used to my new life, and only now it is starting to make sense. I can’t help others until I have ‘put my own oxygen on.’ This year that is what I am going to do!
So many of my friends have cancer in their lives, and of course I am now of the generation where we are reaching the end of our working lives. More about funerals than weddings anyway. I never stop being grateful for my ‘extra time,’ and want a bit more of it to myself. I started writing a book some time ago, and have made very little progress with it. That will be my man made legacy, so I may end up taking time out from everything to focus on that task at some stage. That will feel very strange I know, but I am already starting to communicate a lot less, deliberately.
I am now focusing on making many more personal memories, and telling stories as and when I choose. Please feel free to share below your own views and experiences.