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.
Where do I begin
to thank you for all that you have done for me personally and for all that you have done for everyone I thank you sincerely. As you say it is time to tame that beast. Have an amazing experience with the family in Disney and savour every single precious moment. I love your “Less Is More ” mantra something I maybe try to do and have been recently taking a little step back for health reasons more than anything. Everything you have done every single day and night has been appreciated even though you will be exhausted and wonder if people actually care they do. What you have done with Simpal is truly inspirational and amazing. From the bottom of my hear thank you for all you do and will continue to do in whatever way and I for one want to be one of the first on the long list to have a signed book when it is completed. You will do it in your own time so remember me then Chris. Kind regards and all my love Lesley x BeautifulMumsie x Bless you Chris x Humbled by you.
Tu for your lovely words Lesley. Sometimes this sector can be all consuming, and I’m sure you have found that, and in many respects I am pleased to hear that you are taking a step back. Yes I love what I do and our Simpal work is so exciting.
I have just decided on to focus on all the positive work that I do. Just doing what i know will have an impact in peoples life. I can’t reorganise the NHS or change the mentality of vast charities, so will leave that side of things now.
Helping people is where I will be concentrating, which will help me enjoy the many hours I spend in this work. Will still be around of course Lesley, and look forward to hearing from you. My very best as always to you, Chris xxx
Well said, social media can be overwhelming sometimes and it is hard to step back. I’m sure people will understand your reasons, and it is not selfish to concentrate on yourself and family now. You have done great things and unfortunately the issues will still be there, if you decide you want to take up the baton again. Enjoy 2018 x
Absolutely Eileen. I will continue to be involved of course, but will concentrate on work that I am focusing on. I hope all well in the Bullimore household? XX
Sometimes it is very hard for us to take a step back and focus on our own issues once in a while but there comes a time when we have to listen to the little voice in our head and do it for the sake of our health and sanity. I wish you well Chris and hope you enjoy Disneyworld as much as the grandchildren. xx
Thanks so much Kaz. Being negative about other peoples work was getting me nowhere with my own. Am now going to focus on the positive things I do, so that I will truly have time to enjoy them! Will still share and support of course. Yes looking forward to Florida, the kids are so excited!
Fabulous blog Chris, what a lovely thing to do, I’m sure you’ll all have so much fun and create long lasting memories together. We only get one go at this life and we have to make it the best we can. Your work is amazing, helping so many but you need time for yourself to spend with the people you love, especially the grandchildren xx
Thanks so much Sam! Without really noticing I have let the entire cancer world into my life and my head is constantly full and am chasing my tail to meet people or respond to their email.I want a really clear mind for Florida, and to focus on SimPal and my own website.
No longer trying to correct all that is wrong in this sector, just doing what I do well, and enjoying it! Leaving all the negative organisations alone has already made me feel better!!
Speak soon hopefully, Chris xxx
I don’t get to speak with you often Chris, occasionally with The Cancer stories team, l saw you in Blackpool at the Head Neck Cancer Conference.
Whenever you present through the media or in person , your voice is HEARD.
Your empathy enthusiasm humour and unfailing commitment to the CancerSupport Community is and has been really appreciated from your fellow Cancer sufferers me included.
You have championed for others and you deserve to have time for yourself and your loved ones
Enjoy DisneyWorld …. l went straight after my treatment in 2010. Making fun memories is brilliant and this place does that for sure.
Take care xx
Yes it was indeed lovely to have a brief chat in Blackpool, and I keep up with your story via Facebook etc. I feel very humbled with my work, as after every conference I get incredible feedback. I love being able to help people through sharing my own story, and that will not change. I will be focusing on those things and leaving a lot of the other staff behind.
We’re looking forward to the US and seeing my g/childrens faces. I’m 10 years out of my diagnosis and lucky to still be alive. I must do these things whilst I am able.
Big love to you both XXX
I can’t add anything more than how proud I am to know you a little! Have a fabulous holiday and let us know when the book comes out -you are amazing! X
You know I believe we meet people for a reason Ailsa, and that certainly happened in our case! By being in the right place at the right time our lives changed forever. You will be in the book 🙂 Thank you for sharing your kindness xxx