I’ve been off the grid for over a week, while I try to process several devastating pieces of news from friends and family. I won’t go into details, to protect those who are more directly affected. Suffice to say, following a period of mid-life wallowing, I’ve been reevaluating what’s important.
Our 40s are a strange time when we’re caught in the middle. Many of us still have kids who are young enough to depend on us in every way, as well as an older generation of parents and other relatives to care for. But life delivers a particularly cruel blow when ill-health affects our peers in their 40s and 50s.
Frankly, it’s just not fair.
I don’t have religion to fall back on. I understand belief brings great comfort. It is not my intention to criticise those who find strength in it: each to their own. Personally I find it hard to believe in the existence of a divine being, when so many people are suffering.
Perhaps my immersion in self-help books is a religion of sorts. I turn to books about confidence and mindfulness when I need a boost of positivity.
Last week’s mental slump led me to a book called “F**k it, do what you love”, which I bought to help me get some perspective. I’ll be reviewing it here soon.
It is such a cliche, but the only way I get through times when everything and everyone seems to be broken, is to be grateful for what we do have. We have each other, a roof over our heads, and live in a civilised, tolerant society (in the main). Spring is well and truly here, which is an opportunity to be grateful for blue skies and beautiful flowers.
My parents – still healthy and strong thankfully – celebrate everything. Every birthday, anniversary and Mother’s/Father’s day is an excuse to get the family together. Only two of my 43 birthdays have passed without a party, and both of those years turned into an annus horribilis (this year being one of them).
Never has it been more important to me to celebrate and appreciate time with friends and family.
So I’ll be trying my darnedest to enjoy life, look up at the sky, spend time with my nearest and dearest, seek out adventure and enjoy the little pleasures in life. I’ll focus on doing the things I love and attempting not to sweat the small stuff.
That may sound simplistic and insensitive.
The thing is, life is short. So just eat the cake.