Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Carpe Diem


We are often told to count our blessings. We teach our children to count our blessings, we are reminded by pop culture to be grateful. How many of us actually are grateful and make a point to be just a little bit grateful?
I have learnt to be.
It is often when we are faced by some dilemma or other that we suddenly realise that we need to count our blessings, daily, every moment, every breath.
I have tried to live my adult life this way, being grateful, enjoy every moment, seize the day.
Every day I give people news, a lot of the time it is bad news; and as much as this is a cliché, it is not until one stares death straight in the face that we actually remember to breathe just a little bit deeper the next day.
My father died young, and for a few years after that, I used to panic for my children's safety, for my own safety, for my mum's health. Not a day went by that I would think about my own mortality, and after a while, I had to let it go. Because awareness does not necessarily equate acceptance. One can live in panic and the resulting emotions are not pleasant.
In the last few months, I have met someone who lost a child of nine, cared for a young cancer patient myself, witnessed two of my long term patients' passing, heard of a parent of the school's demise in a car accident, heard of flood victims, cyclone victims and earthquake victims. Never mind the people who die daily and whose news are simply buried with the thousands of other souls whose time has arrived.
Because of the almost daily news, we certainly do grow somewhat resistant to the news.
My cat brings me dead mice, pigeons. Often I find them only when they smell. I know, it is disgusting, but it also means that I can recognise the smell of death. A walk in the playground with the kids can be interrupted by the unmistakeable aroma of death; a reminder.

When I think about death, about my own mortality, faced by it, my only thought is life.

It is the most unusual thing. I think about those I love and live for, I think about the mark I make day to day on those I work with, socialise with. I think about what I have written and hope that I have more time left to live so I can fill more pages with my thoughts.
I think about my kids, and my cats, and my sisters, and my beautiful niece and nephews. My lovely friends who share my life. I think about all the progress that I have made in my life, about my psyche and how proud of it I am these days. I think about how healthy I feel when I run at the gym, and how much laughter I manage to fit in to a boring day at work.
I think about how many people I know who appreciate me, and the difference that I manage to make in my own little corner of the world.

So, I think about life, how much I love life, and how worthwhile the journey is.
I think I am grateful.
Be grateful, live every day, make it all worth it. I think it is.

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