Recently my health has been a lot worse than usual & I have lost a tremendous amount of weight. This weight loss has been a double edged sword, although totally delighted by the new ‘slim line’ me, deep down I have been concerned because I was sure that there was something very wrong. Eventually I knew that I needed to visit the GP, only to hear what I had expected – that there was a very real chance that I have got cancer……..

Now anyone who knows me well would be able to tell you that death holds no fear for me. In past years I have tried so desperately to bring about my own demise, that I have faced any fears that I may have had. However since I have been able to turn my life around, my outlook has changed. I am still not in the slightest bit worried about dying, but – and it’s a very BIG BUT- I now feel that I have far too much that I want to do before I go, so the possibility of my life being cut short has caused me to re- evaluate how I am living my life, albeit in an unexpected way…….

I try to live my life to the full, still trying to make up for all of the years that I wasted, wallowing in depression and self imposed isolation. I am acutely aware that I cannot make up the 17 years that I  lost through agoraphobia – but I’m certainly trying!

My mind buzzes with ideas & inspirations, to such an extent that I find myself actually wasting my potential, trying to find ways of fitting in more challenges & attempting to  cram 30 hours into each & every day, 8 days a week!  This has the unfortunate effect of actually acheiving far less than I really am able to.  Also of course, due to my fibromyalgia, M.E & assorted other health issues, I push myself far too far, with the resulting physical energy crash.  It really is stupidity!  So in a way I have a lot to thank this possible ‘big C’ for.  Because I have no way of knowing if my time could be cut short, I realise that I need  to prioritise (& organise) my use of time.

One of the things that have hit home has been my lack of happy memories, of course there have been some, but most have been over shadowed by bad ones.     Simple things have been foremost in my mind, memories of taking my children blackberry picking, walking on the moor, making cakes & pies by the score!  Kite flying, bulding snowmen, rummaging at jumble sales,taking my goat for a walk and being dragged on my bottom down the hill when he decided he was heading for home! That memory in particular still makes me smile!   As  I said, simple pleasures. Life was hard in those days, there was no money,but there was lots of hope, tomorrow was always going to be a new day. Unfortunately the new day tended to be filled with problems, but I coped because I had my little brood – my 5 sons. As long as I had them, I felt safe, fulfilled.   But life moves on, as did my children, my dreams faded, the harshness of life cut like a knife.   For so many years I felt totally at odds with the world, but mostly with myself & my bad life choices.  Maybe there were happy memories, but they have become assigned to the trash can of my mind, some were probably deleted, maybe even unintentionally, but self protection causes us to do strange things!

Nowadays I try very hard to live in the here & now, no longer dwelling in the past recesses of my mind. My possible illness has made me  realise what is important to me -now.

I need fulfillment, I need happy memories to warm my heart if it feels chilly, I need to feel proud of my acheivements, but that will be impossible if I don’t actually do something positive & make steps toward my goals – so I have started.

For too long I have wasted time & money as a reaction to having been controlled previously. I have no real use for money, nor for possessions, but never the less I buy, just for the sake of it, then give it away through guilt at my wastefullness.  Well, no more!  Okay maybe that’s a bit idealistic – I have promised myself to try to change my ways.

I have a few challenges to myself – I want to write a book, or two, or more..  I want to lead others to find happiness,    I want to gain qualifications,  I want to be able to look at my life & be proud of what I’ve done but to do that, I have to start…………….

To gain new happy memories, I have booked a few short breaks away with a friend and have decided that lack of money, or confidence shouldn’t be a stumbling block.   I am going to book onto a short trip to Iceland next year, I’ve no idea who with, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve always wanted to look for the Northern lights, so I  am going to go & try. It doesn’t matter if I don’t see them – I’ll know I’ve looked! as far as affording it, well I have plenty of unneeded items that I can sell!

My dream of becoming an author has long bothered me. although writing is a passion, I lack a lot of know how, so yesterday booked onto a creative writing course & a publishing workshop. again I may not ever get published, but I am improving my chances by increasing my knowledge.

Helping lead others has taken an unexpected direction.  I always believed that I would earn my reputation through my Tarot card reading, or laterly through healing ( Reiki, Crystal & energy healing are incredibly important to me)  But I realise that although these things may happen, my path is through teaching, inspiring & generally making people happy. Because being with vulnerable people gives me a sense of purpose & exercise helps me cope, I have decided to combine both ideals & use my new found skills as a flexercise leader & become an older persons’ party organisor ( mad possibly, but exciting prospect!)

I have also decided to enrole in a Tai Chi tutor course – something I had to give up a while ago when lack of confidence got the better of me! This time I WILL complete it! Even if I never use the skills, I will have the qualification & the choice.     My choice!

Finally & maybe most importantly I have offered to help out at the local community college,volunteering with a group of people with learning difficulties, doing whatever I can to assist them. I need to help others & can’t think of a better way!

As for my diagnosis, I am going to Hospital in a couple of days for tests, but really it is not important.  Whatever the outcome, I intend to fill my time doing what I can to improve my life.  I don’t need to live my life filled with regrets. Of course there is a lot that I would have preferred not to have happened, but it did, I can’t change that.  I can’t even change the future, because it’s not yet here to be able to change, but I can change ME. I can live everyday fully, not punishing myself, being kind to myself, being mindful & aiming to fulfil my dreams & find contentment.

I will shoot my arrows of intent at the targets of my dreams  –   & if they fall short of the target?

At least I will have had the courage to try.

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